Obese individuals are at an increased risk of developing CVD, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and bacterial and viral infections when compared with the normal-weight population. In a 9-week randomised, double-blind, cross-over study, twenty-four obese subjects aged between 20 and 60 years and with a BMI between 30 and 45 kg/m2 were fed grape or placebo powder for 3-week intervals to determine the effects of dietary grapes on blood lipid profiles, plasma inflammatory marker concentrations and immune cell function. Blood samples were collected on days 1 and 8 for obtaining baseline information and at weeks 3, 4, 8 and 9. Comprehensive chemistry panels, lipid profile analyses by NMR, measurement of plasma inflammatory marker concentrations, and analyses of cytokine production by activated T lymphocytes and monocytes were performed for each blood draw. Dietary grape powder reduced the plasma concentrations of large LDL-cholesterol and large LDL particles compared with the placebo powder (P< 0·05). The concentrations of interferon-γ, TNF-α, IL-4 and IL-10 were measured in supernatants from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) activated with anti-CD3/CD28 antibodies and those of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 were measured in supernatants from PBMC activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). No difference in the production of T-cell cytokines was observed between the two intervention groups. The production of IL-1β and IL-6 was increased in supernatants from LPS-activated PBMC in the grape powder group compared with the placebo powder group (P< 0·05). These data suggest that dietary grapes may decrease atherogenic lipid fractions in obese individuals and increase the sensitivity of monocytes in a population at a greater risk of developing infections.