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Grape Seed Extract

Vitis vinifera L.

Grape seed extract is a derivative of grape seeds. The extract is rich in antioxidants, namely antioxidant complexes known as proanthocyanidins, phenolic acids, anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have been attributed to a large number of potential health benefits [i] [ii]. Grape seed extract is traditionally used in conditions such as those concerning blood circulation, heart disease and nerve damage. Some evidence shows promise for the use of grape seed extract for the healing of wounds. Due to the high antioxidant content, grape seed extract can help to protect tissues from oxidative damage, which can cause chronic diseases such as heart disease[iii] [iv] [v]. Grape seed extract is available as a dietary supplement in liquid form, tablets or capsules.


Health Benefits:


Heart and Circulatory Health:


Blood Pressure:


Findings from a review of 16 randomised controlled trials concerning the impact of grape seed extract, demonstrated that grape seed extract exerted a beneficial impact on blood pressure, and this impact was more obvious in younger and obese subjects. Improvements were also seen in patients with metabolic disorders. Use of grape seed extract warranted especially among hypertensive patients. The most promising results came from lower doses of 100–800 mg daily for 8–16 weeks [vi].


Another study concluded grape seed extract to be safe and to improve blood pressure in people in early stages of elevated blood pressure. The study was in support of the use of grape seed extract as a functional ingredient for controlling blood pressure. 29 adults with high blood pressure participated in the study. I was found that taking 300 mg of grape seed extract daily lowered the two blood pressure readings: systolic blood pressure by 5.6% and diastolic blood pressure by 4.7% after 6 weeks [vii].


Oedema, Swelling and Blood Flow:


It was concluded that the intake of grape seed extract was a contributing factor in the inhibition of leg swelling in healthy women during prolonged sitting. A prolonged sedentary position was maintained for 6 h after grape seed extract or placebo administration. Leg volume distension, increase in body extracellular fluid, and leg water were significantly suppressed in the groups provided with grape seed extract instead of placebo [viii]. Several other studies allude to grape seed extract with benefits to blood flow [ix].


Cholesterol:


The oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is involved in the process of the development of atherosclerosis the buildup of fatty plaque in arteries, which results in thinning of the arteries and risk of higher blood pressure, haemorrhages, heart disease and stroke. Grape seed extract has been seen to reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) triggered by high fat diets as seen in a number of animal studies [x] [xi].


A review of human studies concluded grape seed extract may lower total and LDL cholesterol and blood pressure [xii].


Candida:


Animal studies show promise in the use of grape seed extract to control candida overgrowth and associated conditions such as vaginal candidiasis[xiii]


Wound Healing:


Recent evidence from mice studies suggest quicker healing time of wounds with application of grape seed extract. The authors of the studies deduced grape seed proanthocyanidin content supported skin wound healing via increase production of vascular endothelial growth factor, a compound important in the wound healing process [xiv] .


Precautions:


Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:


Grape seed extract should be avoided during pregnancy. It is not known whether this product passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Certain Illnesses:


Caution is advised in certain illnesses such as diabetes or liver disease. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist about using grape seed extract safely.


Interactions:


Grape seed extract has no known severe interactions with other drugs. However, it is recommended to consult with your doctor or pharmacist prior to use.



Recommended For

Candida , Cholesterol , Hypertension , Cardiovascular Health

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