What is Grape Seed Extract?
The grape seed extract is derived from the seeds of Vitis vinifera, the same species of wild grape that most wine grapes originate from. Although this species is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and Southwestern Asia around the Caspian Sea, its use in winemaking and medicine spread from the Caspian Sea region to the West.
Manufacturers produce grape seed extract by pressing the grape seeds to remove the oil, then drying and pulverizing them into a concentrated extract. This extract is then formed into tablets, capsules, or liquid.
While grape seed extract is believed to contain some beneficial nutrients, there is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether it provides any health benefits in the short or long term.
Traditional Uses of Grape Fruit Extract In Ayurvedic Medicine
Grapefruit extract has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its potential health benefits. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, grapefruit extract is believed to have a cooling effect on the body, making it useful for treating conditions related to excess heat in the body.
- One common use of grapefruit extract in Ayurvedic medicine is to aid digestion. It is believed to stimulate the digestive system, improve appetite, and alleviate symptoms of indigestion and bloating.
- Grapefruit extract is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which make it useful for treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and other joint pains.
- In addition, grapefruit extract is believed to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it useful for treating infections and skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in flavonoids is believed to potentially delay or decrease the likelihood of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's
One of the constituents of grape seed extract is gallic acid, which has been shown in animal and lab studies to inhibit the formation of fibrils by beta-amyloid peptides. Beta-amyloid protein clusters in the brain are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
Animal studies have indicated that grape seed extract may prevent memory loss, enhance cognitive function, increase brain antioxidant levels, and decrease brain lesions and beta-amyloid clusters. A 12-week study involving 111 healthy elderly individuals found that taking 150 mg of grape seed extract daily improved attention, language, and both immediate and delayed memory.
However, human studies investigating the use of grape seed extract in individuals with preexisting memory or cognitive impairments are limited.
Other Health benefits
According to a study, the application of proanthocyanidin extract derived from grape seeds onto wounds on the backs of mice resulted in faster healing times.
The reason behind this finding is that grape seed extract was discovered to enhance the production of “vascular endothelial growth factor”, which is a crucial compound involved in the “wound healing process”.
Improving Bone Strength:
A study found that the combination of grape seed extract and calcium has a positive impact on bone strength and formation.
The study examined the effects of proanthocyanidins and calcium on the bone structure of mice that were fed a low-calcium diet .
Research has shown that grape seed extract has anti-Candida activity. A study from Italy investigated its effectiveness against Candida, a parasitic fungus that can cause thrush.
The study found that grape seed oil contains “flavan-3-ols” that can inhibit Candida albicans, indicating that grape seed extracts with high levels of “polymeric flavan-3-ols” may be beneficial in treating mucosal infections such as “vaginal candidiasis” .
Preventing Skin Cancer:
Grape seed proanthocyanidins have shown potential in preventing the development of cancer. A study has suggested that grape seeds possess properties that can decrease the severity of skin cancer.
The researchers performed an experiment on hairless mice and discovered that grape seed proanthocyanidins have the potential to impede the formation of skin tumor growth. However, additional research is needed to validate these results.
Grape seed extract's antioxidants may have the potential to safeguard blood vessels from damage and, in turn, possibly prevent “high blood pressure”.
A study indicated that grape seed proanthocyanidin extract exhibits superior antioxidant effectiveness in comparison to β-carotene, vitamins E and C.
Mechanisms of action
The mechanism of action of grape seed extract (GSE) is complex and involves multiple pathways.
- One of the main components of GSE is proanthocyanidin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- GSE may protect against oxidative damage and reduce inflammation in the body by scavenging free radicals and reducing the production of inflammatory molecules.
- GSE has also been shown to improve blood flow and enhance the activity of enzymes involved in the production of nitric oxide, which helps to relax blood vessels and improve circulation.
- In addition, GSE may inhibit the activity of enzymes that break down collagen, a protein that is important for the health of skin, joints, and other tissues.
- GSE may also affect gene expression and modulate signaling pathways involved in cell growth and differentiation.
Dosage and Safety Considerations
At present, there is insufficient research to suggest a particular dosage of GSE for any medical condition. Studies have investigated different dosages, ranging from 100 milligrams to 400 milligrams per day for six to twelve weeks. The recommended dose may differ depending on medical background, age, gender, and weight.
- Grape seed extract is considered safe for most people, but it is not advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to insufficient safety data.
- Additionally, individuals who have grape allergies, bleeding disorders, or are taking blood thinners such as warfarin or aspirin, should avoid taking supplements containing GSE.
- Those who are about to undergo surgery should also refrain from using it.
- It is possible that certain GSE products contain extract from peanut skin, so those with peanut allergies should carefully research the supplements before using them.
- Individuals with high blood pressure should avoid combining high doses of GSE with vitamin C, as it may worsen their blood pressure.
Potential Side Effects
Although grape seed extract is generally safe to consume orally, it may result in occasional adverse effects such as:
- Sore throat
- Dry or itchy scalp
How to Take Grape Seed Extract
- Grape seed extract should be taken with food to improve absorption and reduce the risk of stomach upset.
- It's also essential to follow the instructions on the label carefully and not exceed the recommended dosage.
- If you are taking grape seed extract for a specific condition, your healthcare provider may recommend a higher or lower dosage and a different form of the supplement.
While scientific research on grape seed extract is still ongoing, many users have reported positive experiences and benefits from taking this supplement.
A user said “I used Grapefruit Seed Extract to treat thrush in my mouth. My tongue was covered with thick, white yeast. I followed the directions on the bottle, diluting 10 drops in water. Within 3 days my tongue was cleaner than ever!!! I am impressed”.
Another user said “Have used for a very long time for allergy. The first time it was suggested to me was when I had wheezing in my lungs that would t go away, finally when I took the recommendation my lungs cleared up”
Comparisons with Other Supplements
Compared to other popular antioxidant supplements such as vitamins C and E, grape seed extract has been found to have higher antioxidant potency and a wider range of health benefits.
However, vitamins C and E are still important and essential antioxidants that play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases.
Despite the promising results from existing research, there is still much to be explored in the realm of grape seed extract and its potential health benefits. Ongoing and future research is currently exploring the potential uses of grape seed extract in the prevention and treatment of various health conditions.
The grape seed extract is a supplement that may offer a range of potential health benefits, including antioxidant properties that support cardiovascular health, promote wound healing, and provides nootropic benefits. While more research is needed to fully understand its potential applications, the existing studies are promising.
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- Liu Y, Pukala TL, Musgrave IF, Williams DM, Dehle FC, Carver JA. Gallic acid is the major component of grape seed extract that inhibits amyloid fibril formation. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Dec 1;23(23):6336-40. doi 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.09.071. Epub 2013 Oct 1. PMID: 24157371.
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