Study finds eating grapes could boost macular pigment levels

Singaporean researchers have observed the effect of daily grape consumption on macular pigment optical density

A ray of sunlight shines from behind a bunch of red grapes growing on the vine

A new study published in Food & Function has highlighted the potential of daily grape consumption in boosting the eye health of older Singaporeans.

A group of 34 older Singaporeans were randomly assigned a daily 46-gram portion of freeze-dried grape powder or placebo powder for 16 weeks.

A range of variables were assessed every four weeks during the study period, including macular pigment optical density (MPOD), skin carotenoid status, advanced glycation end product (AGEs) status and dietary lutein intake.

Every eight weeks, plasma lutein concentration, total antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content were measured.

The researchers found that regular consumption of grapes had the effect of augmenting MPOD and downregulating AGEs.

A significant increase in plasma total antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content were observed in the intervention group only.

Dr Jung Eun Kim, of the National University of Singapore, shared that the results illustrating the beneficial effect of grapes on eye health are exciting in the context of an ageing population.

“Grapes are an easy, accessible fruit that studies have shown can have a beneficial impact in normal amounts of just 1 ½ cups per day,” she said.