Benefits of Grape Seed
Grape seed extracts (GSE) are made from wine grape seed and are rich in antioxidants such as phenolic acids and proanthocyanidins. It is often used as a dietary supplement for conditions such as venous insufficiency (a condition whereby the veins are unable to transport blood from the legs back to the heart), enhancing wound healing, and reducing inflammation.
Due to its high antioxidant content, grape seed extracts can also aid in preventing disease and protect against tissue damage and oxidative stress. Many studies have proven its health benefits. Nonetheless, it is also important to note that for many of these health conditions, there is a lack of high-quality evidence to rate the effectiveness of grape seed extract.
Let us have a look at the advantages that can be gained by consuming GSE that has been backed up by science!
Blood pressure and circulation:
GSE can aid in decreasing blood pressure and improve blood flow. In numerous studies, it has shown that it has a blood-thinning effect which reduces the risk of the formation of blood clots. This is particularly useful for individuals with circulatory issues. As it enhances blood flow, some studies have shown that it can reduce the swelling in the legs as well.
Oxidative damage and cholesterol:
These extracts are also known to decrease oxidative damage. High levels of LDL cholesterol are a very significant risk factor for heart diseases. When this LDL cholesterol undergoes a process called oxidation, it can lead to the build-up of unwanted fatty plaques in your blood vessels thereby increasing the risk of atherosclerosis ( a condition whereby blood vessels become blocked with fatty plaques). GSE has been shown to reduce LDL oxidation thereby significantly reducing oxidative damage.
Collagen and Bone Strength:
Another advantage of taking GSE is its ability to increase collagen levels and bone strength. In fact, some animal studies have shown that GSE may be able to suppress bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis. In other studies, GSE illustrates the ability to reduce pain and joint damage in osteoarthritic mice as well as decreasing cartilage loss. However, research to confirm its activity to promote collagen levels and bone formation in humans is still lacking.
Disease Prevention and Protection:
GSE contains substances classed as flavonoids which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought that GSE delays the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. A study done for human adults has found that daily intake of GSE can enhance attention, language, and memory. Nevertheless, more research is required to confirm its effects for humans who already have memory or cognitive deficits.
Besides that, GSE can also improve kidney function by reducing oxidative stress and inflammatory damage. It may also protect your liver against drug-induced damage. GSE also displays some antibacterial and antifungal properties as it can inhibit the growth of common foodborne bacteria that are often responsible for severe food poisoning. Additionally, GSE may also reduce the risk of cancer due to its antioxidant properties. Moreover, GSE has also been associated with enhancing wound healing by stimulating certain growth factors in your skin and reducing signs of aging.
Grape seed extracts are also thought to have positive effects on athletic performance, heart disease, menopause symptoms, complications due to diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and age-related eye disorders. However, evidence is insufficient to ascertain its effects for any of these conditions.
If I want to try it, how do I go about it?
Grade seed extracts are often well-tolerated in moderate amounts and are generally safe for most people. However, if you do have a bleeding disorder or are planning to undergo surgery, it may be best to consult your doctor first before using it. Similarly, as there is little evidence of its use for pregnant or breastfeeding women, it would be best to have a discussion with your healthcare professional on the benefits and risks.
If you would like to try out some grape seed extracts, there are various brands such as VitaHealth and Blackmores that produce them as supplements. And as a rule of thumb, whenever you are trying out any new supplements, always ensure that you have the right information and consult your doctor to ensure that you make an informed decision best for you!
Caroline Hill. (2019). 10 Benefits of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/grape-seed-extract-benefits#3.-Could-reduce-oxidative-damage
Cathy Wong. (2020). The Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-grape-seed-extract-89055
Melinda Ratini (2021). Grape Seed Extract. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/grape-seed-extract
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2020). Grape Seed Extract. Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/grape-seed-extract
University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester. (2021). Grape Seed Extract. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=grapeseedextract