Grape seed extract as effective as new stomach bug vaccine
As the UK government prepares a mass programme to vaccinate babies against stomach bugs, scientists have discovered that grape seed extract could do the job just as well.
From September next year, all babies in the UK will be offered a two-dose vaccine designed to protect them against stomach bugs that cause vomiting and diarrhea. The vaccines are already available in other countries such as the US.
But scientists from Ghent University in Belgium have discovered that grape seed extract may be a genuine alternative for parents worried about having their babies inoculated so early in their life.
The extract attacks the coating of the virus, disabling it. Using cell lines of the norovirus, the cause of around half of food-borne illnesses and stomach upsets, the researchers discovered that even small doses of grape seed extract caused deformities to the cell wall. At higher doses, the virus was destroyed.
The new vaccine is also designed to protect against the rotavirus, a different form of the norovirus.
(Source: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2012; 78: 7572).