Moon drop grapes are a specially bred seedless variety of common grapes that have an interesting shape and sweet flavor. Because of how these grapes are grown, they are only available for a short period. But how different are they from regular grapes? Are they worth the hype?
What Are Moon Drop Grapes?
Moon drop grapes are a seedless variety of common grapes (Vitis vinifera) that are a cross between C22-121 and Beita Mouni varietals and supposedly have a distinct flavor and texture. Moon drop grapes grow over a short season and are available between August 20 and November 15, via a company called Grapery [R, R].
What Do They Taste Like?
Moon drop grapes taste like normal grapes but are sweeter and much crunchier [R].
Like all grapes, moon drop grapes have several nutritious components. Though moon drop grapes have not been specifically studied, they contain the same compounds as common grapes, as they are the same species [R]:
- Dietary fiber
- Nitrogenous compounds such as proteins and amino acids. As the grapes mature, the concentration of these compounds increase
- Minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, and manganese
- Phytonutrients such as phenols, polyphenols, anthocyanins, resveratrol, and flavonoids
- Vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and B vitamins such as B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B9 (folate)
Mechanisms of Action
Moon drop grapes contain fiber, which has several effects in the gut. Viscous fiber can expand in the stomach and slow down the digestion process. It can also work to bulk up fecal matter and help relieve constipation [R].
Health Benefits of Moon Drop Grapes
1) Alleviates Constipation
All grapes contain fiber, which can prevent constipation and increase the movement of material in the digestive system [R].
In a RCT with 34 people, 4 tbsp/day of a natural laxative containing raisins was more effective than prescription laxatives at producing a normal frequency and consistency of bowel movements [R].
2) May Help Strengthen Bones
Moon drop grapes have many nutrients that may be helpful for bone health, such as copper and manganese, which help in bone formation and strength. These nutrients prevent the development of conditions such as osteoporosis [R].
3) May Enhance Immune Function
In a study with 10 people, 5g of resveratrol increased tumor necrosis factor-α levels [R].
4) Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
5) Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
However, a DB-RCT of 66 men found that resveratrol did not have any beneficial effects on metabolic syndrome. Surprisingly, 1,000 mg resveratrol actually increased total and LDL cholesterol and fructosamine levels (a marker for diabetes). Inflammatory status, sugar levels, blood pressure, and liver fat content were not improved with resveratrol treatment [R].
A DB-RCT of 192 type 2 diabetes patients also found that did not change any of the parameters measured, notably fasting glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c, weight, waist circumference, or blood pressure [R].
6) May Help With Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
7) May Be Beneficial For Heart Disease Patients
In a DB-RCT of 26 people with high blood pressure, red grape juice was able to reduce blood pressure for some people [R].
In studies with animal models, resveratrol had a beneficial effect on high blood pressure, clogged arteries, stroke, heart disease, irregular heartbeat, and heart failure. These effects may be due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However much more studies are needed to confirm this theory [R, R, R].
8) May Be Beneficial For Alzheimer’s Disease
Grape powder containing various phytochemicals like resveratrol prevented metabolic decline in brain regions associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease in a DB-RCT with 10 people [R].
Although 500 – 1,000 mg/day of resveratrol seemed to have some effects on the brain, it did not alter markers of Alzheimer’s disease and also increased brain volume loss in a DB-RCT of 119 people. This loss in brain volume was not associated with any cognitive or functional declines [R].
Animal and Cellular Studies
The following studies were only conducted on animal models or cell lines.
9) May Potentially Treat Cancer
According to a review study, resveratrol has potential as a cancer treatment. Consumption of grapes and grape products has also been linked to reduced cancer risk. However, resveratrol can both increase and decrease the effects of chemotherapy [R, R, R, R].
10) May Potentially Prevent Age-Related Eye Diseases
11) May Potentially Treat Asthma
- Abdominal cramping
- Weight loss
The following listed drug interactions are not exhaustive. Please speak to your doctor if you are taking medication.
Grapes and Pets
Grapes and raisins can be toxic to pets, especially dogs [R].
Limitations and Caveats
While moon drop grapes should have similar effects and properties to grapes of the same species, Vitis vinifera, there have been no studies specifically conducted on this varietal. Therefore, the results from these studies can only be theoretically applied to moon drop grapes.
Some of the effects of moon drop grapes or of the polyphenol found in grape skin, resveratrol, have only been conducted in animal models or on cell lines.
Many of the studies directly contradicted other studies. For example, while many studies touted the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol, a DB-RCT of 20 people found that 500 mg of resveratrol had no antioxidant or anti-inflammatory effects [R, R, R].
There is no standard dosage for grape consumption.
In the studies examining the effects of resveratrol, dosages as high as 1,000 mg/day were used but the standard dosage appears to be 500 mg/day.
Forms of Supplementation
Moon drop grapes are available as fresh fruit in grocery stores.
Resveratrol, one of the main beneficial compounds in grapes, is available as a supplement in the form of capsules or powder.
Moon Drop Grape Reviews
Most consumers said moon drop grapes are very delicious, and that the fruit could be snapped into two.
Another consumer said the tube-like shape made them attractive.
Some people said they taste like regular grapes.