Nutrients. 2014 Jan 21;6(1):391-415. doi: 10.3390/nu6010391.
Recent advances and uses of grape flavonoids as nutraceuticals.
Grape is one of the oldest fruit crops domesticated by humans. The numerous uses of grape in making wine, beverages, jelly, and other products, has made it one of the most economically important plants worldwide. The complex phytochemistry of the berry is characterized by a wide variety of compounds, most of which have been demonstrated to have therapeutic or health promoting properties. Among them, flavonoids are the most abundant and widely studied, and have enjoyed greater attention among grape researchers in the last century. Recent studies have shown that the beneficial health effects promoted by consumption of grape and grape products are attributed to the unique mix of polyphenolic compounds. As the largest group of grape polyphenols, flavonoids are the main candidates considered to have biological properties, including but not limited to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, and hepatoprotective activities. Here, we discuss the recent scientific advances supporting the beneficial health qualities of grape and grape-derived products, mechanisms of their biological activity, bioavailability, and their uses as nutraceuticals. The advantages of modern plant cell based biotechnology as an alternative method for production of grape nutraceuticals and improvement of their health qualities are also discussed.