Getting a grip on gastrointestinal issues with grapes
Studies supporting natural-treatment alternatives for diseases are—as my Nana would have said—scarcer than hens’ teeth.
Of course, you and I both know it’s not because they don’t work. But without the financial backing of the big drug companies, natural solutions just don’t get the same spotlight and funding as drugs.
That’s why I was so excited (yes, I am that much of an natural-health geek) to read about a study that focused on a natural approach to fighting inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Collectively known as IBD, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are painful conditions that cause sufferers to experience extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea, and intestinal bleeding. Doctors usually treat IBD with heavy-duty drugs…at times resorting to immune suppressors to quell the inflammation. Sometimes, even surgery is required.
But now scientists have uncovered a noninvasive and side-effect-free approach. And get this! It can be found in, of all places, the produce section of your supermarket!
You’re probably already familiar with the polyphenol known as resveratrol. This natural compound—found most abundantly in the skins of fruits and vegetables like red grapes—has gotten its fair share of attention in the past few years as an approach to fighting cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Now, it turns out that the same anti-inflammatory properties that make resveratrol a heart-smart choice make it a natural for fighting serious gastrointestinal diseases.
Researchers say that mice given a resveratrol supplement in their diet for 30 days and then induced into a colitis flare-up had significantly less-frequent and less-severe symptoms than did those in a control group.
The control group experienced severe weight loss, dehydrating diarrhea, and significant rectal bleeding and had a frightening 40% death rate. While the resveratrol mice did experience some weight loss, diarrhea, and bleeding, the symptoms were milder. And not a single resveratrol mouse died.
You can increase your intake of this beneficial polyphenol either by relying on widely available supplements or simply by adding more reseveratrol-rich foods to your diet. The compound can be found in red grapes, blueberries, peanuts, peanut butter, red grape juice, and, of course, red wine. If you’re already suffering with IBD however, you should be cautious about adding any alcohol to your diet and be sure to talk with your doctor first.
While it’s too early to tell if a diet rich in resveratrol will have the same effects in humans that is has in mice, the compound’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious properties make it a healthy choice regardless. And for my money a handful of peanuts and a glass of red wine beat drugs and surgery any day of the week!
About the author
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
Follow Alice and HealthierTalk on Twitter.