October 9, 2013

Better Bones with Grapes

The California Table Grape Commission announced TODAY that consuming grapes may help protect bone health, according to research presented this week at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Natural components found in grapes are thought to be responsible for these beneficial effects.

Purdue University’s eight-week study investigated the long-term benefits of grape consumption on bone health using an animal model for menopause. An earlier study had demonstrated short-term benefits with grape intake in these animals.

Research results showed that animals consuming a grape-enriched diet had improved bone calcium retention compared to those fed the control diet without grapes. Additionally, the grape-fed group had greater femur (thigh bone) thickness and strength, a detection that could indicate risk for hip fracture.

Approximately 57 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis or low bone mass, the effects of which can be debilitating. Until the age of thirty, our bones naturally rebuild themselves on a daily basis, but as we age, we begin to lose bone density.

For women, this loss is accelerated during the transition to menopause. Bone mineral density loss during menopause – once attributed solely to the loss of estrogen – actually depends on a combination of factors.

“These results suggest that grapes can improve yet another important aspect of health – our bones,” said Dr. Connie Weaver, lead investigator of the study. “This is an exciting new area of grape research that merits additional focus and study.”

The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research is a professional, scientific and medical society established to bring together clinical and experimental scientists involved in the study of bone and mineral metabolism.

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