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Berry and Pomegranate Wines

February 15, 2012 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

During a recent consultation, a client inquired about the relative differences between non-grape wines and traditional wines derived from grapes. This is a topic I’d previously examined myself. My reason for doing so, besides being an admitted red wine devotee, was my growing awareness of non-grape wines that I’d seen at various gourmet shops, health food stores and wine outlets. But, what really piqued my interest the most was the possibility that these alternative wines just might be healthier than their grape-based counterparts.

Berry and pomegranate wines are two of the more common non-grape wines presently available. Thus far, there have only been in vitro trials comparing conventional red and white wines vs. non-grape wines. What’s been uncovered up until now are mostly subtle, but occasionally noteworthy differences in terms of antioxidant capacity and health promoting effects. For instance, a study in the November 2011 Journal of Medicinal Food determined that red wine was a more potent vasodilator (a measure of circulatory health) than blackberry wine. In terms of antioxidant capacity, one experiment reported that a serving of blueberry wine possessed approximately 16% greater free radical fighting potential than red wine and more than 5 times the antioxidant content of white wine. Another examination pitting pomegranate wine against red wine revealed that the pomegranate beverage inhibited LDL cholesterol oxidation more significantly than red wine. The reason for these discrepancies is likely due to differences in the phytochemical composition of berries and pomegranates compared to red and white grapes. All in all, the researchers who are spearheading this line of inquiry generally conclude that berry and pomegranate sourced wines, which are abundant sources of chlorogenic acid, gallic acid and kamepferol, are probably good options for those who prefer so-called “fruit wines”.

Based on the currently available data, I don’t think there’s enough evidence to suggest switching over to non-grape wines. Not only does red wine compare reasonably well to these alternative wines, but the research on the health benefits of red wine (in humans) is growing at an impressive pace. In fact, two current studies provide an incentive for me to continue to recommend biodymanic and organic red wine to those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages. The first trial verifies that red wine intake actually lowers post-meal blood sugar in healthy adults. The latter, conducted in premenopausal women, discovered that red wine, but not white wine, acts as a nutritional aromatase inhibitor which may be useful in protecting against breast cancer. This is very good news indeed. Cheers!

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Antioxidant and Vasodilatory Effects of Blackberry and Grape Wines … (link)

Study 2 – Anthocyanin and Proanthocyanidin Content in Selected White and Red (link)

Study 3 – Pomegranate Wine Has Greater Protection Capacity Than Red Wine on(link)

Study 4 – Comparison of Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Capacity of (link)

Study 5 – Evaluation of Colour Parameters and Antioxidant Activities of Fruit (link)

Study 6 – HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS Analysis and Antioxidant Activities of (link)

Study 7 – Bioconversion of Grape and Chokeberry Wine Polyphenols (link)

Study 8 – Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra L.) Wine: A Product Rich in Health (link)

Study 9 – Effect of an Acute Consumption of a Moderate Amount of Ethanol (link)

Study 10 – Red Versus White Wine as a Nutritional Aromatase Inhibitor (link)

Red Grape Antioxidants (PGPE) Blunt Postprandial Blood Sugar

Source: Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Aug 27;7:71. (link)

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health

2 Comments & Updates to “Berry and Pomegranate Wines”

  1. JP Says:

    Updated 06/11/16:


    Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jan 30;14(1):e33835.

    Effects of Concentrated Pomegranate Juice on Subclinical Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes: A Quasi-Experimental Study.

    BACKGROUND: The health benefits of pomegranate juice have been reported in several studies. However, limited clinical trials have examined the effects of concentrated pomegranate juice (CPJ) on inflammatory factors.

    OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate the effects of CPJ on metabolic risk factors, including inflammatory biomarkers, in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a quasi-experiment trial, 40 type 2 diabetic patients were asked to consume 50 g of CPJ daily for 4 weeks. Anthropometric indices, dietary intake, blood pressure measurements, and fasting blood samples were conducted at baseline and 4 weeks after the intervention.

    RESULTS: The intake of CPJ produced a significant increase in both total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (4.7% and 3.9%, respectively) from baseline (P < 0.05). However, changes that were observed in serum triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), fasting blood glucose, and blood pressure were not statistically significant. Administration of CPJ caused significant reduction in serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) (P < 0.05), but tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) remained unchanged during the study. The mean value of serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was substantially increased (~ 75%) from 381.88 ± 114.4 at baseline to 1501 ± 817 after 4 weeks of CPJ consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of CPJ (50 g/day) appears to have favorable effects on some markers of subclinical inflammation, and to increase plasma concentrations of antioxidants in patients with type 2 diabetes. Be well! JP

  2. JP Says:

    Updated 06/30/16:


    Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Jun 16.

    Pharmacokinetics of blackberry anthocyanins consumed with or without ethanol: a randomized and crossover trial.

    SCOPE: This study was designed to evaluate the influence of ethanol in the bioavailability of blackberry anthocyanins.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 18 participants were recruited to consume 250 mL of a blackberry puree (650 mg of anthocyanins) without (BBP) or with 12% ethanol (BBP 12%). Venous blood was collected from participants at baseline and at 15, 30, 60 and 120 min after puree ingestion. Urine samples were collected at baseline and at 120 min. Plasma and urine concentrations of anthocyanins and anthocyanin conjugates were quantified by HPLC-DAD. Methyl-cyanidin-glucuronide (Me-Cy-Glucr) and 3′-Me-Cy3glc were the main anthocyanin conjugates detected in all plasma and urine samples. Urinary concentrations of these anthocyanin conjugates were positively correlated with their plasma concentrations. Ethanol increased plasma Cmax of Me-Cy-Glucr and 3′-Me-Cy3glc. Participants were then stratified according to their BMI and body fat mass %. After BBP consumption, plasma Cmax of Me-Cy-Glucr and 3′-Me-Cy3glc tended to be decreased in overweight/obese participants, in comparison to normal weight participants. The increase on plasma Cmax of Me-Cy-Glucr and 3′-Me-Cy3glc induced by ethanol was more pronounced in the group of overweight/obese participants.

    CONCLUSIONS: Ethanol seems to enhance Cy3glc metabolism that appears to be compromised in overweight and obese individuals.

    Be well!


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