Does cranberry juice, grape juice, black raspberry juice, pomegranate juice, red wine, apple cider vinegar, garlic, or grape seed extract, or grapefruit seed extract prevent the stomach flu (norovirus)?

Answer:  Possibly




There is an old wives tale that says drinking 3 cups of grape juice each day after exposure to a stomach bug will prevent you from getting sick. No studies in people have been done to determine if this is true. However, there have been studies done recently in petri dishes that suggest that cranberry juice and grape juice may have antiviral potential1,2,3. In these studies, exposure to cranberry juice or grape juice decreased the infectivity of viruses similar to norovirus. (It is difficult to do experiments with the real human norovirus. That virus prefers attacking real people and doesn't like to work in a petri dish.) Cranberry juice has also been shown to help prevent urinary tract infections 4.

There is LOTS of information showing that red wine and purple grape juice have anti-BACTERIAL properities. Dr. Azlin Mustapha, a food scientist the the University of Missouri, has done many experiments in petri dishes that showed that red wine and Welches grape juice kill salmonella, e. coli, listeria, shigella, and H. Pylori. White wine was not nearly as effective5. Interestingly, probiotics (the good bacteria) were not harmed very much by the red wine and Welches grape juice. So, drinking a glass of red wine with your meal or 100% juice Welches grape juice may very well keep you from catching a food born illness. 

I cannot in good conscience recommend drinking 3 cups of grape juice each day to anyone. I tried it myself when no one was sick to see what would happen. I could only do it for 1.5 days because it caused so much intestinal distress. So, drinking that much grape juice will very likely give you a stomach ache and diarrhea. I have also heard many, many stories from people who tried it and still caught the stomach bug. I doubt that it actually works. It absolutely does not work for every person who tries it. Some said that vomiting up all that grape juice made their suffering worse. If you still want to try it, please write to me and let me know how it goes.  

Grape seed extract has also recently been shown to reduce the infectivity of norovirus surrogates in petri dishes6,7. So, if you take grape seed extract for its other health benefits, please let me know how it works for you if your family has a run-in with norovirus.

Black raspberry juice8 and Pomegranate juice9,10,11 have also been shown to decrease the infectivity of norovirus surrogates in petri dishes. They are very healthy for many reasons so if you take them in attempts to ward off a stomach bug, please send me your story. 

No studies have been done on real people to determine if drinking cranberry juice, grape juice, red wine, black raspberry juice, or grape seed extract actually wards off a stomach VIRUS. I caught a stomach bug from my son in February 2012 even though I was drinking 1 cup of 100% juice cran-grape juice every day. 

If anyone (over 21) wants to try drinking 1 or 2 glasses of red wine every day when a stomach bug is going around your house, please let me know how it works for you. (Please don't do it if there is any reason that you shouldn't be drinking alcohol.) If you try the grape seed extract, black raspberry juice, or anything else in attempts to ward off norovirus, please share your story with me. I will post all of your results here so we can learn from each other's experiences. I drink the grape juice and cranberry juice shown in the ads below. I have never tried grape seed extract. You can e-mail me at phd.annie at gmail.com. Please remember that I am not a medical doctor. Do not take this as medical advice.



--Annie Pryor, Ph.D.












VIEWER COMMENTS

GRAPE JUICE WORKED FOR US!

On a Sunday night in the middle of the night, my almost 2 year old kept waking up crying and saying "owie" while holding his tummy. He also felt warm to me. He'd never had a stomach virus before and I didn't sleep the whole night because I was afraid (I'm emetaphobic). We were visiting out of town family, and everyone had gathered for lunch on Monday. His fever had continued to go up and sure enough, right before lunch he threw up all over me in the dining room where people were about to eat lunch. 

We cleaned ourselves, and the floor up, but people continued to run right through the floor area where he threw up and some people even ate in that room. I started me, my husband, and the rest of my children (4 other children) on the grape juice within 2 hours of him getting sick. We went home and he never did throw up again, but did have some runny diapers for a few days and the fever lasted for a little over 24 hours. I was very careful with the cleaning, and changing diapers, laundry etc. but we have NEVER been able to keep a stomach virus from infecting at least one other person in our house. ESPECIALLY when it's a little one who has it. When they're that young it's impossible to quarantine them. I have one child who is especially stomach virus prone, and I thought that if he didn't catch it...the grape juice would surely be a miracle "drug." Sure enough, here we are 2 weeks later and NO one else got it!!!!!!!!!!! 
We did 3 glasses (not full 8 oz, more like 4-6 depending on the size of the person and how much grape juice was left in the bottle) per day for about 5 days. Then by day 6 I dropped it to 2 glasses a day, and then the next day to 1 glass a day. So we did it for about 7 days total. 

I was amazed and so happy!!! I dread stomach viruses like the plague and plan my life around avoiding them. :( Still, we always wound up with at least 1 a year from my prone child at the least, and I can't believe no one caught this from the toddler! 
--Kimberly

RED WINE WORKED FOR ME!
I really put this theory to the test during a recent trip to Mexico where my 2 year son came down with a nasty bug. Being in Mexico, I couldn't find any 100% grape juice so I opted for the next best thing, red wine. I drank a glass in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Yeah I was a little hammered, but what else was I going to do trapped in a hotel with a barfing toddler? I also took an immune system boosting supplement as an extra precaution as well. After the 2nd day of sickness, we called a Dr. to help my son before he got too dehydrated since he couldn't keep any fluids down.  The Dr. gave him a probiotic, which he said should help attack the virus. I stole a few and took some for myself. So I believe with the magic combination of wine, vitamins, and probiotics, I won the battle against the stomach bug. Unfortunately, other members of my family weren't so lucky. My nephew, niece, brother and dad all got it. But those of us that drank the wine were fine. So that's my testimony.  Hope this helps others who despise the stomach virus as much as I do.

Magdalena

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Here's some info on my experience with Apple cider vinegar (ACV): Yesterday early morning 2am I woke with really bad stomach cramps and nausea. Not sure if I technically had D, but I felt like death and was so scared. I was pale and it felt like I had a really bad hangover, probably from lack of sleep. Anyways, I felt better yesterday but woke up this morning with the same symptoms. After much hesitation (I was afraid it would make me more sick), I decided to drink some ACV diluted in water (it was gross!), and about 15 mins later I felt great! It could be placebo, or pure coincidence, but wanted to share for those who were considering it. I drank the Braggs Organic kind. This was about an hour ago and I'm still feeling good. :)

--Lori

Cranberry Capsules
I had peptic and duodenal ulcers off and on for decades. This was before H. pylori was found to be a possible cause. In 2003 or 2004, I was finally diagnosed with having H. pylori. My doctor wanted to put me on two antibiotics and several proton pump inhibitors. I knew that would cause me more stomach and intestinal distress. I looked online for natural cures and came across information on cranberries that would kill the H. pylori bacteria. Not being a big fan of cranberries, I got some Standardized Extract Cranberry 500 mg capsules. I took one capsule in the morning on an empty stomach and waited 30 mins. before I ate. I took another capsule at bedtime. Did this for a month. Since the H. pylori bacteria is not titrated, one is either positive or negative. But after my month long regimen, I was able to eat raw onions and spicy foods that I hadn't been able to tolerate for years. I had another H. pylori test several years later and it was negative.

Then this summer, I had chronic diarrhea for 6 weeks. Imodium AD didn't phase it. My doctor thought it was either bacterial or viral and I couldn't fight it off since I have atypical chronic lymphocytic leukemia. I finally took some 500 mg cranberry capsules and pure raw honey for a few days and I was cured! My medical research mind thought that if cranberries would kill H. pylori bacteria, why wouldn't it kill other bacteria? And as you probably know, honey has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. 
--Mark


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Andrea



GRAPE JUICE WORKED FOR MY DAUGHTER!
This Xmas holiday, 19 of us gathered for the holiday for several days.  Two of my nephews had a bout of norovirus before they came.   Though they were recovered their sister came down with it the day after they arrived.   The next day four more people fell ill.    By the end of the "vacation" 14 out of 19 had it to varying degrees of severity.
My daughter, fours days after first exposure removed herself to a hotel with my two grandchildren and started them and herself on grape juice regimen.    They accounted for three of the five that "escaped" the illness.   I have to assume the grape juice did something to protect them from this virus.
--Carol

Grape Seed extract and Probiotics did not work for us. 
My husband and I were taking 4 grape seed extract pills 200 mg, Ultimate flora 15 billion probiotics, alternated with tummy tuneup, and vitamin d pills every day. When my son came down with a stomach bug, we also took one shot of apple cider vinegar. Unfortunately, both my husband and I caught the stomach bug about 48 hours after my son. When we started to get nauseous, we each took a zofran 4mg and had no relief. My husband vomited and we each took another zofran. I felt relief after that second zofran but my husband still kept vomiting. I did end up giving him a third zofran and a little later the nausea was relieved for him. My stomach felt very bubbly the night after so I took 2 teaspoons of activated charcoal powder which I do believe helped me never get diarrhea after. Once my husband could keep liquids down I did give him some activated charcoal powder and he didn't get diarrhea again. 

--Melinda

RED WINE SEEMS TO BE A WINNER!
My kids have been sick with a stomach virus the past two weeks. (My youngest last week and my oldest this week)  Miraculously, I have been spared.  It made me realize just how rarely I get serious stomach flu's compared to the other members of my household, and the one's that I do get never seem to last for more than a day.  I am the only one who drinks a glass or two of red wine every night that I don't work.  Could be something to it.
-N

GRAPE JUICE AND GRAPE SEED EXTRACT DID NOT WORK FOR ME.
My 2 year old son had a stomach bug and threw up all over me. I started drinking 3 cups of grape juice each day and taking 2 grape seed extract capsules each day. Unfortunately, I still got sick 6 days after my son. 
-J

GRAPE JUICE WORKED FOR ME!
Two and 1/2 weeks ago (on a Thursday afternoon), we were called to pick up my 7 year son from school as he had vomited. The school had a lot of kids out with stomach flu, so we were pretty sure that's what it was. He threw up every 5-10 minutes for about 2 hours & I was with him for the whole time. I had read the trick about purple grape juice, so I started drinking it immediately. Saturday morning at 5:30, my 4 year old daughter woke up vomiting (in my bed). Later, that day, my husband started getting sick. I still drank the grape juice. The 3 other people in my family were all sick starting on Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning & I never got the flu, even though I took care of them. I credit drinking the grape juice (6-8 oz at a time, 3 times a day) for not getting the flu. I don't really enjoy the grape juice, but it's certainly worth it to avoid getting sick!
Julie

GRAPE JUICE and Apple Cider Vinegar DID NOT work for me.
The grape juice and acv (Braggs organic raw with the mother) did not stop me from getting the stomach virus. (My doctor said it was probably the norovirus Sydney strain). Since joining the group (about 1 1/2 months ago) I have been religiously drinking 1 glass of welchs grape juice with 1 tablespoon of the acv a day. However, I did not drink it in sun, which is the night I got sick. I just felt off and didn't think I could handle drinking it. So, I do think it is a myth. I was sick for days.

Leslie

GRAPE JUICE WORKED FOR US!
We have used the grape juice trick a few times and have had success! My mom is a school teacher and teaches music and has 400 little ones and they have been sick left and right. She has been drinking grape juice the last two years and has not picked up the bug like she usually does every year. She has also told the teachers at the school and many have said it worked! They all said it was the first time that only one got sick in the house because everyone else was drinking grape juice. In May, my 3 year old little girl spent the night at my mom's house. My little girl woke up throwing up all night and part of the day. My mom and dad started drinking grape juice and neither picked it up. Then my husband and our 2 year old little boy started drinking and we did not pick it up either! We all followed the method of drinking three 8 oz glasses each day of Welches dark purple 100% grape juice. 
--Lindsay

I swear by Apple Cider Vinegar
My son had a stomach bug and was vomiting a few weeks ago. I took care of him and did all the cleaning.  I let him kiss me and hug me. I put 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar into 1/2 cup of grape juice and 1/2 cup of apple juice. I mixed it and drank on an empty stomach every day. It kept me from getting sick. I swear by it! 
--Amy

Nothing worked for us.
My 8 month old got a terrible stomach bug. The doctor thought it was rotavirus but they didn't actually test his stool. 4  days later, I got sick with vomiting. Then my 4 year old and 8 year old came down with it 2 days after me. Both my 8 month old and my 8 year old got so sick that we had to take them to the ER. Prior to getting sick we all took the following daily (except the baby): elderberry syrup, probiotics, ACV shots (twice daily for adults, tbsp in OJ for kids), and grape juice daily. We also all took a multivitamin. We've done all of this for almost a year. When the baby got sick we added GSE and added Tummy Tune Up (and gave it to baby). It didn't help him at all. Everyone was as sick as they could possibly be so none of these measures helped at all. 
--Kari



I drank grape juice and only got diarrhea but not vomiting.

My family had recently come down with the much dreaded stomach flu.  I being the OCD kind of person I am,
have always tried to find a way to escape it's wrath!  I of course always keep my hands clean and out of my 
mouth.  I have 2 boys, the oldest is 6 and youngest 3.  We keep their hands foamed with Germ-X advanced as much
as humanly possible.  It is impossible however, to do this 24/7.  I have always used this website as a guide
on what steps to take if you are trying to prevent the virus or alleviate symptoms.  Recently I read about people
using grape juice to prevent the virus.  As I had said earlier, my wife and both boys had the stomach virus and I 
was willing to try anything to keep from getting it!  The rule for the grape juice was:  If you have been exposed to
the Virus start drinking 100% grape juice 3 times a day.  I went to the store and bought some grape juice.  I drank around
8 oz. each time.  The next day I began to have watery stools with cramping and wondered if it was the grape juice or the virus. 
I didn't let the way I felt stop my regemin, I continued to take my grape juice.  The following day the watery stools stopped
and I had no stomach pain.  After a few days I dropped my dosage to 1 8 oz. glass of grape juice a day, and continue to do
so just for health purposes.  I feel that drinking the grape juice kept me from getting extremely sick with the Virus.  It 
lessened the symptoms!  My family had all Vomited several times and was much sicker than I.  Based on my results I would say
that the grape juice theory works.  Thank you Anne for all your hard work and dedication to this website!  
--Travis

GRAPE JUICE WORKED 2 OUT OF 3 TIMES FOR ME.
There is something that has worked 2 out of 3 times for me. My kids have already had stomach viruses 3 times since the summer. All 3 times I drank grape juice 3x a day. In 1 glass per day I added a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to it. I actually think it's more the vinegar that helps you not get it. The 3rd virus we all got except for my husband. My 3 year old twins were puking for 3 days. I was only puking for about 6 hours and it wasn't too bad - nothing like what I've dealt with before (so the grape juice and vinegar must have at least helped). My husband was taking care of my kids, but I'm the one that got it instead of him!
Jessica

RED WINE WORKS FOR ME! 
I have not had a stomach virus since I started drinking red wine over 15 years ago. It's not proof by any means, but it definitely can't hurt.--Tracy

Apple Cider Vinegar, Grape Juice, Tummy TuneUp and BerryWell worked for my son.

My 10 year old son was around my vomiting grandmother for a full 24 hours and used her bathroom several times. As soon as he got home, I started him on 1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar twice a day for 72 hours. I mixed it in either 8 ounces of grape juice or apple juice. I also gave him Tummy TuneUp and Berry well. He did not get sick!
-Stephanie

I TOOK EVERYTHING AND IT WORKED FOR ME!

My daughter woke up sick last Tuesday. Happy to report, no one else caught it. She was exposed at dance (a little boy threw up in the dance studio), within 36hrs, she had it.
My husband who very very rarely washes his hands, never caught it and he's the one to clean the carpet where she was sick. My oldest daughter accidentally drank from my youngest daughter's water bottle the day after she was sick, my oldest never caught it. (promptly handed my oldest a pro-biotic pill, a tall glass of grape juice and greek yogurt) ;) I cleaned up after my youngest after her 12-15 episodes, took her to the ER later that night due to chest pain and a rapid pulse and was in general " a mom of a sick kid", and I never caught it.

My husband took nothing. As I said before, he rarely even washes his hands, he is NEVER sick.. I took Ultimate '10' Probiotic from the Vitamin shoppe 1x per day, and Ginger Root extract 250mg by Solaray 1x per day, then app 10 oz. grape juice 3-4x per day. then app 6oz. of Chobani Greek yogurt 2x per day. My oldest daughter followed only the grape juice and yogurt parts. However, I forgot that when she drank from her sisters water, on top of the over things I mentioned, I also spray her throat with a couple shots of Colloidal Silver by Wellness.

There is hope! ;) 

Heather


1 Cup of Grape Juice each day didn't work for us.

My family all drinks one cup of Welches grape juice every day all the time. My 6 year old son still came down with a stomach bug in February 2013. So, 1 cup a day isn't enough to ward it off, unfortunately.

--Heather

I believe garlic wards off the stomach flu.
Dr. Annie,
I feel compelled to share my story with you and potentially the readers of your site. I am confident that you will brush this information off as quackery or bogus, but I am going to try anyway. No one has believed me yet, not even my family. It's only when they actually experimented that they discovered it to be true. I have always been something of a germaphobe. I don't know how it happened, but ever since I was little I have tried to stay as clean and germ free as possible. In my life, I have suffered four bouts of gastroenteritis (which ones came from viruses and which ones were food poisoning are beyond me as each one behaved differently.) In addition, I have suffered through influenza twice.
Otherwise, I have dealt with colds as the predominant illness of choice since I was born. I averaged two colds per year since I can remember, with some years being even worse. What I avoided with stomach bugs and influenza, I more than made up for with the common cold and its cousins. Please keep that in mind as I continue.
In 2007, my nephew delivered several nasty illnesses to my home. I suffered through the flu because of him, and then I vomited for the first time in 15 years because of him. I knew that if my nephew was going to be this susceptible to germs (thank God that has not been the case since) that I had to do something.
I began to research and discovered lots of talk about garlic. I had to try it. It might not do anything, but with everything I saw, I knew that it was worth a shot.
I stocked up on raw garlic and on garlic gel tabs and waited for an opportunity.  Then it came. Both of my parents came down with a cold and I felt the start of that familiar itchy throat. I started a garlic regimen. One pill was taken every four hours for the duration of their colds.
I was amazed at the results. After three days, what few symptoms I had were completely gone. My traditional colds had been nasty affairs involving congestion, coughing, and a general miserable feeling. This one involved a case of the sniffles and a few hours of a sore throat right at the start. For the first time in my life, I had warded off a cold.
But, I know what you are thinking. "There is a difference in colds and stomach viruses." I agree. So I was not convinced myself until I saw it in action. I went to the dentist one day, and I saw one of my greatest fears. The nurse who was second in command came down ill. Whether she had a stomach virus or a bout of food poisoning was unknown, but in the end I was petrified. 
I went home and immediately started my garlic. I went all out on this one. One raw clove when I woke up and before bed. Then one gel tab every four hours in between. I suffered no illness.
Then there was my mother who, after being in the hospital during one of the worst outbreaks of stomach viruses our area had seen in years, she returned home and came down with a horrible case of it. She was dehydrated in a matter of hours and back in the hospital. 
My mother refuses garlic, for whatever reason, but my dad and I began taking it immediately. I warded it off, while my dad, who had the closest contact with her for three days, only suffered a short bout of diarrhea which lasted under three hours. Just four hours after he had his first symptoms, he was able to eat a full supper.
So I am a very strong believer that garlic does everything that people say it can. Science has started backing it up as well. More and more studies are finding it effective against colds, flus, and recently there was even an article published about a study from Washington State University which found it highly effective at killing many germs that cause food poisoning.
So, while I hope that you don't wipe this away as folklore and urban legend, I would not blame you if you did. However, as a life long suffer of emitaphobia, and knowing just how terrible it can be when you just hear about someone nearby having it, I felt I had to share this potential remedy. 
It takes someone stout or crazy to eat raw garlic (trust me, I am certainly crazy enough), but anyone who can tolerate garlic can certainly take the gel tabs.
--Chip

10 pathogen destroyers
I suffer daily from emetophobia. I was extremely blessed during my 2 pregnancies not to have morning sickness. The most I usually get from bugs are diarrhea and a little dry heaving. I wanted to say that my emetophobia has spurred an intense interest in herbal supplements (aka 'pathogen destroyers') that kill viruses of all sorts. The best I have found (not necessarily in this order) are: Bragg's organic vinegar, garlic, oil of oregano, echinacea with goldenseal, elderberry, horseradish, olive leaf extract, rosemary, and the list goes on and on. Basically what these natural herbs do is that they don't allow viruses to replicate because the herbs are so complex that viruses can't figure out how to get through. What I do is cycle the top 10 pathogen destroyers twice a day (taken as tinctures). I really believe that this works and maybe it will work for others.

--W