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Grape seed extract is a dietary supplement that has gained attention for its potential health benefits. It is derived from the seeds of grapes and contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which are known for their ability to combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. Some studies have suggested that grape seed extract may have positive effects on various health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. In this article, we will explore the potential benefits and risks of grape seed extract, as well as how to use it safely and effectively.
What is the Active Ingredient In Grape Seed Extract?
Grape seed extract is a dietary supplement that is derived from the seeds of grapes. It is typically standardized to contain a specific concentration proanthocyanidins, a type of oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). These are a type of flavonoid compound found in grape seeds and other plant sources.
Proanthocyanidins (PACs) and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) are similar but not exactly the same thing. PACs are a type of flavonoid compound found in plants, which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
What Are the Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract?
Research suggests that proanthocyanidins may have a range of health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular-protective effects. Some studies have also suggested that proanthocyanidins may have benefits for cognitive function and blood sugar control. Here are a few examples of the health benefits of proanthocyanidins that have been studied [PMC7054588]:
- Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Effects: proanthocyanidins have been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help protect against a range of chronic diseases. Studies suggest that daily doses of 100-200 mg of PACs may be effective for reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
- Cardiovascular Health: Research suggests that proanthocyanidins may have benefits for cardiovascular health, including improving blood flow and reducing the risk of blood clots. Daily doses of 200-400 mg of proanthocyanidins have been studied for their potential cardiovascular benefits.
- Cognitive Function: Some studies have suggested that proanthocyanidins may have benefits for cognitive function, including improving memory and attention. Daily doses of 300-600 mg of proanthocyanidins have been studied for their potential cognitive benefits.
- Blood Sugar Control: proanthocyanidins have also been studied for their potential benefits for blood sugar control, particularly in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Daily doses of 200-400 mg of proanthocyanidins have been studied for their potential blood sugar-lowering effects.
- Anticancer Activity (cell studies).
- Wound healing: “Grape Seed Extract contains polyphenyl phenolic bioflavonoids, proanthocyanidins which accelerates the process of wound healing”. Proanthocyanidins stimulate Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and the building of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).
It’s important to note that the optimal dose of proanthocyanidins may vary depending on the individual and the specific health condition being targeted. Additionally, not all proanthocyanidins are the same, and different plant sources may have varying levels of proanthocyanidins and other bioactive compounds. If you are considering taking a proanthocyanidin supplement or increasing your intake of proanthocyanidin-rich foods, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your individual needs.
Is Grape Seed Extract Safe?
Grape seed extract is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses. It is a natural supplement that is rich in antioxidants and is often used for its potential health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, and improved cognitive function.
However, as with any supplement or natural product, there are potential risks and side effects to be aware of. Some individuals may experience digestive issues, headaches, or allergic reactions when taking grape seed extract. It may also interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, and may lower blood pressure, so it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking grape seed extract if you are on any medications or have any underlying medical conditions.
Additionally, grape seed extract may not be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women or individuals with certain medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders or low blood pressure.
Overall, grape seed extract is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses, but it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before adding it to your diet or supplement regimen. This is especially important if you are taking any medications or have any underlying medical conditions.
Medication Interactions With Grape Seed Extract
• Blood-thinners (e.g., Warfarin, Heparin)
- Severity: High
- Interaction: Grape seed extract may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinners
• Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) (e.g., Ibuprofen, Naproxen)
- Severity: Moderate
- Interaction: Grape seed extract can enhance the blood-thinning effect of NSAIDs, increasing the risk of bleeding
• Blood pressure medications (e.g., ACE inhibitors, Beta-blockers)
- Severity: Moderate
- Interaction: Grape seed extract may lower blood pressure; when taken with blood pressure medications, it could cause excessively low blood pressure
• Diabetes medications (e.g., Insulin, Metformin)
- Severity: Moderate
- Interaction: Grape seed extract may lower blood sugar levels; when taken with diabetes medications, it could cause dangerously low blood sugar
• Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates (e.g., Clozapine, Fluvoxamine)
- Severity: Moderate
- Interaction: Grape seed extract may inhibit the enzyme CYP1A2, affecting the metabolism of certain medications, which could lead to increased side effects
Medication Interactions with Grape Seed Extract
- Interaction: Both grape seed extract and vitamin E have antioxidant properties; taking them together may lead to excessive antioxidant intake, which could interfere with the body’s natural balance
• Fish Oil
- Interaction: Both grape seed extract and fish oil have blood-thinning effects; taking them together may increase the risk of bleeding
• Ginkgo Biloba
- Interaction: Both grape seed extract and ginkgo biloba have blood-thinning effects; taking them together may increase the risk of bleeding
• Garlic Supplements
- Interaction: Both grape seed extract and garlic supplements can lower blood pressure and have blood-thinning effects; taking them together may increase the risk of bleeding and excessively low blood pressure
• Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Interaction: Grape seed extract’s antioxidant properties may interfere with the effectiveness of CoQ10, which is also an antioxidant
Food Sources of Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract is mainly derived from grape seeds themselves. The amounts of grape seed extract in food sources are relatively low compared to supplements, so consuming these foods alone may not provide significant health benefits associated with grape seed extract.
Order Grape Seed Extract
Grape Seed Extract
Grape Seed SAP™ provides a rich source of proanthocyanidins with potent antioxidant and free-radical scavenging properties.* Grape Seed SAP* supports healthy inflammatory responses and promotes cardiovascular health.*
Take 1 capsule daily or as directed by your health-care practitioner. Consult a health-care practitioner for use beyond 3 months.
Serving Size: One Capsule
Grape Seed Extract … 500mg
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.