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Grape nutrients may be beneficial against virus, research suggests

Tim Hearden WFP-hearden-grapes-020621-2.jpg
Fresh grapes are a natural source of both vitamin K and flavonoids.

Increasing levels of vitamin K by regularly consuming table grapes might improve outcomes for those infected with COVID-19, a recent scientific study suggests.

In their report in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the researchers identified an increased need for vitamin K during a coronavirus illness and noted that deficiency of the vitamin can have devastating consequences in the lungs.

Vitamin K, which is abundant in fresh grapes, plays a critical role in regulating blood clotting and low levels of it may increase instances of clotting, the California Table Grape Commission notes. While COVID-19 is known as a respiratory infection, higher instances in blood clots have worsened outcomes for those with the disease.

Other research suggests that certain flavonoid compounds found in grapes, green tea, cacao and dark chocolate may be beneficial against the virus by inhibiting an enzyme that is involved in the virus’ infectivity, according to the CTGC’s summary.

“Anything that may help offset the negative impact of this devastating virus is worth knowing, so the findings that natural components found in grapes – vitamin K and certain flavonoids – may play a beneficial role in the fight is worth sharing,” said Kathleen Nave, the CTGC’s president.

“These recent findings add to the substantial body of research built over 20 years indicating that eating fresh grapes can have significant positive impacts on long-term health,” she said.

The commission has been touting the nutritional quality of grapes amid the pandemic to boost demand and grower returns.

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