by Nils Osmar. August 14, 2022. Medical Disclaimer
Re: the grape study that’s been in the news lately claiming that “eating two cups of grapes a day can add five years to your life”:
- The study was founded by industry groups including the California Grape Commission, a group of grape growers whose stated purpose is to promote the sales of grapes.
- The researchers were looking at adding grapes to a “high fat western diet”, i.e., a standard American diet…. not a diet most people in the longevity community are eating.
- The study was not done on humans. It was done on an inbred strain of mice. The conclusion that “eating grapes can add five years (or five minutes) (or five seconds) to any human being’s life is pure conjecture, unsupported by any evidence.
- The mice were not fed grapes. They were fed a powder which had preserved at at an extremely low temperature during transport to preserve phytonutrients that are typically lost during storage and transport.
Most importantly, from a life-extension perspective:
- A very small serving of grapes will significantly raise blood glucose. Dr. Rhonda Patrick has said that of the various foods she tested, grapes were most likely to send her blood sugar levels skyrocketing. Listen to podcast
- There is a strong correlation between high blood sugar levels and all-cause mortality
- From a study called: Association between fasting glucose and all-cause mortality according to sex and age: a prospective cohort study
In individuals with fasting glucose levels of 100–125 mg/dL, each 18 mg/dL increase in fasting glucose was associated with a 30% increase in the risk for mortality (1.30, [1.18 to 1.43]) in those aged 18–34 years, a 32% increase (1.32, [1.26 to 1.39]) in those aged 35–44 years, and a 10% increase (1.10, [1.02 to 1.19])
If you want to eat grapes, or eat tablespoons of sugar directly out of a sugar bowl, have at it. But don’t believe the nonsensical articles claiming that you’ll live longer as a result.
Could grape seeds have benefits?
In contrast to the industry-funded “grapes will make you live longer!” study, there is some more solid evidence that grape seeds or grape seed extract, have benefits that may be of interest to our community. According to a New Scientist article:
A chemical isolated from grape seed extract prolongs the lifespans of old mice by 9 per cent by clearing out their old, worn-out cells. The treatment also seems to make the mice physically fitter and reduces the size of tumours when used alongside chemotherapy to treat cancer.
As in the study above, though, remember that this one was done on mice, not humans. There’s no proof that either will work in humans. And we don’t have to eat grapes to get the theoretical advantage of grape seed extract; we can buy grape seeds as a supplement from many reputable companies.