Grape seed extract has been praised for a number of health benefits, including the ability to lower blood pressure in people at risk of hypertension. Along with a blood pressure benefit, here are 5 more reasons to take grape seed extract, including information from new research and some previous recent studies as well.
What could grape seed extract do for you?
Grape seeds are an excellent source of various nutrients, including vitamin E, linoleic acid, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), which are a type of antioxidant. These nutrients are found in higher concentrations in grape seeds than in the skin or pulp.
Grape seed extract and blood pressure. In a University of California, Davis, study, investigators conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study to see if grape seed extract could lower blood pressure in people at risk for hypertension. Participants received either 300 mg per day of grape seed extract or a placebo for 8 weeks.
At the end of the trial, the average decline in systolic and diastolic blood pressures in the grape seed extract group were 8 mmHg and 5 mmHg, respectively, but there was no change in the placebo group. The authors concluded that “these findings suggest that GSE could be used as a nutraceutical in a lifestyle modification program for patients with pre-hypertension.”
Grape seed extract, obesity, and kidney function. Obesity is both a serious health problem and one that contributes to a number of life-threatening diseases as well. That’s one reason why researchers were interested in the impact of grape seed extract on kidney function. A new study appearing in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism explains that grape seed and skin extract successfully eliminated nearly all fat-induced kidney problems in rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD). In fact, the authors noted that “the most important result drawn from the current study is the powerful ability of GSSE [grape seed & skin extract] to alleviate HFD-induced oxidative triglyceride deposition, copper depletion, and ultimately kidney dysfunction.”
Grape seed extract and metabolic syndrome. The presence of metabolic syndrome is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. In a study conducted by experts at the University of California, Davis, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, the effect of grape seed extract on metabolic syndrome was explored in 12 adults.
Grape seed extract (300 mg) or placebo was given to the participants one hour before they consumed a high-fat, high-carbohydrate breakfast. This was a crossover study, so all the participants got both interventions. Use of grape seed extract moderated increases in oxidized bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and significantly lowered plasma glucose concentrations. These findings indicate grape seed extract may benefit individuals with metabolic syndrome.
Grape seed extract and colon cancer. University of Colorado researchers also recently reported that grape seed extract appears to have a role in fighting colon cancer. They discovered that the extract inhibited the growth and survival of colorectal cancer cells but did not bother healthy cells.
Grape seed extract and rheumatoid arthritis. A recent study appearing in PLoS One reported that grade seed extract demonstrated positive effects on cartilage and bone damage and chronic inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis both in mice and in cells from people with rheumatoid arthritis. The authors concluded that their findings indicated that grape seed extract “may be beneficial for the treatment of inflammation-associated bone destruction,” which is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis.
Grape seed extract and Alzheimer’s disease. Several animal studies have suggested grape seed extract may have a role in inhibiting Alzheimer’s disease. A study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine noted that select grape seed extract “could potently interfere with the assembly of tau peptides into neurotoxic aggregates.” Tau peptides are a type of protein believed to be involved with causing Alzheimer’s disease.
Grape seed extract may prove to be beneficial in a wide variety of health-related problems faced by millions of people. Although much more research needs to be done regarding all the above-named uses for grape seed extract, it appears to be a supplement to seriously consider and one to discuss with a knowledgeable healthcare provider.
Charradi K et al. Grape seed and skin extract alleviates high-fat diet-induced renal lipotoxicity and prevents copper depletion in rat. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 2013 Jan.
Derry M et al. Differential effects of grape seed extract against human colorectal cancer cell lines: the intricate role of death receptors and mitochondria. Cancer Letters 2013 Jan. 21 online. DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.12.015
Edirisinghe I et al. Effect of grape seed extract on postprandial oxidative status and metabolic responses in men and women with the metabolic syndrome - randomized, cross-over, placebo-controlled study. Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2012; 2(12): 508-21
Park JS et al. Grape-seed proanthocyanidin extract as suppressors of bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis. PLoS One 2012; 7(12): e51377
Robinson M et al. Effect of grape seed extract on blood pressure in subjects with pre-hypertension. Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences 2012 Nov. doi:10.6000/1927-5951.2012.02.02.6
Wang J et al. Grape derived polyphenols attenuate tau neuropathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Journal Alzheimers Disease 2010; 22(2): 653-61