- 10 Benefits of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science
- 1. Can reduce blood pressure
- 2. Can improve blood flow
- 3. Could reduce oxidative damage
- 4. May improve collagen levels and bone strength
- 5. Supports your brain as it ages
- 6. Can improve kidney function
- 7. Can inhibit infectious growth
- 8. May reduce cancer risk
- 9. May protect your liver
- 10. Enhances wound healing and appearance
- Possible side effects
- The bottom line
- Grape Seed Extract
- Grape Seed Oil Is A ‘Health Food’ That’s Not Healthy At All
- What is Grape Seed Oil and How is it Made?
- Grape Seed Oil is Low in Nutrients, But High in Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- How Seed Oils Affect Your Health
- Is it a Good Oil to Cook With?
- Grapeseed Oil Has Benefits for Hair and Skin… but Should NOT Be Eaten
- Grape seed oil Side Effects
- Further information
- More about grape seed oil
- Grape Seed Extract – A Brief
- Grape Seed Extract Side Effects
- The health and beauty benefits of grapeseed oil
- Grapeseed extract: benefits, dosage, side effects
- Benefits of grapeseed extract
10 Benefits of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science
Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement made by removing, drying, and pulverizing the bitter-tasting seeds of grapes.
Grape seeds are rich in antioxidants, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs).
In fact, GSE is one of the best-known sources of proanthocyanidins (1, 2).
Due to its high antioxidant content, GSE can help prevent disease and protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation (3).
Note that grape seed extract and grapefruit seed extract are both marketed as supplements and abbreviated by the acronym GSE. This article discusses grape seed extract.
Here are 10 health benefits of grape seed extract, all based on science.
1. Can reduce blood pressure
Several studies have researched the effects of GSE on high blood pressure.
A review of 16 studies in 810 people with high blood pressure or an elevated risk of it found that taking 100–2,000 mg of GSE daily significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom number) by an average of 6.08 mmHg and 2.8 mmHg, respectively.
Those under the age of 50 with obesity or a metabolic disorder showed the greatest improvements.
The most promising results came from lower doses of 100–800 mg daily for 8–16 weeks, rather than a single dose of 800 mg or more (4).
Another study in 29 adults with high blood pressure found that taking 300 mg of GSE daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 5.6% and diastolic blood pressure by 4.7% after 6 weeks (5).
Summary GSE may help reduce blood pressure, particularly in young to middle-aged people and those who have excess weight.
2. Can improve blood flow
Some studies suggest that GSE may improve blood flow.
In an 8-week study in 17 healthy postmenopausal women, taking 400 mg of GSE had blood-thinning effects, potentially reducing the risk of blood clots (6).
An additional study in 8 healthy young women assessed the effects of a single 400-mg dose of proanthocyanidin from GSE immediately followed by 6 hours of sitting. It was shown to reduce leg swelling and edema by 70%, compared with not taking GSE.
In the same study, 8 other healthy young women who took a daily 133-mg dose of proanthocyanidins from GSE for 14 days experienced 40% less leg swelling after 6 hours of sitting (7).
Summary GSE has been shown to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clotting, which may benefit those with circulatory problems.
3. Could reduce oxidative damage
An elevated blood level of LDL (bad) cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart disease.
The oxidation of LDL cholesterol significantly increases this risk and plays a central role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty plaque in your arteries (8).
GSE supplements have been found to reduce LDL oxidation triggered by high fat diets in several animal studies (9, 10, 11).
Some research in humans shows similar results (12, 13).
When 8 healthy people ate a high fat meal, taking 300 mg of GSE inhibited the oxidation of fats in the blood, compared with a 150% increase seen in those who did not take GSE (14).
In another study, 61 healthy adults saw a 13.9% reduction in oxidized LDL after taking 400 mg of GSE. However, a similar study was unable to replicate these results (5, 12).
Additionally, a study in 87 people undergoing heart surgery found that taking 400 mg of GSE the day before surgery significantly reduced oxidative stress. Therefore, GSE likely protected against further heart damage (15).
Summary GSE may help reduce your risk of heart disease by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reducing oxidation to heart tissue during times of stress.
4. May improve collagen levels and bone strength
Increasing flavonoid consumption may improve collagen synthesis and bone formation.
As a rich source of flavonoids, GSE may thus help increase your bone density and strength.
In fact, animal studies have found that adding GSE to either a low calcium, standard, or high calcium diet can increase bone density, mineral content, and bone strength (16, 17).
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in severe inflammation and the destruction of bone and joints.
Animal studies have shown that GSE may suppress bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis (18, 19, 20).
GSE also significantly reduced pain, bony spurs, and joint damage in osteoarthritic mice, improving collagen levels and reducing cartilage loss (21).
Despite promising results from animal research, human studies are lacking.
Summary Animal studies show promising results regarding GSE’s ability to help treat arthritic conditions and promote collagen health. However, human-based research is lacking.
5. Supports your brain as it ages
Flavonoids’ combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are thought to delay or reduce the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (22).
One of the components of GSE is gallic acid, which animal and lab studies have shown can inhibit the formation of fibrils by beta-amyloid peptides (23).
Clusters of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease (23).
Animal studies have found that GSE may prevent memory loss, improve cognitive status and brain antioxidant levels, and reduce brain lesions and amyloid clusters (24, 25, 26, 27).
One 12-week study in 111 healthy older adults found that taking 150 mg of GSE daily improved attention, language, and both immediate and delayed memory (28).
However, human studies on the use of GSE in adults with preexisting memory or cognitive deficits are lacking.
Summary GSE shows potential to inhibit many of the degenerative characteristics of brain and cognitive decline. However, more human studies are needed.
6. Can improve kidney function
Your kidneys are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage, which is often irreversible.
Animal studies have shown that GSE may reduce kidney damage and improve function by reducing oxidative stress and inflammatory damage (29, 30, 31).
In one study, 23 people diagnosed with chronic renal failure were given 2 grams of GSE daily for 6 months and then compared with a placebo group. Urinary protein decreased by 3% and kidney filtration improved by 9%.
This means that the kidneys of those in the test group were much better able to filter urine than the kidneys of those in the placebo group (32).
Summary GSE may offer protection against damage from oxidative stress and inflammation, thus promoting kidney health.
7. Can inhibit infectious growth
GSE displays promising antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Studies have shown that GSE inhibits the growth of common foodborne bacteria, including Campylobacter and E. coli, both of which are often responsible for severe food poisoning and abdominal upset (33, 34).
In lab studies, GSE has been found to inhibit 43 strains of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (35).
Candida is a common yeast-like fungus that can sometimes result in candida overgrowth, or thrush. GSE is widely used in traditional medicine as a remedy for candida.
In one study, mice with vaginal candidiasis were given an intravaginal GSE solution every 2 days for 8 days. The infection was inhibited after 5 days and gone after 8 (36).
Unfortunately, human studies on GSE’s ability to help treat infections are still lacking.
Summary GSE may inhibit a variety of microbes and offer protection against antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, foodborne bacterial illnesses, and fungal infections like candida.
8. May reduce cancer risk
The causes of cancer are complex, though DNA damage is a central characteristic.
A high intake of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, are associated with a reduced risk of various cancers (37).
The antioxidant activity of GSE has shown potential to inhibit human breast, lung, gastric, oral squamous cell, liver, prostate, and pancreatic cell lines in lab settings (38, 39, 40, 41).
In animal studies, GSE has been shown to enhance the effect of different types of chemotherapy (42, 43, 44).
GSE appears to protect against oxidative stress and liver toxicity while targeting chemotherapy action on the cancerous cells (43, 44, 45).
A review of 41 animal studies found that either GSE or proanthocyanidins reduced cancer-induced toxicity and damage in all but one of the studies (44).
Keep in mind that the anticancer and chemopreventive potential of GSE and its proanthocyanidins may not be directly transferable to people with cancer. More studies in humans are needed.
Summary In lab studies, GSE has been shown to inhibit cancer in various human cell types. GSE also appears to reduce chemotherapy-induced toxicity in animal studies without negatively affecting treatment. More human-based research is needed.
9. May protect your liver
Your liver plays an important role in detoxifying harmful substances introduced to your body through drugs, viral infections, pollutants, alcohol, and more.
GSE appears to have a protective effect on your liver.
In test-tube studies, GSE reduced inflammation, recycled antioxidants, and protected against free radical damage during toxin exposure (46, 47, 48).
The liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a key indicator of liver toxicity, meaning that its levels rise when the liver has sustained damage (37).
In one study, 15 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and subsequent high ALT levels were given GSE for 3 months. Liver enzymes were monitored monthly, and results were compared with taking 2 grams of vitamin C per day.
After 3 months, the GSE group experienced a 46% reduction in ALT, while the vitamin C group showed little change (49).
Summary GSE appears to protect your liver against drug-induced toxicity and damage. However, more human studies are needed.
10. Enhances wound healing and appearance
Several animal studies have found GSE can aid wound healing (50, 51, 52).
Human studies show promise as well.
In one such study, 35 healthy adults who had undergone minor surgery were given either a 2% GSE cream or placebo. Those using the GSE cream experienced full wound healing after 8 days, while the placebo group took 14 days to heal.
These results are most likely due to high levels of proanthocyanidins in GSE triggering the release of growth factors in the skin (53).
In another 8-week study in 110 healthy young men, a 2% GSE cream improved skin appearance, elasticity, and sebum content, which can help reduce the signs of aging (54).
Summary GSE creams appear to increase growth factors in your skin. As such, they may aid wound healing and help reduce the signs of skin aging.
Possible side effects
GSE is generally considered safe with few side effects.
Dosages of around 300–800 mg per day for 8–16 weeks have been found to be safe and well tolerated in humans (4).
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid it, as there is insufficient data on its effects in these populations.
GSE may lower blood pressure, thin your blood, and increase blood flow, so caution is advised for those taking blood-thinning or blood pressure medications (4, 6, 7).
Furthermore, it may reduce iron absorption, as well as improve liver function and drug metabolism. Consult your healthcare provider before taking GSE supplements (49, 55).
Summary GSE appears to be well tolerated. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it. Also, those taking certain medications should discuss taking this supplement with their healthcare provider.
Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement made from the seeds of grapes.
It’s a potent source of antioxidants, particularly proanthocyanidins.
The antioxidants in GSE may help alleviate the oxidative stress, inflammation, and tissue damage that can occur alongside chronic diseases.
By supplementing with GSE, you’ll reap the benefits of better heart, brain, kidney, liver, and skin health.
Grape Seed Extract
What Is It?
As its name implies, grape seed extract is derived from the small seeds (and occasionally the skins) of red grapes–the same kind that are pressed to make wine. Used extensively in Europe, grape seed extract is rich in flavonoids, phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties some consider even greater than the old standbys vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants are believed to prevent and control numerous ailments by safeguarding cells against the ravages of unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals.
The most valuable flavonoids in grape seed extract are procyanidolic oligomers (also known as proanthocyanidins), commonly called PCOs. Beyond their antioxidant powers, PCOs are thought to improve blood circulation and help strengthen blood vessels. These actions benefit people with heart disease and cancer.
An alternative source for PCOs is Pycnogenol (pik-NODGE-en-all), the brand name for a PCO derived from the bark of the maritime pine. Experts compare its health benefits to those of grape seed extract, and in fact many research studies examining the therapeutic effects of PCOs have relied on the use of Pycnogenol. It’s more expensive than grape seed extract, however.
European doctors prescribe PCO-containing drugs for various vascular (vessel) disorders that are likely to benefit from increased blood flow, such as diabetes, leg cramps, varicose veins, arm and leg numbness or tingling and even impotence. Macular degeneration and cataracts–vision-robbers of the elderly–may also improve by means of the extract’s effects on circulation.
Disorders such as endometriosis, which are affected by the release of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, may benefit from the extract’s ability to block the release of this pain- and inflammation-causing chemical. Grape seed extract effectively penetrates cell membranes throughout the body with its antioxidant properties. It can even cross into the brain (traversing the blood-brain barrier) to protect brain cells from free-radical damage.
As an ingredient in facial creams, the extract may help maintain skin elasticity; many European skin creams feature grape seed extract for this purpose.
Specifically, grape seed extract may help to:
• Prevent heart disease. The risk for heart attack and stroke may be reduced with this potent antioxidant, which is believed to prevent the plaque development that can clog arteries. A recent study of 38 smokers indicates that PCOs may function as effectively as aspirin in keeping blood cells from sticking together and forming blood clots (called an anticoagulant effect). And the PCOs posed no risk of the gastrointestinal irritation or bleeding generally associated with aspirin. Interestingly, another preliminary study using grape seed oil (which is related to grape seed extract) indicates that using 2 tablespoons a day to replace other oils in cooking could increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol by 14% and reduce triglycerides by 15% in just four weeks.
• Minimize fibromylagia damage. Fibromyalgia is an elusive disorder associated with chronic muscle pain and stiffness. The antioxidant power of grape seed extract can help by protecting besieged muscle cells from damage.
• Deter cancer. The antioxidants in grape seed extract work hard at helping to control cellular damage, routinely hunting down and neutralizing mutations within the genetic material of cells that could lead to tumor formation. The development and progression of cancers of the lung, breast, stomach, prostate, colon, skin and other body parts may be stalled as a result.
• Fight skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Certain components within the skin–collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid–participate in keeping it healthy. PCOs help keep these substances in good shape by blocking enzymes that might disrupt their chemical structure. In this way, grape seed extract may be useful in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis. Its flavonoids also inhibit allergic reactions that can generate such skin problems as eczema.
• Slow progression of macular degeneration and cataracts. Grape seed extract improves blood flow in the eye’s tiny vessels, where certain eye diseases can cause blockages and impairments that result in vision damage. Cataracts are an example. The extract’s antioxidant powers are of particular value in warding off the free-radical damage so frequently cited as the leading cause of macular degeneration.
• Lessen allergy symptoms. As a natural antihistamine, grape seed extract may help to control the sneezing, congestion and other hallmarks of an allergic reaction. The extract also inhibits the release of chemicals called prostaglandins that can generate inflammation during an allergic response. Working in concert, the nutrient’s antihistamine and anti-inflammatory actions can help to keep at bay such allergic responses as hives, hay fever and eczema.
• Ease eye strain. People who stare at computer monitors for extended periods may benefit from taking grape seed extract. The findings of one recent study indicate that 300 mg, taken daily, will ease eyestrain and enhance perception of contrast after just 60 days.
Note: Grape seed extract has also been found to be useful for a number of other disorders. For information on these additional ailments, see our Dosage Recommendations Chart for Grape Seed Extract.
–Always use a grape seed extract preparation that’s standardized to contain 92% to 95% PCOs.
• For general antioxidant and cancer-prevention use: Take 100 mg each morning. Smokers should take 100 mg three times a day.
• For the majority of other ailments: Take 100 mg three times a day.
Be sure to check out our Dosage Recommendations Chart for Grape Seed Extract, which lists therapeutic dosages for specific ailments at a glance.
Guidelines for Use
• Take grape seed extract at any time of day, but be consistent about when you take it, especially if you are using it to fight a particular condition.
• To realize a consistent benefit from grape seed extract, you need to take it regularly. Only about 30% of its PCOs remain in your body 24 hours after taking the supplement.
• There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with the use of grape seed extract.
Possible Side Effects
• No adverse effects or toxic reactions have been reported.
• Based on the limited research that has been done on grape seed extract so far, it appears to be very safe.
Aging 100 mg once a day
Cancer Prevention 100 mg each morning; may be partially covered by daily antioxidant complex
Cataracts 100 mg once a day
Eczema 100 mg twice a day; may be partially covered by your daily antioxidant complex
Fibromyalgia 100 mg twice a day
Hair Problems 100 mg twice a day; may be partially covered by antioxidant complex
Heart Disease Prevention 100 mg twice a day; may be partially covered by your daily antioxidant complex
Lupus 100 mg twice a day
Macular Degeneration 100 mg twice a day
Psoriasis 100 mg twice a day
David Edelberg, M.D.
In addition to being many times more powerful than either vitamin C or vitamin E as an antioxidant, grape seed extract is a potent flavonoid that helps keep your blood vessels healthy. It belongs to a group of compounds called proanthocyandins, or procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs).
HOW IT HELPS FIBROMYALGIA
The use of a supplement for fibromyalgia that is both an antioxidant and a flavonoid is twofold. First, antioxidants are helpful in protecting cells from free-radical damage, something that occurs in the soft tissues affected by fibromyalgia (as evidenced by biopsy studies). Second, the flavonoids are very important because of their ability to support the health of these soft tissues.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Grape seed extract comes in capsules and pills.
If you use grape seed extract alone, you’ll probably need approximately 200 mg daily. You can get away with considerably less if the grape seed extract is part of a good antioxidant combination.
Grape Seed Oil Is A ‘Health Food’ That’s Not Healthy At All
Wikimedia Commons Barely a week goes by without a new “health food” arriving on the market.
In many cases, the health claims are bogus and don’t have any real studies behind them. This appears to be the case with an oil called grape seed oil.
Due to the high amount of polyunsaturated fats and Vitamin E, it is being marketed as healthy. It is claimed to have all sorts of health benefits… including lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease.
The problem with many of these so-called health foods is that they aren’t healthy at all. In some cases, they are downright harmful.
In this article, I’m going to take a closer look at grape seed oil and try to separate the facts from the fiction.
What is Grape Seed Oil and How is it Made?
Grape seed oil is processed from the seeds of grapes, which are formed as a by-product of wine making.
Making this oil is actually a brilliant idea from a business perspective. For thousands of years, wine manufacturers have been left with tons of this useless by-product, grape seeds.
Due to modern technological advances, they are now able to extract the oil from the seeds… something that wasn’t possible a hundred years ago. The oils are usually extracted in factories using an industrial process. It involves high heat and various chemicals… which include the toxic solvent hexane.
The “healthier” types of seed and vegetable oils are “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” — this is a much more natural way to extract the oil from the seeds. If your oil doesn’t explicitly state how it is processed, then you should assume that it was extracted using chemicals like hexane.
Bottom Line: Grape seed oil is extracted from grape seeds, a by-product of wine making. This process usually involves various chemicals, including the toxic solvent hexane.
Grape Seed Oil is Low in Nutrients, But High in Omega-6 Fatty Acids
The health claims for grape seed oil are based on the supposedly high amounts of nutrients, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats.
But here’s a newsflash… most of the nutrients and antioxidants (including the proanthocyanidins) from grape seeds are not present in the oil (3).
After it has gone through the intense chemical extraction process, most of the good stuff has been filtered out. The only nutrient left in there in any significant amount is Vitamin E. A tablespoon contains 3.9 mg of Vitamin E, which is 19% of the RDA (4).
However, calorie for calorie, grape seed oil is NOT an impressive source of Vitamin E. Other much better sources include nuts, spinach and various others… these foods also contain a ton of other beneficial nutrients instead of just Vitamin E alone.
The fatty acid composition of grape seed oil is:
- Saturated: 10%.
- Monounsaturated: 16%.
- Polyunsaturated: 70%.
The marketers are quick to point out that this product is low in cholesterol and “dangerous” saturated fats. But in recent years, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol have actually been proven to be harmless. The whole “artery-clogging” thing was a myth (5, 6, 7, 8).
One of the claims is true though… grape seed oil is very high in polyunsaturated fats.
However, it is important to keep in mind that there are two main kinds of polyunsaturated fats… Omega-3s and Omega-6s. We need to get these two types in a certain balance in order to maintain optimal health. Most people are eating too few Omega-3s and way too many Omega-6s (9). Many studies show that too many Omega-6s lead to poor health and disease (10, 11).
As it turns out, grape seed oil contains mostly Omega-6 fatty acids, the bad kind. In several cases, grape seed oil has also been found to contain harmful levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) — substances that are known carcinogens in animals (12).
Really… there is nothing positive to be said about grape seed oil. It is bad news all around.
Bottom Line: The only micronutrient found in grape seed oil is Vitamin E. This oil is also very high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which most people are eating too much of already.
How Seed Oils Affect Your Health
I did not manage to find a single human study on grape seed oil. However… it is very similar to other seed- and vegetable oils like soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil. The health effects of grape seed oil should be very similar to these other oils, because the fatty acid and nutrient composition is similar.
The problem is… there are plenty of studies showing that these oils have harmful effects in humans. It is true that seed and vegetable oils can lower LDL cholesterol, but in this case it does NOT translate to a reduced risk of heart disease. In fact, there have been several controlled trials where these oils increase the risk of heart disease in humans (13, 14, 15).
There is also a study showing that the amount of Omega-6 in cell membranes (grape seed oil is very high in Omega-6) is positively correlated with heart disease risk (16). Then there are studies showing that a high Omega-6 intake can increase inflammation in the body, potentially raising the risk of all sorts of diseases (17).
The truth is… seed oils in general are extremely unhealthy, despite what some people would have you believe.
If anything, grape seed oil is even worse than the others… because it contains an even higher amount of Omega-6 fatty acids.
Bottom Line: Many studies show that seed oils lead to harmful effects on health, including a drastically increased risk of heart disease.
Is it a Good Oil to Cook With?
Grape seed oil has a high smoke point. For this reason, it is advertised as a good choice for high heat cooking like frying.
This is based on a huge misunderstanding… the smoke point of an oil is NOT the determinant of whether it should be used for cooking or not.
The number of double bonds in the fatty acid molecules is much more important. Polyunsaturated fats are called poly (poly=many) because they contain many double bonds. These double bonds are reactive and tend to react with oxygen when heated, forming harmful compounds and free radicals (18).
Because grape seed oil is so incredibly high in polyunsaturated fats, it really is one of the worst oils you could possibly use for cooking.
The healthiest cooking oils are those that contain mostly saturated fats (like butter and coconut oil), because they don’t have double bonds and are therefore less likely to react with oxygen when heated.
Grapeseed Oil Has Benefits for Hair and Skin… but Should NOT Be Eaten
Grape seed oil isn’t all bad… there are a lot of people who claim that it is good for moisturizing hair and skin. It is also used in massage and aromatherapy. For this reason, it may have some topical benefits.
But really… this oil should NOT be eaten. There is nothing healthy about it. The Vitamin E amount is not impressive when you consider the high amount of calories and most of the antioxidants from the grape seeds do not make it into the oil.
What we’re left with is a highly refined oil loaded with inflammatory, damage-prone Omega-6 fatty acids, which most people are already eating way too much of.
If good health is what you are after, then avoid grape seed oil like the plague.
Grape seed oil Side Effects
- Side Effects
Applies to grape seed oil: capsule oral, tablet oral
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking grape seed oil: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Common side effects may include:
upset stomach, nausea, vomiting;
sore throat, cough;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.
More about grape seed oil
- En Español
- Drug class: herbal products
- Grape seed
- Grape Seed (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
- Herbal Supplementation
6 Serious Side Effects Of Grape Seed Extract Saba Hyderabd040-395603080 August 22, 2019
We all love grapes, don’t we? And they do have many benefits. But have you ever known that the extract of grape seeds isn’t as beneficial as the fruit? Believe it or not, grape seed extract has got a number of side effects.
Wondering what they are? Read on!
Grape Seed Extract – A Brief
Well, as evident from its name, grape seed extract comes from grapes and has a high concentration of Vitamin E, linoleic acid, flavonoids and phenolic procyanidins. Grape seed extract is derived from grape seeds that are extracted, dried and purified to produce polyphenolic compounds-rich extract that also has well documented antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (1).
It is mostly used for industrial purposes while oral grape seed extract is used in capsules or tablets. Grape seed extract is believed to have potential health benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants and oligomeric proanthocyanidins which possess several health benefits.
Though there is a lack of scientific evidence about the potential health benefits of grape seed extract, it does have some adverse effects associated with it. Besides, there is dearth of information regarding the recommended dose of grape seed extract which further increases the risk. Doses of between 100-300 milligrams/day have been used in studies and are prescribed in some European countries (2).
Grape Seed Extract Side Effects
Given below are some of the grape seed extract side effects which can turn out be serious:
One of the most prominent side effects of grape seed extract is bleeding, both internal and external. It can slow down blood clotting, thus leading to prolonged bleeding in cuts and bruises. Grape seed extract can also cause internal bleeding that includes symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding like blood in vomit, bright red blood in stools, and tarry stools.
Since grape seed extract slows down blood clotting, it is not suitable for those having to undergo surgery as it might cause extra bleeding. Hence, the use of grape seed extract should be stopped at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
2. Hemorrhagic Stroke
One of the most serious side effects of grape seed extract is hemorrhagic stroke, which is also a form of internal bleeding. It is characterized by the bursting of blood vessels inside the brain. The blood clot inside the brain irritates the brain tissues and causes swelling.
Symptoms of hemorrhagic stroke include coma, unconsciousness, headache, nausea, difficulty in swallowing, vision or speech impairment, weakness or numbness in arms or legs, loss of coordination, etc.
3. Allergic Reactions
Grape seed extract can also cause allergic side effects like rashes, itching, swelling of lips, mouth, tongue or throat, hives, difficulty in breathing or wheezing, etc. It is advisable to seek immediate medical attention if any of these allergic reactions is observed.
4. Unsuitable For Pregnant And Nursing Women
Pregnant women and those trying to conceive should avoid using supplements having grape seed extract as an ingredient, as these supplements have no medical recommendation. Besides, nursing women should consult their gynaecologist before using grape seed extract. This is because grape seed extract is considered a herbal medicine and herbal medicines are not standardized.
5. Drug Interactions
Due to its potential blood thinning effects, grape seed extract can react with certain drugs, that include medicines for blood thinning. It also can react with anti-platelet drugs as well as pain relieving drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Cholesterol lowering drugs and prescription drugs like Methotrexate can also react with it. Hence, grape seed extract should not be used with any of these medications without medical advice.
6. Other Minor Side Effects
Grape seed extract may also cause adverse effects like dry or itchy scalp, dizziness, and nausea (3). Intake of grape seed extract may lead to other minor side effects like dry mouth, sore throat, cough, infections, abdominal pain, stomach upset, indigestion, and muscular problems.
Hence, the grape seed extract side effects discussed above necessitate the need to exercise precaution while using this extract. It should be noted that even herbal medicines can be harmful when taken in improper doses and without proper medical advice. Thus, it is advisable to use this supplement only under the guidance and directions of your physician.
Also, tell us how this post has helped you. Please comment in the box below!
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Hi, nothing turns me as much as health and fitness does. I believe that the ingredients you find in your pantry are the best medicine that you can get. I mostly like writing based on my experiences though I am not an expert related to any area. I like to give the best of the ideas. I am a pet lover too.
The seeds inside grapes have a hard, woody external layer. Although there are many varieties of grapes with varying seeds, a single grape usually has four seeds because they are born from two ovaries, each with two ovules. Resveratrol is mostly found in the skin of the grape and not in the seed, but the seed does have wonderful health-promoting and age-fighting compounds, including linoleic acid (essential fatty acid), flavonoids, vitamin E, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins.
Fatty acids in the body are made from two acids: linoleic and oleic. These essential fatty acids are sometimes referred to as vitamin F, but they are really essential fatty acids. Essential means that a person must get them from food or supplementation because the body cannot make them. Some experts feel that only linoleic acid is essential since the body can make oleic acid from linoleic acid. Essential fatty acids are the building blocks for all of the other fats in the body. They are also the building blocks for cell membranes and many of the important hormones and other chemical messengers that tell the body what to do. Essential fatty acids become depleted as people age.
Linoleic acid is critical for maintaining the acid mantle, or the hydrolipidic film, as well as the skin’s barrier function. Linoleic acid contributes to the formation of ceramides on the skin’s surface, which are important for preventing transepidermal water loss. The correct balance of oil and hydration will help prevent and/or reverse dryness and flaking. Linoleic acid is needed for the synthesis of gamma-linolenic acid, which provides welcome relief from inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It is very helpful for dry skin and can be converted to arachidonic acid, which acts to regulate inflammatory responses and has been shown to decrease tyrosinase activity to suppress melanin formation.
Using vitamin E topically is an effective mechanism for delivery to the skin and protection from ultraviolet radiation and other free radicals. Supplementation with oral vitamin E, however, may not provide adequate protection for the skin. Additional anti-inflammatory effects, as well as moisturizing benefits of topical vitamin E, have been seen in the skin. The vitamin E family consists of eight different tocopherols and tocotrienols and most researchers agree that naturally sourced vitamin E provides the most health benefits for
Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites that have antioxidant properties and are thought to provide health benefits through cell-signaling pathways for the restoration of collagen at the cellular level.1 Grape seeds are rich in powerful antioxidants and natural plant compounds called oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). OPCs are a set of bioflavonoid complexes that have 50 times more antioxidant properties than vitamins C and E. They perform as free radical scavengers in the human body. OPCs are not usually found in daily diets in sufficient quantities for therapeutic value, however, supplementation with OPC extracted from pine bark and from grape seeds has been shown to protect against cardiovascular and other degenerative diseases. OPC supplementation also has positive effects in regard to lowering LDL cholesterol levels, reducing platelet aggregation, increasing the strength and elasticity of blood vessels, helping collagen repair itself, reducing edema and inflammation, relieving functional problems associated with varicose veins, lessening the tendency toward diabetic retinopathy, and improving skin health. OPCs makes grapeseed oil excellent for minimizing and delaying skin aging caused by free radicals.
SKIN, NAIL, AND HAIR BENEFITS
Grapeseed oil is popular as an ingredient in topical skin care products because it glides well on the skin and is easily absorbed by the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. It also boosts the skin’s barrier repair and helps balance moisture levels. Grapeseed oil can be used to cleanse and moisturize the skin and improve its functions. It has anti-inflammatory properties for calming the skin and reducing edema and has been shown to be effective in fighting acne bacteria and staphylococcus aureus. Grapeseed oil is also beneficial for increasing circulation and helping to strengthen and repair damaged or broken capillaries. It is rich in polyphenols, or phytochemicals, which are chemicals from plants that possess beneficial antioxidant properties – along with vitamins, minerals, and essential oils.
Formulators love the viscosity and bendability of grapeseed oil, so is it often incorporated into blends of oils or used as a base for massage and aromatherapy purposes. Because it rarely causes skin irritation and has excellent skin healing properties, it is often used as an ingredient in high-end creams, serums, lip balms, and sunscreens – it is credited with being an ultraviolet-absorbing ingredient. There are many online testimonials that credit grapeseed oil for helping to clear acne, heal scars, diminish dark circles, and lighten pigmentation spots. Because grapeseed oil is emollient and moisturizing, it can be used on hair as a conditioner or as a mask for dry hair and scalps. It is believed to promote hair growth and make hair soft, smooth, and silky. It is also used to condition and nourish cuticles and nails.
NATURALLY EXTRACTED GRAPESEED OIL
The International Nomenclature of Cosmetics Ingredients requires grapeseed oil to be listed on the label as “Vitus Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil,” but the name does not indicate how the oil was extracted. Because each grape seed only yields a small amount of oil, the vast amount of grapeseed oil on the market is chemically extracted because it is cheaper and faster. Using a solvent to extract the oil from grape seeds will destroy many of the bioactive phytonutrients. Oils are highly concentrated natural ingredients and, if they are extracted in their purest form, they contain hundreds of bioactive compounds. Cold-pressed oils are the most beneficial for the skin because they have about 700 percent higher bioactive contents than oils produced using heat. When it is cold-pressed, grapeseed oil will appear as a pale yellow-to-green liquid and will have a faint odor.
GRAPESEED OIL PRECAUTIONS
People that are allergic to grapes may be allergic to grapeseed oil. Furthermore, people taking anticoagulant drugs and medications to lower cholesterol and blood pressure should check with their doctor before using grapeseed oil as it can increase circulation.
Oils are very popular because they are natural and there are countless varieties. It is important to use the right oil for the client’s skin type. The first thing to remember when using oils that is less is more. Only use about five drops on the face and another five drops for the neck. If the client’s skin is feeling dry, especially in the winter, suggest that they might try blending grapeseed oil into a night cream or daytime foundation for extra moisture. Since grapeseed oil is not soluble in water, it is best to add it to an oil-based product. If a client presents with extremely dry skin, they may want to add an oil with a little more weight, such as macadamia oil or coconut oil. Oftentimes, people with oily skin are afraid to use oils on their skin, but grapeseed oil is light and can be used to balance both dry and oily patches. Clients might be inclined to use oils in place of their moisturizers, but it is important to advise them that skin is a complex organ and no single product or ingredient will address all of their skin care concerns.
Grapeseed oil can be a brilliant inclusion into a balanced skin care program to help fight free radicals, retain hydration, and keep the skin looking fresh and radiant.
Kathleen Carney, founder and formulator for Skin Blends LLC, is extremely passionate about skin care, hair removal, product formulation, and the industry’s exciting future. Being a seasoned aesthetician, as well as a major distributor for Cirepil Wax and Agape Wax, she has been able to keep her products, services, and education cutting-edge and results-oriented. As the owner of Skin Blends Medical SPAtique, Carney keeps current on the latest trends and treatment modalities by training her staff and other skin care professionals on a variety of services.
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The health and beauty benefits of grapeseed oil
Beauty companies use grapeseed oil in their skin care and hair care products. But there are no clinical studies on the effectiveness of grapeseed oil on the skin or hair. Even so, many people use grapeseed oil as a natural remedy in their at-home beauty arsenal.
Grapeseed oil for healthy skin
Many of grapeseed oil’s beauty benefits may be due to its vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acid content. Free radicals and environmental factors such as sun, wind, and pollution can do a number on your skin. They may increase the signs of aging and cause dry skin and discoloration.
Vitamin E helps battles free radicals, so it may help improve your skin when consumed in your diet. The same benefits may apply when it’s applied directly to your skin in the form of grapeseed oil.
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to skin function and appearance. And omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for skin barrier functioning. The main omega-6 PUFA in grapeseed oil is linolenic acid. This fatty acid may help reduce inflammation in the skin’s middle and outer layers.
Other reasons grapeseed oil is used are to:
- moisturize skin
- heal acne
- lighten skin
- tighten pores
- reduce the appearance of scars
- remove makeup
Grapeseed oil penetrates your skin quickly and doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily. To use grapeseed oil on your face, massage several drops into clean skin before you go to bed at night. You can repeat the process in the morning, if desired. Since grapeseed oil doesn’t clog pores, it’s ideal for all skin types, including oily skin that needs moisturizing.
Grapeseed oil for healthy hair
Grapeseed oil may improve the condition of your hair and scalp. If you have dandruff, which is often caused by a dry scalp, applying emollient grapeseed oil to your scalp can help loosen dead skin and restore moisture.
Some natural oils including olive oil and coconut oil are good for your hair, but they leave it feeling greasy and weighed down. Grapeseed oil is lightweight and doesn’t have that effect. When applied to your hair, grapeseed oil adds moisture, strength, and shine.
Try massaging a couple of tablespoons of grapeseed oil (using more or less, depending on the length of your hair) into your hair and scalp before shampooing.
Grapeseed oil is used as a natural remedy for baldness. Linolenic acid is thought to stimulate hair growth. The oil contains flavonoids called procyanidin oligomers. These are powerful antioxidants. In vitro and in vivo studies show procyanidin oligomers may induce hair growth, but more research is needed.
Grapeseed oil in aromatherapy
Chronic stress wreaks internal and external havoc on your body. It may lead to:
- premature aging
- dry skin
- hair loss
While grapeseed oil on its own can’t relieve stress, it does make a wonderful carrier oil for aromatherapy and aromatherapy massage. Aromatherapy may help relieve anxiety and reduce stress.
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Grapeseed extract: benefits, dosage, side effects
Find out all about grapeseed extract, including what it does, the benefits to taking it and how much you might need
Written by Beth Gibbons on January 18, 2019
Reviewed by Carolina Brooks on January 27, 2019
What is grapeseed extract and what does it do?
The healing power of grapes has been recognised since ancient times, and harnessed to treat a variety of conditions, from asthma to skin conditions.1,2
Grape seeds, in particular, contain high concentrations of antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids, catechins and proanthocyanidins. These have been shown to protect against damage-causing free radicals and your enhance body’s ability to fight them. They also support the body’s wound healing process and may inhibit tissue damage and inflammation.3,4
You can find grapeseed extract as either capsules or as grapeseed oil.
Benefits of grapeseed extract
What does grapeseed extract do in the body?
Grapeseed extract is rich in a whole host of beneficial plant chemicals called polyphenols, for example quercetin and resveratrol. Each of these has an antioxidant effect in the body, working to protect our cells from free-radical damage.5
Here’s how this powerful combination of polyphenols can support your health:
It can support your heart: a 2016 review of 16 clinical trials in Medicine concluded that grapeseed extract has a beneficial impact on blood pressure, particularly in younger or overweight people.6 Experts say antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative stress, which can narrow blood vessels and contribute to high blood pressure.7 A 2011 study by the US Yale School of Medicine found that grapeseed also helps lower your heart rate.8
It may protect your brain as it ages: grape polyphenols can help protect cognitive function by preventing neurological damage caused by free radicals, according to a 2017 study published in Frontiers of Pharmacology. Older adults who took 150mg of grapeseed extract daily showed improved attention, language and memory after 12 weeks.9
It can improve blood flow: the active compounds in grapeseed extract appear to improve circulation. A 2013 Japanese study found that when healthy women were given grapeseed extract and then asked to sit still for six hours, they had less bloating and leg swelling than the control group.10
It can reduce inflammation: grape polyphenols – 60-70% of which are found in the seeds – can reduce levels of chronic inflammation in the body, according to a 2014 study in Nutrients. The researchers suggested that they do this by reducing the number of harmful free radicals, and by modulating the body’s normal inflammatory response.11
How much grapeseed extract is safe to take?
In studies, participants have safely taken doses of 300-800mg a day for 8-16 weeks, and these have been well- tolerated.12
Grapeseed extract shouldn’t be taken by children, or pregnant or breast-feeding women, as there are not enough studies to establish safety in these groups. People taking blood-thinning medication or drugs to lower blood pressure should also avoid it, as grapeseed extract may increase the activity of these medications.13
If you’re taking anti-anxiety or asthma drugs, muscle relaxants, pain medications, hormone medications or anti-depressants, seek medical advice before taking grapeseed extract.
What are the side-effects of taking grapeseed extract?
Side-effects are uncommon, but can include:14
- itchy scalp
- stomach ache
- sore throat
Stop taking grapeseed extract if you notice any of these side-effects, and seek advice from your GP or another health professional.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
1. Singh CK, Liu X, Ahmad N. Resveratrol, in its natural combination in whole grape, for health promotion and disease management
2. University of Rochester Medical Center. Grape Seed Extract
3. El-Beshbish HA, Mohamadin AM, Abdel-Naim AB. In Vitro Evaluation of the Antioxidant Activities of Grape Seed (Vitis vinifera) Extract, Blackseed (Nigella sativa) Extract and Curcumin
4. The Ohio State Universtiy. Grape Seed Extract Help Speed Up Wound Recovery, Study Suggests
5. Yang J, Xiao YY. Grape phytochemicals and associated health benefits
6. Zhang H, et al. The impact of grape seed extract treatment on blood pressure changes: A meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials
7. Grossman E. Does increased oxidative stress cause hypertension?
8. Feringa HH, et al. The effect of grape seed extract on cardiovascular risk markers: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
9. Calapai G, et al. A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Clinical Trial on Effects of a Vitis vinifera Extract on Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults
10. Sano A, Tokutake S, Seo A. Proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract reduces leg swelling in healthy women during prolonged sitting
11. Georgiev V, Ananga A, Tsolova V. Recent Advances and Uses of Grape Flavonoids as Neutraceuticals
12. Caroline Hill. Healthline. 10 Benefits of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science
13. As above
14. Joseph Nordqvist. Medical News Today. What are the benefits of grape seed extract?