The grape seed extract is a modern derivative of whole grape seeds and is mostly taken by grinding up seeds of red wine grapes. It is a relatively new product to the United States, and its history dates back to Ancient Greece, classified as a dietary supplement.
Grape seed extract (GSE) is the most popular name, or you may see it by only grape seed. However, don’t confuse grape seed extract with grapefruit seed extract as both use the abbreviation GSE and are both supplements.
How to Measure Grape Seed Extract
The extract contains contents of procyanidins that measure the overall quality. Also, the standard quality of the grape seed extract generally contains 95% procyanidins. But, be aware that potency varies among products and distributors.
The grape seed extract is, in fact, the best-known source of proanthocyanidins.
Grape Seed Extract History
Ancient Greeks have used grapes, grape leaves, and sap for health benefits for decades. However, the grape seed extract was first created in 1970.
Everyday use today for grape seed extract is as a vitamin or supplement. Interestingly, its top uses are for inflammation, venous insufficiency, and to promote wound healing.
Moreover, the antioxidant found within grape seed extract shows studies for a wide range of health benefits from PMS to eye health.
Is Grape Seed Extract Safe?
The answer is yes. In fact, studies show grape seed extract to be 100% safe. However, if you are allergic to grapes or fruits with seeds, then you should not use it. Children, pregnant women, and females who are breastfeeding or lactating should consult with their physician before using grape seed extract.
Additionally, before taking, consult with your medical professional to ensure the grape seed extract works with your current prescriptions.
It might be unsafe for those who are:
- Currently struggling with a bleeding disorder
- Are going to have surgery
- Are using anticoagulants (blood thinners), which include warfarin or aspirin.
Grape Seed Extract Side Effects
A few side effects of grape seed extract may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and itchy scalp.
Many of the concerns regarding side effects of grape seed extract are not about the product itself, but rather how it is processed. The most commercially available grape seed extract is manufactured using chemical solvents like hexane. Unfortunately, this chemical shows classifications as an air pollutant and neurotoxin.
A grape seed extract shows adverse reactions when taken with the following:
- clopidogrel (Plavix)
What is the Right Dose for Grape Seed Extract?
There is no set standard dosage at this time. Generally, studies show 100-300 milligrams per day which is a guideline that’s safe to follow. Interestingly, some European countries prescribe daily doses, which might soon be the standard for other countries.
How to Take Grape Seed Extract
The grape seed extract is taken at any time of the day. For cancer prevention, it is best to take 100 mg per day in the morning. However, for other standard doses, people take around 100mg 3 times per day.
Interestingly, you can take it at any time of day, but it is helpful to take it consistently at the same time each day. Taking it consistently benefits your body significantly since only about 30% of GSE stays in your body 24 hours after consuming it.
The Source of Grape Seed Extract
First, the grape seed extract comes solely from grapes. However, the extract comes from the by-products of the wine industry. A by-product is a secondary product obtained from production, manufacturing, or a chemical process.
The Benefits of Grape Seed Extract
The grape seed extract is a well-tolerated supplement which makes it helpful for a wide range of medical issues, and several medical trials show evidence to back this up.
The following are studies that show positive results for grape seed extract:
- Enhance wound healing and wound appearance
- May protect your liver
- May reduce cancer risk
- Can hinder infectious growth and bacteria
- Helps with kidney function
- Supports healthy brain health and brain functionality
Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
In 12 articles referencing 16 clinical trials, there are 810 study subjects. Overall it shows an analysis of the lowering of for SBPand DBP. Final results show a decrease in blood pressure, especially for those under the age of 50 and additionally for those who are obese.
Those suffering from metabolic disorders also show promise from the results of taking grape seed extract. Further research is now being done on a large scale to gain more insight.
With numbers like 1 in 3 adults in the United States that have high blood pressure, these studies surrounding GSE concerning high blood pressure are becoming a top priority. Each study hopes to help not only high blood pressure but its correlation to strokes and overall heart disease.
Improves Blood Flow
A few studies done have shown the positive effects of grape seed extract in relation to blood flow.
One 8 week study took 17 healthy postmenopausal women, and each took 400 mg of GSE. Results showed that each woman had blood-thinning effects, which can help reduce the risk of blood clots.
A second study took 8 healthy young women, who also took 400 mg of proanthocyanidin from GSE after sitting for a duration of 6 hours. Leg swelling and edema were reduced by 70% when compared to those who took zero proanthocyanidins.
In this same study, 8 healthy women took a slightly smaller dose of 133-mg of proanthocyanidins from GSE for 14 days and experienced 40% less leg swelling after 6 hours of sitting.
These studies show great promise for those who deal with circulatory problems.
Shows Promise in Reducing Oxidative Damage
Oxidative damage plays a factor in the development of chronic diseases, and to fix the chronic disease, one must fix why oxidative damage occurs in the first place. Moreover, oxidative damage plays a role in an elevated blood level of bad cholesterol and can be a risk factor to heart disease. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol not only increases the risk but plays a vital role in the build-up of fatty plaque in your arteries, also known as atherosclerosis.
GSE supplements have been shown to play a role in several animal studies at aiding in the reduction of fats that trigger build-up.
In two different studies, 8 healthy humans consumed the same test meal. The results of the study show that the content of LPO in chylomicrons was 1.5-fold higher after the control meal than after the GSE-supplemented meal. Therefore this study showed that GSE minimizes the postprandial oxidative stress by decreasing the oxidants and increasing the antioxidant levels in plasma and enhances the immunity to oxidative modification of LDL.
Grape Seed Extract May Help Improve Collagen Levels, Strengthen Bones, and Help Hair Loss
GSE is a rich source of flavonoids and may help increase bone density and strength. Studies in animals have shown adding GSE to a low, standard, or high calcium diet increases overall bone density, mineral content, and strength.
In a 6 week study on rats, GSPE or grape seed proanthocyanidins extract of 3mg was added in 100 g high calcium diet. The rats had mandibular condyle bone debility, which was induced by a low-calcium diet. Forty male rats, all of which were 5 weeks old, were randomly divided into control groups: low-calcium diet (LC), low-calcium/high-calcium diet (LCH), and low-calcium/high-calcium with supplementary GSPE diet (LCHG) groups for 6 weeks. The study concluded that a high-calcium diet, when combined with GSPE supplementation, is more effective in reversing mandibular condyle bone debility in rats vs. a low-calcium diet, standard diet, or high-calcium diet alone.
With this support for improved bone density, bone strength, and collagen production, it encourages the questions surrounding hair loss. When collagen production is raised, it improves the ability of hair to grow and promotes healthy hair follicle stem cells. One study shows increased collagen can help promote hair response in those who suffer from permanent hair loss such as androgenic alopecia.
How Can Grape Seed Extract Be Taken?
Depending on how you want to use it, you can find grape seed extract in a wide variety of options.
You can use Grape seed extract in the form of oil, which can be used on the skin. Grape seed oil can be used as often or as little as a person likes, and can even be found inside lotions.
Pure grape seed oil can be bought and used as a serum on the face acting as a daily moisturizer. It provides many benefits to your skin due to the vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids found within it. Both will help with environmental factors such as wind, sun, and pollution, all of which contribute to the aging of the skin. Omega-6 plays a crucial role in skin function and overall appearance.
You can mix grape seed skin oil with essential oil to help make your skin extra soft and provide a therapeutic experience.
Liquid and capsule forms are available as well for those who wish to consume GSE. Consuming it over several weeks can benefit your skin and hair health.
The grape seed oil is available for people to cook with and has grown in popularity over the last few years. It is has a high smoking point, which makes it desirable for high heat cooking, like in a frying pan or stovetop pot.
You can find GSE in all supermarkets or grocery stores, and it typically comes in a glass or plastic container alongside other cooking oils.
Cold-pressed or expeller-pressed grapeseed oil is a great substance to take and provides an appealing natural flavor.
How to Store Grape Seed Extract
Keep your grape seed extract away from extreme temperatures, heat, or light and keep it in an air-tight container.
Can I Take Grape Seed Extract in Different Forms?
It is not suggested to take grape seed extract in different forms at the same time; if you wish to do so, it is advised to speak with your medical professional. Unfortunately, mixing forms might cause overdosing. It is also not a good idea to take more than the recommended dose on the packaging.
It is always a recommended idea to consult with a doctor or physician before adding any herb or supplement to your daily routine. Additionally, the grape seed extract is a favorite among medical professionals. However, it also enhances your outer beauty in regards to your skin and hair.
While there is minimal research done on humans, studies so far have shown grape seed oil to be useful yet harmless to those who use it.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.