"The beneficial effects of aspirin are well known and much has been made of the so called French Paradox," notes Dr. John Folts, Director of the Coronary Thrombosis Research Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He adds that though aspirin may cause stomach problems in some people and red wine obviously contains alcohol, "purple grape juice offers similar anti-clotting effects and appears, by comparison, to be relatively benign."
Folts based his comments in part on a study that compared the effects of three juices -- purple grape, orange and grapefruit -- on blood clotting in humans.
During the study, each of five healthy participants was tested after consuming each juice, with one week between each juice for "washout." Reductions in clotting attributed to the other juices was not statistically significant. The effect attributed to purple grape juice appears largely due to the presence of flavonoids which occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables, including the grapes from which purple grape juice is made.
In the rhesus monkey study, the objective was to determine how much juice might be needed to achieve a significant reduction of dangerous blood clotting.
The results were similar to the human study.
The studies indicate a 160 pound man could achieve a substantial reduction in dangerous clotting by drinking a 12 ounce glass of purple grape juice daily. For someone weighing 120 pounds -- an average weight for a woman -- that amount would be closer to nine ounces a day.
Folts describes the research as exciting, although he adds that the findings are preliminary, and it would be premature to make broad recommendations based on them. He also said people currently taking aspirin should not automatically stop it in exchange for grape juice. According to Folts, more research needs to be done to determine if purple grape juice might be beneficial when combined with aspirin.
Dr. Folts' research was underwritten by Nutricia Research Foundation, Netherlands; the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation, Madison, WI; and Welch Foods Inc., A Cooperative. (NAPSI)