Grape seed extract is a reasonably new supplement appearing on the shelves of the US today. However, Europeans have been experiencing grape seed extract benefits for thousands of years. It is used for a variety of diseases and to treat ailments of all sorts. As with any health supplements and routines, check with your physician before starting a grape seed extract regime. Here’s what you need to know about grape seed extract, potential health benefits, and where it comes from:
Where Does it Come From?
As the name suggests, grape seed extract comes from grapes. Specifically, it comes from the ground up seeds of red grapes, which means that it cannot be found naturally in other foods and is only useful when taken as a supplement. People take anywhere from 100mg to 300mg per day. A physician can help you determine the appropriate amount of grape seed extract for your needs.
The most scientifically backed benefits of grape seed extract are about heart health . Evidence shows that the extract may help to fight conditions that cause poor circulation such as chronic venous insufficiency. It has also been found in multiple studies to lower blood pressure. Since over 75 million Americans struggle with this condition, this could be a beneficial natural supplement. Finally, grape seed extract has been shown to help lower cholesterol . All of these benefits feedback into helping maintain overall cardiovascular health when taken in the right doses over a period.
Free radicals are unstable atoms that exist in our bodies due to everyday interactions with oxygen. However, if left alone, these free radicals can be very damaging to our cells, with problems including brain damage and even cancer. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and protect cells from their harmful oxidative effects. Grape seed extract contains an abundance of antioxidants. These help to protect the body at a molecular level. Although the benefits of antioxidants from grape seed extract have not been proven, studies look promising .
Other Grape Seed Extract Benefits
Although the benefits already discussed are promising from a scientific perspective, many people claim other health benefits from grape seed oil. Many people claim that it helps reduce inflammation and eye disease caused by diabetes. Others insist that it helps PMS symptoms and healing skin wounds. While these effects are not scientifically proven, grape seed extract has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years in other countries.
Fortunately, since grape seed extract comes from grapes, there aren’t many risks associated with it. People with an allergy to grapes should avoid taking it. However, those with bleeding disorders and high blood pressure should ask a doctor before starting a supplement. Those who take other medications should also consult a doctor. Grape seed extract is considered to be a safe, natural supplement and possible remedy for a variety of problems.
- The effect of grape seed extract on cardiovascular risk markers: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Feringa HH1, Laskey DA, Dickson JE, Coleman CI. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Aug;111(8):1173-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2011.05.015.
- Beneficial effects of grape seed extract on malondialdehyde-modified LDL.
Sano A1, Uchida R, Saito M, Shioya N, Komori Y, Tho Y, Hashizume N. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2007 Apr;53(2):174-82.
- Antioxidant properties of grape seed extract on human lymphocyte oxidative defence.
Stanković M1, Tesević V, Vajs V, Todorović N, Milosavljević S, Godevac D. Planta Med. 2008 Jun;74(7):730-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1074521. Epub 2008 May 21.