‘It’s going to change the health of the nation:’ Growers tout health benefits of local grape

Updated: Feb. 18, 2020 at 8:34 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Muscadine grapes, grown only in the southeastern United States, are being considered one of the healthiest fruits you can eat by researchers.

Studies show they contain high amounts of natural antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.

“Muscadine grapes are so high in antioxidants because they evolved in this hot and humid climate,” says Whit Jones, Cottle Farms manager. “That is the way they defend themselves and the vine from disease is they elevate antioxidants because they grow antioxidants for themselves, which in return benefit us. Its one of the highest levels of antioxidants in the world...its just the world don’t know what they are, but we hope to change that.”

Dr. William Wagner, President of Muscadine Naturals, has spent years studying the super fruit and creating a product that takes compounds found in the grapes, Resveratrol and Piceatannol, and converts them into a powder.

"I was off all three prescriptions and that’s been 16 years ago and I’m on zero prescriptions now,” says Walter McDuffie, who takes the powder form of the grape daily. “I don’t have a problem with colds, I don’t take the flu shot, and I don’t worry about being around people with a virus or anything.”

“I had torn a rotator cuff pitching a baseball in high school, I also grew Christmas trees and pruning for years. I had a knot show up on my fingers from pruning and it would hurt to even rub there,” says Jones. “I started taking the powder, and it was natural... it was just grape skins, so I took a pretty good dose of it, and it came on so gradually that I though it was in my head. After about three to four months, I couldn’t feel my shoulder pain or my finger from pruning, I could knock them on the table and they wouldn’t hurt!”

While they’re not proven to cure or treat health issues, many say the grapes have made a big impact on their health.

“Any kind of pharmaceutical pill is going to have side effects. This is a natural product and I would give me that any day over a chemical pharmaceutical,” says Jones.

Dr. Wagner says it will take years to fully understand the grapes interaction with the body, but some of the research has already shown that muscadine grapes can slow the onset of diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, certain cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory condition, Alzheimer’s and even menopausal symptoms.

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