Grape-eating rodents have a significantly lowered incidence of type1 diabetes, according to research published in the May 2007 Journalof Nutrition. The study showed that grape-eating reduced themovement of immune cells into the islets of Langerhans, thuspreventing damage to the beta cells located therein.
Grape intakealso reduced the levels of an inflammatory protein in spleen cells(TNF-alpha) and led to a significantly higher anti-oxidant capacityin the blood.
The beneficial effects are attributed to grape antioxidants calledpolyphenols. Previous studies have shown that other grapephytonutrients, including anthocyanins and quercetin (a flavonol),enhance insulin secretion and sensitivity.
Consuming the whole grape, as opposed to a supplement, isrecommended to get the full benefit of phytonutrients in foods,including the polyphenols in grapes. Given the recent news about howcherries cut the risk of type 2 diabetes, it might be a good idea toeat more table fruit.
Source: California Table Grape Commission Press release