Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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There’s no single food that can guarantee a long and healthy life. However, research suggests that grapes could be a great candidate to add to your diet if you are seeking to boost your longevity. The findings showed that the fruit could be potent enough to counter the negative effects of high-fat Western diet.
Characterised by their tart yet sweet taste, grapes could offer more than a tasty snack.
Packed with B vitamins, fibre and potassium, the small foods could aid your brain, blood pressure, cholesterol and immune system.
What’s more, research, published in the journal Foods, found they could even add five years to your lifespan.
The research team set out to investigate whether grapes are powerful enough to counter the effects of a high-fat Western diet.
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Previous research suggested that adding just under two cups of the fruits to a daily regimen could improve fatty liver and boost longevity.
With this in mind, the researchers conducted a series of experiments on mice models.
The animals were placed into four groups. The first two consumed either a standard synthetic diet or a high-fat diet, while the other two followed these protocols with the addition of a powdered grape supplement.
The daily supplement used in the study was the equivalent of a small container of the fruit.
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The grapes in the study were provided by the California Table Grape Commission, who also offered partial support with the research.
The study results showed that the grape supplement improved fatty liver and boosted longevity in the mice.
Furthermore, the addition of grapes in the high-fat diet increased levels of antioxidant genes and delayed natural death.
A researcher on the study Professor John Pezzuto said: “The change observed in the study would correspond to an additional four to five years in the life of a human.”
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However, he added that there’s no exact science for translating lifespan boost from a mouse to a human.
Apart from these benefits, the study also found that grapes could aid the brain.
The small fruits had positive effects on behaviour and cognition that were impaired in the mice fed high-fat diet without the extract.
“These results suggest the potential of dietary grapes to modulate gene expression, prevent oxidative damage, induce fatty acid metabolism, ameliorate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and increase longevity when co-administered with a high-fat diet,” the researchers penned.
Professor Pezzuto added that the study findings were “truly remarkable”.
Despite the impressive benefits, the caveat of the research is that it was conducted only on mice.
Currently, more studies are needed to test how these effects would translate to humans.
However, a healthy diet packed with fruits and vegetables is considered one of the greatest weapons you can add to your arsenal of protection against longevity-threatening health problems.
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