Anti-Ageing Properties Of Grapes

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Grapes, rich in vital nutrients, antioxidants, and remarkable resveratrol, pave the way to improved health and a more vibrant ageing experience.

Overview

Grapes, known not only for their delightful flavour, have long been associated with numerous health benefits, and the concept of their anti-ageing properties is gaining attention.

Whether small or large, they are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and potent antioxidants, making them a healthy choice that also helps keep you hydrated due to their high water content.

In the pursuit of combating the effects of ageing, grapes have emerged as a promising ally. Resveratrol, an antioxidant abundantly found in them, exhibits an exceptional ability to activate the SIRT1 gene, known as the longevity gene. To fully gain these benefits, it is advisable to choose grapes in their natural, unprocessed form, as they offer the most nutritional advantages when compared to grape juice or raisins.

Resveratrol: the multi-faceted antioxidant

Resveratrol is not limited to grapes and red wine; it can also be found in a variety of foods, including peanuts, blueberries, red cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more.

In a 2021 review paper, the authors reported a multitude of diverse biological activities for this antioxidant, including anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular protective, anticancer, type 2 diabetes prevention, neuroprotective, obesity prevention, and anti-ageing properties.

According to the same review, its mechanisms for combating ageing primarily revolve around suppressing oxidative stress (internal cell damage), reducing inflammation, improving mitochondrial efficiency, and regulating cell death.1

One of the ways resveratrol exerts its antioxidant effects is by activating the SIRT1 gene. These actions make it a promising candidate in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases and conditions associated with oxidative stress.2

Resveratrol: a potential solution for Alzheimer's disease and brain well-being

Resveratrol, with its potent antioxidant activity, may have the potential to protect the brain from issues like cognitive decline, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.

Oxidative stress, stemming from the accumulation of highly reactive molecules known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the body, is a contributing factor to ageing and DNA damage. Resveratrol operates through various pathways to counteract these effects.

Both laboratory (in vitro) and animal (in vivo) studies have demonstrated its capacity to safeguard brain cells. This antioxidant is now emerging as a promising option for dealing with Alzheimer's disease. Research evidence suggests that resveratrol might play a pivotal role in alleviating oxidative stress, assisting in the removal of beta-amyloid, the primary component of the amyloid plaques linked with Alzheimer's disease, inhibiting its production and reducing inflammation.

In lab experiments, resveratrol has shown promise in reducing the harmful effects of beta-amyloid, preventing cell death, and lowering oxidative stress. It may also inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid clumps.

Still, experiments in the lab cannot tell us everything about how resveratrol works and what risks it might have. The authors of the review published in Ageing Research Reviews suggested that while there is promising research, more studies are needed to fully understand how resveratrol can be used as a therapy for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.

Resveratrol: your skin's UVB shield

According to a recent study, resveratrol could serve as a valuable means of shielding the skin against the harmful effects of UVB radiation and the associated signs of ageing.

They looked at how resveratrol could protect against skin ageing caused by UVB ray exposure, running experiments on both skin cells and mice exposed to UVB rays.

The primary objective was to assess how resveratrol influenced cellular well-being, the generation of harmful molecules (ROS), and the levels of skin components, such as collagen. In the mouse model, the researchers also examined alterations in skin moisture, wrinkle depth, skin structure, and any adverse changes in skin appearance.

Their findings revealed that resveratrol could safeguard the skin from UVB-induced ageing. It achieves this by mitigating the actions of specific enzymes (MMPs) and by stabilising the skin's response to oxidative stress. Thus, it aids in avoiding cell damage and promoting overall skin health.3

Resveratrol's positive impact on ageing ovaries in female mice

Research in mice has uncovered resveratrol's potential to enhance the well-being of ageing ovaries. This recent study, published in 2023, suggests that resveratrol could influence gene expression, which is how genes instruct our body to produce crucial proteins.

It may also impact epigenetic modifications, the chemical changes to the DNA, influenced by factors such as diet, lifestyle, and the environment. These changes associated with ovarian ageing could potentially be reversed or modified through resveratrol. However, according to the same study, the effectiveness of resveratrol in reversing the ageing process may be diminished without the presence of the Tet2 gene.4

What additional antioxidants and nutrients can be found in grapes?

Grapes offer a variety of antioxidants, along with essential nutrients and fibre, making them a nutritious choice. Antioxidants include:

  • Catechins
  • Quercetin
  • Proanthocyanins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Essential nutrients and minerals include:

  • Vitamin K
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

Grape seed extract and ageing: what you need to know

Grape seed extract may have senolytic properties

A study published in Nature Metabolism in 2021 suggested that as our bodies age, we accumulate certain cells (senescent cells) that can contribute to health problems and diseases. These cells release harmful signals.

However, a substance called procyanidin C1 (PCC1), found in grape seed extract, has the potential to extend the lifespans of mice and improve their overall health by engaging with these troublesome cells. At lower doses, PCC1 can halt harmful substances from senescent cells, and at higher doses, it may eliminate these cells, possibly by damaging their energy sources (mitochondria). When they tested PCC1 in animals, it improved the effectiveness of cancer treatment and enhanced the animals' physical abilities and lifespans.5

Understanding cellular senescence and senolytics

Senescent cells stop replicating but release chemicals that trigger inflammation. While not all are harmful, accumulating senescent cells can affect healthy cells, impairing stress response, healing, and cognitive function. Cellular senescence is linked to various age-related conditions, like diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.

Senolytics are drugs that selectively remove senescent cells. Stubborn senescent cells resist natural cell death and have protective mechanisms. Senolytics disable these safeguards, allowing for the removal of harmful senescent cells. These drugs show promise in delaying or preventing age-related issues, such as frailty, cancer, heart problems, and mental health conditions.6

Grape seed extract can be found in different forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts, as a dietary supplement. However, before adding these supplements to your routine, it's vital to consult your healthcare provider. This is especially significant since grape seed extract may have blood-thinning properties, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding, particularly if you are already using other blood-thinning medications.

Other benefits of eating grapes

Here are some ways grapes can enhance your well-being and boost your health.

  • Prevents cancer
  • Reduces high cholesterol
  • Improves bone health
  • Improves sleep
  • Protects against diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Helps the immune system

Grapes are a tasty way to fight the effects of ageing and promote a healthier, more energetic life. Enjoy them in your daily routine and relish the benefits they bring to your well-being.

Summary

Grapes are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. They offer a wide range of health benefits and are emerging as anti-ageing allies.

Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, activates the SIRT1 gene associated with longevity. It holds great promise, particularly for brain health, where it may reduce oxidative stress, amyloid-beta accumulation (linked to Alzheimer's), and inflammation. Resveratrol also provides skin benefits, shielding it from UVB-induced ageing by stabilising the skin's response to oxidative stress.

Recent mouse studies indicate that resveratrol could influence ageing ovaries by modifying gene expression and epigenetic changes, although its efficacy may be reduced in the absence of the Tet2 gene.

Additionally, grape seed extract containing procyanidin C1 (PCC1) shows potential for extending lifespans and improving overall health in mice by targeting senescent cells associated with age-related problems. Adding grapes to your diet can bring various health benefits, such as cancer prevention, improved bone health, and better sleep.

References

  1. Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Oct 18]. 10 health benefits of grapes. Available from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/health-benefits-of-grapes/
  2. National Institute on Aging [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Oct 16]. Does cellular senescence hold secrets for healthier aging? Available from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/does-cellular-senescence-hold-secrets-healthier-aging
  3. Mount Sinai Health System [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 18]. Grape seed information | mount sinai - new york. Available from: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/grape-seed
  4. .Zhou DD, Luo M, Huang SY, Saimaiti A, Shang A, Gan RY, et al. Effects and mechanisms of resveratrol on aging and age-related diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev [Internet]. 2021 Jul 11 [cited 2023 Oct 17];2021:9932218. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8289612/
  5. Griñán-Ferré C, Bellver-Sanchis A, Izquierdo V, Corpas R, Roig-Soriano J, Chillón M, et al. The pleiotropic neuroprotective effects of resveratrol in cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease pathology: From antioxidant to epigenetic therapy. Ageing Res Rev. 2021 May;67:101271. Available from:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33571701/
  6. Cui B, Wang Y, Jin J, Yang Z, Guo R, Li X, et al. Resveratrol treats uvb-induced photoaging by anti-mmp expression, through anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiapoptotic properties, and treats photoaging by upregulating vegf-b expression. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022;2022:6037303. Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8752231/
  7. Gou M, Li J, Yi L, Li H, Ye X, Wang H, et al. Reprogramming of ovarian aging epigenome by resveratrol. PNAS Nexus. 2023 Feb;2(2):pgac310.Acailable from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36743471/
  8. Xu Q, Fu Q, Li Z, Liu H, Wang Y, Lin X, et al. The flavonoid procyanidin C1 has senotherapeutic activity and increases lifespan in mice. Nat Metab [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Oct 17];3(12):1706–26. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8688144/
  9. Kirkland JL, Tchkonia T. Senolytic drugs: from discovery to translation. J Intern Med [Internet]. 2020 Nov [cited 2023 Oct 20];288(5):518–36. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7405395/

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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