Times for harvest and new nutraceutical products. Grape Extracts (Part I).
Mid August is the date in which the harvest usually begins in the northern hemisphere and therefore in the Mediterranean countries. It is the moment to collect the grapes which the wines are made with and to harvest the clusters that we will eat. But there is more good news: the ripening of the fruit allows the extraction of actives with great health benefits, and this extracts open new possibilities to the nutraceutical industry.
If olive tree is the symbol of Classical antiquity, grapes are the delicacies of their gods. Remember Dionysius, the Greek patron of the agriculture and deity of wine. The taste of its fruits, between sweet and sour, makes the grapes a much prized food and a drink revered in many parts of the world.
Considered as a fruit, grapes have high health benefits. Vegetables provide nutrients (vitamins, magnesium, potassium, fiber), help to slow chronic diseases – especially cardiovascular ones – and have few calories on their own.
Its healthy effects are due in large part to its phenolic compounds, which have demonstrated a high capacity to act as antioxidant, antimutagenic and antiviral agents.
Grapes, and in particular the species Vitis vinifera – the most cultivated – is distinguished by the abundance of flavonoids, natural plant pigments that protect the organism from the damage produced by oxidizing agents. This type of phenols provides therapeutic effects in pathologies in which the oxidation of cells or low density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) plays an important role.
Grapes, therefore, help to curb the development of diseases such as atherosclerosis, a pathology in which coronary arteries are narrowed by plaques of fat and bad cholesterol. It has also been proven its effectiveness against the onset and spread of cancer. In a study carried out with grape extracts of 24 varieties of Vitis vinifera, the inhibitory capacity of these extracts on cancer cells increased from 25 to 82% with a concentration of 100 mg / ml of extract applied.
Other functions include antifungal and bactericidal roles, as well as its ability to inhibit lipase, one of the enzymes involved in fat digestion, which could be helpful in anti-obesity treatments.
But if there is a characteristic that distinguishes the grapes from other vegetables is its vasoprotective function. In the next chapter of Grape Extracts we will analyze why they are one of the most effective natural treatments against varicose veins.
We refer to extracts and not grape intake because, although the fruit contains high amounts of flavonoids, its therapeutical effects are only manifested by taking large doses on a regular basis, which it is difficult in our daily diet. Only extracts can provide these effects due to their high concentration of compounds.
These extracts, such as those made in Nutexa, are indicated to be taken as dietary supplements through oral tablets.
If you wish to incorporate our grape extracts to your nutraceutical products, contact us to help you with advisory service.
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- Moreno, D.A., Ilic, N., Poulev,A., Brasaemle, D.L., Fried, S.K., Raskin, I. 2003. Inhibitory effects of grape seed extract on lipases. Nutrition, 19:876-879.
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- Furiga, A., Lonvaud-Funel, A., Badet, C. 2009. In vitro study of antioxidant capacity and antibacterial activity on oral anaerobes of a grape seed extract. Food Chemistry, 113: 1037-1040.
- Zhenchang Liang, Lailiang Cheng, Gan-Yuan Zhong, Rui Hai Liu. 2014. Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of Twenty-Four Vitis vinifera Grapes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4136860/
- S. Martínez-Flórez, J. González-Gallego, J. M. Culebras y M.ª J. Tuñón. Los flavonoides: propiedades y acciones antioxidantes. Departamento de Fisiología, Universidad de León y Hospital de León. España