In plain terms, the polyphenols in muscadine skin and antioxidants in muscadine grapeseed can help you achieve four key health benefits:
Clearing your body of free radicals to detox and undo cellular damage.
Stuff like sugar, processed or junk food, cigarette smoke and pollutants cause things cause 'free radicals' in your body.
These free radicals unbalanced atoms which go crashing around your cells looking for an electron to make themselves stable. But as they crash around they cause damage to your cells and to your strands of DNA. The damage caused by free radicals is at the heart of the aging process, potentially causing wrinkling of the skin through to diseases as diverse as arthritis, diabetes and tumors.
Rice University, Texas, introduced free radicals in a more scientific way. They wrote: "Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants."
Antioxidants are a large family of molecules. The most famous is vitamin C, but other antioxidants include catechins, epicatechins and OPC oligomeric proanthocyanidins. Antioxidants effectively 'mop up' free radicals so they can be expelled from the body.
But within the family of plant antioxidants there are also polyphenols. These polyphenols can have general antioxidant capabilities. They can also have very specific, targeted health benefits. The best known polyphenol is resveratrol.
At the end of this article there's a list to the specific antioxidants and polyphenols found in muscadine grapes. But for now it's enough to know that the muscadine is America's strongest source of grape resveratrol and other polyphenols.
Research link : Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases.
Reducing 'oxidative stress' and inflammation for health protection.
Free radicals occur naturally, but you get more of them in your body due to modern factors like junk food and pollution, such as car exhaust fumes. If you're a smoker - or passive smoker - you should know that every drag of a cigarette contains billions of free radicals. When the body can't get rid of free radicals (because there aren't enough antioxidant molecules to do the job), your cells suffer from oxidative stress.
News Medical offers this description of oxidative stress: "Oxidative stress leads to many pathophysiological conditions in the body. Some of these include neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, gene mutations, chronic fatigue syndrome, fragile X syndrome, heart and blood vessel disorders, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack and inflammatory diseases."
Read more about oxidative stress by Dr Ananya Mandal, MD, of News Medical.
Research link: Oxidative Stress Effects.
Re-energizing your mitochondria for more energy.
The mitochondria are the little battery packs in your body's cells that give you the energy to live and stay healthy. And when you have too many free radicals … which lead to oxidative stress … your mitochondria lose their ability to produce energy. Individually that leads to weaker cells … put it all together and you have a weaker you that doesn't have the energy to enjoy life.
Here's how Dr Mark Hyman, MD, introduces the subject of mitochondrial health: "Imagine if you could find a way to tune up your metabolism, to increase the amount of energy you have, to be able to think clearly and feel less achy! Imagine if you could prevent diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and dementia. Imagine if you could heal fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Imagine if you could get to the root of aging and slow the whole process down and eliminate most of the age related diseases. All that is possible by giving yourself a metabolic makeover; a metabolic tune up."
Research link: Energy, Mitochondria, and Oxidative Stress.
All you'll read in the links below, the polyphenols and antioxidants found in muscadine grapes can help you to fight free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and enhance your mitochondrial health. If you want to carry out your own research, each page also includes links to studies and articles which give more in-depth information.