Grapes and products made from grapes may promote body terrainthe internal conditions of your body, including nutritional status, fitness, blood sugar balance, hormone balance, inflammation and more factors known to be important in cancer, including better blood sugar and insulin levels and less oxidative stressan imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body in which antioxidant levels are lower than normal; this imbalance can cause harmful oxidation reactions in your body chemistry.

How can grapes and grape extracts help you? What the research says

We summarize the clinical evidence for each medical benefit here. We begin with our assessment of the strength of evidence within each category, followed by a brief summary of individual studies or reviews of several studies. In assessing the strength of evidence, we consider the study design, number of participants, and the size of the treatment effect (how much outcomes changed with treatment).

To see more details, click the plus sign to the right of any section.

Improving treatment outcomes

Are grapes and grape extracts linked to improved survival? Are they linked to less cancer growth or metastasis? Do they enhance the anticancer action of other treatments or therapies? We present the evidence.

Prostate cancer

MuscadinePlus did not have any meaningful effect on prostate-specific antigena protein produced by both normal and malignant cells of the prostate gland; the blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer (PSA) doubling time among men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer.

Grape extracts combined with other therapies

Combined natural products including grape extracts have been linked to a slower progression of cancer among people with metastatic colorectal cancer and possibly longer time to double prostate-specific antigen levels (PSA doubling time) among people with prostate cancer.

Optimizing your body terrain

Do grapes and grape extracts promote an environment within your body that is less supportive of cancer development, growth, or spread? We present the evidence.

See Optimizing Your Body Terrain ›

Find medical professionals who specialize in managing body terrain factors: Finding Integrative Oncologists and Other Practitioners ›

Bleeding and coagulation imbalance

Purple grape juice may lead to less platelet clumping among healthy people, but grape-red wine extracts showed no evidence of meaningful benefit. Grape seed extracts may lower platelet reactivity among smokers.

Body weight

People with symptoms of metabolic syndromea cluster of conditions that occur together, including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels drinking moderate amounts of red wine had lower risk of an abnormally large waist circumference, but grape seed extracts or products have shown little evidence of an effect on body weight or body mass index.

High blood sugar and insulin resistance

Red wine or grape products, but not whole grapes, have led to better blood sugar control among people with metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Juice or beverages supplemented with grape extracts may be linked to better insulin sensitivitythe body’s responsiveness to insulin, a hormone that helps to control blood sugar levels. Low insulin sensitivity is a risk factor for developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes., but red wine polyphenolscompounds found naturally in many plants and plant foods that have antioxidant properties alone do not seem to show any evidence of an effect.

Hormone imbalance

Changes in hormone levels seen in the studies here may not be beneficial in every situation. Your oncology team needs to determine whether any changes would be favorable for your condition.

Premenopausal women drinking red wine have shown changes in some sex hormones, but postmenopausal women treated with grape seed extract have not shown any evidence of effects.

Immune function

Increased immune system activation is not always beneficial, so your oncology team needs to determine whether immune activation would be favorable in your situation.

People drinking purple (Concord) grape juice or treated with polyphenols extracted from red grape seeds have shown immune activation.


Grape seed extract has been linked to lower levels of markers of inflammation. Drinking red grape juice or red wine may lead to less inflammation.

Oxidative stress

People eating whole grapes or drinking grape juice have had lower levels of oxidative stressan imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body in which antioxidant levels are lower than normal; this imbalance can cause harmful oxidation reactions in your body chemistry. Grape seed extracts or grape products are also linked to lower oxidative stress, although not from a single dose.

Your microbiome

Men drinking either red wine or the equivalent amount of nonalcoholic red wine saw changes in the levels of some groups of microbes in their microbiomesthe collection of microbes living on and within your body.

Other terrain factors

People drinking purple (Concord) grape juice or dealcoholized muscadine grape wine had higher serum vitamin C levels or vitamin E levels, but eating food supplemented with flour made from wine grape pomace did not show a meaningful effect.

Grape extracts combined with other therapies

Young people treated with Leucoselect Phytosome, a standardized grape seed extract formulated with soy phospholipids, showed higher serum total antioxidant activity and possibly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. People with breast cancer eating a balsamic vinegar supplemented with many natural products, including grape seed extract, may show lower levels of oxidative stress.

Managing side effects and promoting wellness

Are grapes and grape extracts linked to fewer or less severe side effects or symptoms? Are they linked to less toxicity from cancer treatment? Do they support your quality of life or promote general well-being? We present the evidence.

Cardiovascular side effects

Drinking grape juice did not show an effect on endothelial function among childhood cancer survivors.

Quality of life and physical function

People with metastatic or unresectable cancers who were progressing on standard therapies reported higher physical well-being when treated with grape seed extract.

Skin and tissue effects

People with breast hardening from prior radiotherapy did not find any meaningful effect on breast hardness, pain, or tenderness when treated with grape seed proanthocyanidinnatural compounds found in foods including apple, blueberry, cinnamon, and grape seed that have antioxidant properties extract.

Symptoms not specific to cancer

These outcomes are not specific to people with cancer.

Drinking red wine or eating food processed from wine grapes has led to lower blood pressure. Red grape cell powder and grape-red wine extracts may also lead to better markers of cardiovascular function.

Grape seed extract is linked to several effects:

  • Lower anxiety or depression scores and higher muscle mass among women with at least one menopausal symptom
  • Better markers of cardiovascular function, including lower blood pressure, but insufficient evidencepreclinical evidence only OR clinical studies with such poor or unclear methodology that no conclusion can be drawn OR conflicting findings across clinical studies with no preponderance of evidence in one direction; conflicting evidence occurs when studies find conflicting effects (positive effect vs no effect or negative effect) with the same treatment and the same general study population (same cancer type, for example) (this is the CancerChoices definition; other researchers and studies may define this differently) of an effect on endothelial dysfunctiona type of non-obstructive coronary artery disease with no heart artery blockages, but the large blood vessels on the heart’s surface narrow (constrict) instead of opening (dilating)
  • Better markers of cardiovascular health among people with prehypertension or mild hypertension
  • Lower scores for hot flashes, less sleep disruption, and better physical symptoms among women with at least one menopausal symptom
  • Lower stress among healthy men and postmenopausal women with mild hypertension

People with an above-average energy requirement showed slightly lower energy consumption when treated with grape seed extract.

Healthy young adults drinking purple grape juice, and those treated with grape seed extract, showed some improvements in reaction time and psychomotor skills. Older adults eating raisins showed some improvements in cognitive function, better quality of life, and greater autonomy in activities of daily living.

Children with β-thalassemia major treated with grape seed extract may show lower levels of markers of liver dysfunction.

People treated with topical grape seed extract ointment or cream after surgery or excision experienced better wound healing.

Grape extracts combined with other therapies

People with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with MB-6 saw lower incidence of adverse events of grade 4 or higher and occurrence of increased serum creatinine (an indicator of kidney toxicity).

People with stage 3B–4 breast cancer treated with a special diet and grape seed extract reported better physical and functional well-being scores but not better social/family well-being and emotional well-being scores.

People with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome treated with Gelsectan showed fewer symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Reducing cancer risk

Are grapes and grape extracts linked to lower risks of developing cancer or of recurrence? We present the evidence.

Colon cancer

People with suspected or documented colorectal cancer treated with grape powder may have shown lower expression of a key signaling pathway involved in colon cancer initiation.

Melanoma and other skin cancers

Healthy males drinking red wine with the highest polyphenolcompounds found naturally in many plants and plant foods that have antioxidant properties content may have shown a higher marker of protection against redness from exposure to ultraviolet light—a risk factor for melanoma and other skin cancers.

Oral cancer

People with erosive oral lichen planus—a risk factor for cancer—rinsing with anthocyaninsnatural compounds found in many red, blue, and purple vegetables and fruits that have antioxidant properties extracted from grape skin may show better symptom scores and morphology of oral mucosa lesions.

Grape extracts combined with other therapies

Heavy active and former smokers treated with Leucoselect Phytosome may show lower markers of rapid cell growth (proliferation).

Healthy people treated with either of a couple of different mixtures of natural products containing grape seed extract showed fewer symptoms of photoaging of skin—a risk factor for skin cancer.

Healthy males treated topically with red wine as well as 12% alcohol did not find any meaningful effect on redness from exposure to ultraviolet light—a risk factor for melanoma and other skin cancers.

Keep reading about grapes and grape extracts


Nancy Hepp, MS

Lead Researcher
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Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher and writer for CancerChoices and also served as the first program manager. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.

Nancy Hepp, MS Lead Researcher


Andrew Jackson, ND

Research Associate
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Andrew Jackson, ND, serves as a CancerChoices research associate. As a naturopathic physician practicing in Kirkland, Washington, he teaches critical evaluation of the medical literture at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. His great appreciation of scientific inquiry and the scientific process has led him to view research with a critical eye.

Andrew Jackson, ND Research Associate

Last update: June 3, 2024

Last full literature review: February 2024

CancerChoices provides information about integrative in cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocial therapy, and acupuncture therapies and self-care lifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.

Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.

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