Think if you have seen one grape you have seen them all? You must have never seen the muscadine grape! Muscadine Grapes grown in not so exotic places like – Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. These are not the type of places we normally find SuperFruits – but the research does not lie, Muscadines are super!
What Makes Muscadine Grapes Different?
Muscadine grapes are larger and stronger than traditional grapes – but the difference is not just skin deep (terrible pun intended). Muscadines actually have an extra pair of chromosomes. Normal grapes have 19 pairs of chromosomes, while Muscadine grapes have 20 chromosomes. It is believe that this extra set of chromosomes is what allows Muscadine grapes to produce phytochemicals that are not found in any other grape.
Ellagic Acid – the Secret Sauce in the Muscadine Grape
It is believed that the extra pair of chromosomes in the muscadine grapes is the reason that muscadines contain ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is not found in any other grape, so this is one of the reasons the muscadine grape is considered a super grape.
Why is Ellagic Acid so important? There are numerous studies underway investigating the role ellagic acid can play in cancer prevention. Ellagic acid may aide in chemoprevention. Chemoprevention is a term that means to chemically prevent cancer from occurring, growing or metastasizing. There is great interest in chemoprevention (not to be confused with chemotherapy) because it may be the best way to fight cancer, stop it from growing before it reaches a level that causes problems.
The NIH, Muscadine Grapes and Prostate Cancer
While many superfruits and supplements have sound logic behind them, they often do not have sound science to backup their claims. Muscadine grapes have incredible science to backup their claims…
“Although MSKE [muscadine grape skin extract] has significant inhibitory effects on the prostate cancer cell lines, it did not alter the growth variables of normal human primary prostate cells. This strongly suggests that the effects of MSKE may be specific for transformed cells, even at early stages, and that MSKE may be potentially very useful as a chemopreventive agent. Muscadine grape products, including grape juice (given 4 mL/kg twice daily for 14 days) and grape wine (given isocalorically at 240 mL/day) have been used in human studies without reported toxicities, further suggesting that MSKE may be relatively safe in clinical trials. Therefore, MSKE may be useful as a chemopreventive or therapeutic agent. Ongoing in vivo studies of MSKE will further address the potential effects of MSKE in preventing or inhibiting prostate cancer growth.“
It is clear that the Muscadine grape has very strong science behind it.
What else can Muscadine Help With?
Muscadine is much more than just a great source of Ellagic acid. Muscadine grapes have 6 times the resveratrol as red grapes. In addition, muscadines have more antioxidants than red grapes and they are packed with phytonutrients. We will do a whole separate post on the health benefits of the muscadine grape – but in short it can help increase energy, regulate blood sugar, reduce free radicals, help the body build and repair, and increase mental clarity.
How Come Muscadine Grapes Are Not More Popular?
It is a sad secret of this industry, companies love selling fruits from far away places with mythical stories. Supplement companies want to tell you a small tribe lives in some remote rain forest and eats Super Berry X and they all live to be 130 years old.
Muscadine does not have the “sex” appeal of coming from an exotic land. What Muscadine does have is more science and clinical data than 99% of the superfruits being pushed on consumers. We will continue to explore the Muscadine grape and let you know what we find out.