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J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1783S-7S. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.107458. Epub 2009 Jul 22.

Unraveling the relationship between grapes and health.

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College of Pharmacy and 6Department of Chemistry, University of Hawaii, Hilo, HI 96720, USA.


As described in this Supplement and elsewhere, consumption of grapes or grape products has been associated with various health benefits. Resveratrol is a unique component of grapes. Following our report on potential cancer chemopreventive activity, thousands of studies have been performed to characterize the mode of action of this substance. Nonetheless, scores of additional chemicals are known to be constituents of grapes, several of which are capable of mediating biological responses. Accordingly, when considering grapes and health, a holistic view appears to be more meaningful, taking into account all chemical components, metabolism, biological potential, biodistribution, absorption, processing, etc. To fathom such a massive amount of information, we propose the creation of focused ontologies. Grapes seem reasonable as a test bed for exploring this approach, especially because a fair amount of results are available with whole-grape powder. In essence, by utilizing a next generation intelligent system, attempts can be made to leverage the existing complexity. This approach involves bringing together all available information, together with expert judgment, and processing this information through a computational "engine" or engines to provide suggested solutions (or implicit functional relationships). Accomplishment of this task, employing grapes as a prototype, could lead to broader application by incorporating the myriad of features associated with other fruits and vegetables. The ability to correlate heretofore-uncharacterized "signatures" with biologic outcome could fundamentally transform copious amounts of disparate information into a coherent explanation of human disease prevention.

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