Are Grapes the New Milk for Bone Health?

Consuming grape products may help our bones in a big way

Grapes on VineThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

Grapes are great for your heart. Grapes might even be part of the answer to cancer prevention and other diseases… but when have you ever heard of grapes being good for your bone health?

In new science from Purdue University featured in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers looked at the long-term benefits of a grape-enriched diet on bone health and found that consuming grape products may help our bones in a big way.

The latest study shows that grapes may improve the way our bodies utilize calcium and suppress bone turnover in the long term. Since the vast majority of calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth for strength, the potential for grapes to be an important tool to combat low bone mass or osteoporosis is very exciting since nearly 57 million Americans suffer from this debilitating health problem.

Researchers used female rats whose ovaries had been removed, to mirror the human disease osteoporosis (which affects post-menopausal women more than any other population). The subjects were fed a 25% freeze-dried grape powder or a control diet for an eight-week period while monitoring calcium balance. Subjects who were fed the grape-enriched diet had a whopping 44% more net bone calcium retention than subjects being fed the control diet. Significant increases in net calcium absorption and retention occurred as well resulting in subjects with thicker and stronger femur bones.

Although the mechanism or compound within grapes that is the key to unlocking better bone health was not detailed, a diet with more grapes means more phytonutrients, fiber and hydration. And that’s something we can get behind!

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