The goal of the present study was to investigate whether subchronic treatment with grape juice concentrate is able to protect liver and peripheral blood cells against cholesterol-induced injury in rats. The effects of the grape juice concentrate treatment on histopathological changes, immunohistochemistry for cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2), and basal and oxidative DNA damage induced by H2O2 using a single-cell gel (comet) assay were evaluated. Male Wistar rats (n 18) were divided into three groups: group 1 – negative control; group 2 – cholesterol at 1 % (w/w) in their diet, treated for 5 weeks; group 3 – cholesterol at 1 % in their chow, treated for 5 weeks, and grape juice concentrate at 222 mg/d in their drinking-water in the final week only. The results indicated that the treatment with grape juice concentrate did not show remarkable differences regarding liver tissue in group 3 compared with group 2. However, grape juice concentrate was able to decrease oxidative DNA damage induced by H2O2 in peripheral blood cells, as depicted by the tail moment results. COX-2 expression in the liver did not show statistically significant differences (P>0·05) between groups. Taken together, the present results suggest that the administration of subchronic grape juice concentrate prevents oxidative DNA damage in peripheral blood cells.