Grape consumption supports immunity in animals and humans

J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1801S-5S. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.108324. Epub 2009 Jul 29.


All nutrients play a role in maintaining the immune system and providing substrate for the response. gammadelta T cells, on the other hand, seem to have a unique response to certain dietary bioactive components found in the plant family. Although the identification of those components is not well known yet, members of the proanthocyanidin family and the anthocyanin family of compounds are candidates. Because grapes and grape products contain both of these types of compounds, I hypothesized that grapes may help maintain or support the immune response, specifically the gammadelta T cell. Data from intact animal studies show that immune function is supported by grape products. In humans, relatively little research has been conducted using the food as an intervention; however, a study currently in progress showed that Concord grape juice supported circulating gammadelta T cells and maintained immune function, whereas participants receiving the placebo juice had changes associated with reduced immunity. After an overview of immunity, this paper will focus on reviewing the literature on grapes and other food products made from grapes and their potential for interaction with the gammadelta T cell in whole-body systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology
  • Diet
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Fruit / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity / drug effects*
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / drug effects*
  • Vitis / chemistry
  • Vitis / immunology*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Plant Preparations
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta