(Nov. 16) In a study sponsored by the California Table Grape Commission, researchers have a possible link between grape consumption and activity of genes known to block the Alzheimer’s pathway and decrease inflammation.

“This study is really a first step,” said Nancy Berman, professor of anatomy and cell biology and research director of neurosurgery for the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kan. “What we’d really love to do now is feed a grape-enriched diet to Alzheimer’s mice and see if it delays or reduces the effects of Alzheimer’s.”

Researchers presented the study results at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference Nov. 3-7 in San Diego at the request of the commission.

Berman said that while the results of the study are new and interesting, the research is not extensive enough to prove a link between grape consumption and Alzheimer’s disease.

Jim Howard, vice president of the California Table Grape Commission, said that the beneficial components in grapes are phytonutrients, specifically resveratrol, quercetin and catechins.

The mice in Berman’s study were fed a freeze-dried powder that contained all colors and varieties of grapes, including green, red, blue and black, both seeded and seedless.