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Why Grapes May Play a Role in Defeating Depression


New research has just revealed that compounds derived from grapes called polyphenols may play a role in defeating depression. Scientists are hopeful that the findings of this study may shine a bright ray of light into the dark world of depression that approximately 16 million Americans find themselves living in at one or more points during the year.


Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have made an exciting scientific discovery after conducting an extensive analysis on two grape-derived compounds called dihydrocaffeic acid (DHCA) and malvidin-3’-O-glucoside (Mal-gluc). Current antidepressants available on the pharmaceutical market do not address inflammation or the synaptic maladaptions known to be associated with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The study’s results show a lot of promise for attenuating depression in the future.

Mice Models

DHCA and Mal-gluc promoted resilience in mice models of depression by modulating inflammation and synaptic plasticity. DHCA has the ability to reduce interleukin 6 (IL-6), the pro-inflammatory substance produced by T-cells and macrophages to trigger immune response. DHCA epigenetically modulates the non-coding sequence of the IL-6 gene, and Mal-gluc can actually modulate the Rac1 gene to allow the expression of genes responsible for synaptic plasticity. Researchers also showed that the DHCA/Mal-gluc treatment was effective in treating depression in a mouse model of increased systemic inflammation. They induced this state by transplanting cells from the bone marrow of stress-susceptible mice.

Previous research had explored the link between polyphenols from grapes and depression, but the mechanisms behind their potential had not been thoroughly understood until now. The study was led by Guilio Maria Pasinetti, PhD, Sanders Professor of Neurology, and a team of investigators from the Center for Integrative Molecular Neuroresilience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Polyphenol Preparation

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The bioactive dietary polyphenol preparation that was effective in promoting resilience against stress-induced depression in mice contained a combination of three grape-derived polyphenol products including a select Concord grape juice, a select grape seed extract, and trans-resveratrol.

Depression is related with multiple pathological processes, involving inflammation of the peripheral immune system. The condition also includes a set of biological processes in the lymph nodes, protective tissues including synapses, and the structures that allow neurons to pass an electrical signal to other neurons.

The study’s leader, Dr. Guilio Pasinetti, stated concerning the study: “Our approach to use a combination treatment of DHCA and Mal-gluc to simultaneously inhibit peripheral inflammation and modulate synaptic plasticity in the brain works synergistically to optimize resilience against chronic stress-induced depression-like phenotypes. The discovery of these new, natural grape-derived polyphenol compounds targeting cellular and molecular pathways associated with inflammation may provide an effective way to treat a subset of people with depression and anxiety, a condition that affects so many people.”


Any scientific discovery with the prospect of liberating millions of victims world-wide from the chains of depression is significant. Further research will be necessary to understand more about how grape polyphenols can be incorporated in the future of treating depression with the most success.

Check out these other articles by EMaxHealth: Could Depression Be Triggered By A Gene? , How the Curcumin Found in Tumeric Can Boost Memory By 28% and Reduce Depression, and Why the Habit of Perfectionism Increases Your Risk for Anxiety and Depression.