Friday, December 7, 2012

Grape Juice: Miracle Flu Preventer?

I'm a little in love with Pinterest.  I love that I can just tuck away recipes and decorating ideas and articles from wherever I'm at online and I especially love seeing what other people pin.  Secret confession:  I tend to scroll through new pin posts on my phone every morning...before I get out of bed.  Hey, I'm pregnant.  I'm taking advantage of the little "lay-around-me-time" I have left!  A pin from someone I follow really caught my eye the other day.  They pinned a link with the descriptor: "Tummy Bug Prevention - Every Mom Should Know This".  Well, having chosen not to get the flu vaccine, this immediately peaked my interest.  I thought, it's worth a read at least.  I'm sure it will just give me the normal specs: wash your hands, eat healthy, exercise, use hand sanitizer, bring your own pen for signing receipts, get enough rest.  All those goodies.  But instead, I was surprised.

The pin linked to a blog post over at I Should Be Mopping The Floor where Kristi, the blog's owner, had written about her secret flu prevention weapon:

Grape juice.

Yep.  She first heard of it's preventative magic from a local high school coach who was never sick and credited Welch's for his good fortune.  Then she saw someone post about it on Facebook.  Then she read someone else's blog that swore by grape juice's flu-prevention-voodoo.  She writes, "It's the acidity in the juice that's supposed to help the bug from settling in your digestive tract."  You could - and should - read all about it at her original post HERE.  There is also a link to an updated post that includes readers' tips and tricks, which is worth a gander.  

It got me to thinking...can this be true?  Could grape juice help prevent the norovirus (the most common strain of the flu)?  And if it's true, why haven't I heard about it before??  Why hadn't more people heard about it before?  Or had they heard of it and was it just something they assumed every else already knew so they didn't talk about it?   Because I certainly never heard of this!

So I did a quick google search and came up with conflicting reports.  Here's two examples:
"...there have been studies done recently that suggest that cranberry juice and grape juice may have antiviral potential. In these studies, exposure to cranberry juice or grape juice decreased the infectivity of viruses similar to norovirus."   
"Dr. Azlin Mustapha, a food scientist the the University of Missouri, has done many experiments in petri dishes that showed that red wine and Welches grape juice kill salmonella, e. coli, listeria, shigella, and H. Pylori."
"While there's no effective treatment for a stomach virus, certain lifestyle and dietary changes might reduce your risk of developing this type of infection.  Eating grapes and drinking grape juice have certain health benefits, but they're not an effective way to prevent a stomach virus."
Basically, it seems that there have been a few tests about the antiviral and antibacterial qualities of grapes and grape juice.  In petri dishes, grape juice seems to have some affect on viruses.  But the data seems far from conclusive.  In fact, some research would say that grape juice has no affect at all on viruses already in the body.  That would make this whole grape-juice-preventative an internet  rumor that is spreading like a virus of it's own.


I like it.  I like the idea of drinking a glass a day.  Or a glass when I get home from being around coughing people (which I did that last night after the girl next to me at our childbirth class kept coughing).  If some studies show that grapes have antibacterial properties, why not give it a shot?  It's a yummy shot.  And an 8-ounce glass of Welch's has two servings of fruit.  Empty calories, yes, but yummy calories.  And there is something to be said about natural preventatives.  Maybe it is just the vitamin C that's helping to combat any bugs trying to attach themselves inside of me.  But I also up my OJ intake this time of year.  Or drink some Emergen-C before and after flying.  And wash my hands.  And try to use my own pen when signing receipts.  And all of those other run-of-the-mill tips.  Maybe this is a brilliant marketing strategy by Welch's - "Start internet rumor : Drink our juice to prevent the flu!" - and if so, kudos to them.

...It's working...


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