Posted on

Grape Seed Extract: What Is It Good For?

When it comes to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, there seems to be no shortage of emerging trends. For centuries, people have utilized different fruits, vegetables, roots, and seeds to help with different ailments. One of those tools that have a wide variety of benefits is grape seed extract.

Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract comes from the seeds of grapes used to make red wine.

Grape seed extract is a natural substance rich in antioxidant content taken from grape seeds. Its contents are primarily polyphenols like oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), a powerful antioxidant responsible for most of the benefits of grape seed extract. Winemakers usually provide seeds taken from grapes used for red wine.

Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

The polyphenols found in this fruit extract have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects for several different areas of the body. Along with increasing antioxidant levels in the body and bloodstream, grape seed extract:

  • Counteracts effects of free radicals
  • Protects heart tissue and the cardiovascular system
  • Promotes a healthy immune system to fight bacterial and viral infections
  • Improves bone strength
  • Reduces aging effects on the skin
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Reduces stress and improves cognitive function
  • Protects against tissue damage and promotes healing
  • Aids in hypertension and liver and kidney function

In those with blood glucose control issues, grape seed extract helps protect against the negative effects of poor blood glucose control. It may improve blood glucose sensitivity, inhibit advanced glycation cell death, and decrease oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers.

Grape Seed Extract Side Effects

People generally tolerate grape seed extract well. However, it can act as a blood thinner, so those on blood thinner or blood pressure medications or with bleeding disorders should consult a doctor before starting a nutraceutical with grape seed extract. Grape seed extract could also interact with medicines like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve because of its blood thinning abilities and may reduce iron absorption. Other noted side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Dry or itchy scalp
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache

While there has been research conducted to test the benefits and interactions of grape seed extract, more research needs to be done to verify all these claimed effects. However, for patients with health concerns that have been proven to be helped by this fruit derivative, it may be worth starting them on a nutraceutical that includes the antioxidant-packed substance.

Sources

  1. Li BY, Li XL, Gao HQ, Zhang JH, Cai Q, Cheng M, Lu M. Cell Biol Int. 2011 Jul;35(7):663-9.
  2. Kar P, Laight D, Rooprai HK, Shaw KM, Cummings M. Diabet Med. 2009 May;26(5):526-31.
  3. Soufi FG, Mohammad-Nejad D, Ahmadieh H. Pharmacol Rep. 2012;64(6):1505-14.
  4. Brasnyó P, Molnár GA, Mohás M, et al. Br J Nutr. 2011 Aug;106(3):383-9.
  5. Bhatt JK, Thomas S, Nanjan MJ. Nutr Res. 2012 Jul;32(7):537-41
  6. Fujitaka K, Otani H, Jo F, Jo H, Nomura E, Iwasaki M, Nishikawa M, Iwasaka T, Das DK. Nutr Res. 2011 Nov;31(11):842-7.
  7. Wong, Cathy, and Richard N. Fogoros. “The Benefits of Grape Seed Extract.” Verywell Health, About, Inc., 22 Sept. 2018, verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-grape-seed-extract-89055.
  8. “The Benefits Of Grape Seed Extract, Grape Seed Extract Anti Aging.” Sunsafe Rx, Napa Valley Bioscience, 1 Nov. 2018, sunsaferx.com/health-and-wellness/benefits-grape-seed-extract/.
  9. Hill, Caroline. “10 Benefits of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 10 July 2018, healthline.com/nutrition/grape-seed-extract-benefits.
  10. Cohen, Joe. “23 Scientific Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract.” Selfhacked, Selfhacked, 10 Oct. 2018, selfhacked.com/blog/everything-need-know-grapeseed-extract-references/.
  11. Kiefer, David. “Grape Seed Extract.” WebMD, WebMD LLC., 20 Dec. 2016, webmd.com/diet/grape-seed-extract.
  12. Nordqvist, Joseph. “Grape Seed Extract: Benefits and Side Effects.” Edited by Karen Cross, Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 22 Feb. 2018, medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263332.php.
  13. Photo credit: pstenzel71 on VisualHunt / CC BY-ND
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *