Grape Seed Extract Health Benefits – Cognition, Skin Cancer and More

Grape Seed Extract Enhances Overall Health

Grape Seed Extract Health Benefits

While most of us enjoy the taste of grapes, you may be spitting out the healthiest part of this sweet fruit; the seeds. Although bitter and unappetizing, grape seeds are also packed with antioxidant substances that can powerfully impact your health.

Grape seed extract (GSE), is a byproduct of the wine making process and an easy way to enjoy the health benefits of grape seeds easily – and in a sufficient dose to optimize health.

What Makes Grape Seed Special?

The most distinct component in grape seed extract is called oligomeric proanthocyanin complexes (OPCs), a powerful class of antioxidant.
OPCs are closely related to another well-known, anti-aging substance; resveratrol. These natural plant compounds have garnered lots of attention for their health benefits, like reducing the risk of chronic disease and even slowing the aging process.

According to one study (1), OPCs have a host of beneficial effects, including the ability to:

  • Inhibit lipid peroxidation
  • Inhibit platelet aggregation, capillary permeability and fragility
  • Positively affect enzyme systems
  • Improves Circulatory Health

There are some studies indicating that GSE can significantly improve blood flow.

An eight week study of 17 healthy, middle-aged women who were given a daily 400 mg dose of GSE found that it had a blood thinning effect that may help reduce the risk of blood clots (2).

Additional research looked at eight healthy young women to assess the effects of one 400 mg dose of proanthocyanidin derived from GSE immediately followed by six hours of remaining seated. The researches found it reduced leg swelling and edema by 70 percent, compared to participants who did not receive the supplement (3).

Speeds the Healing Process

GSE can potentially speed up the wound healing process.

A study, in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, involved applying proanthocyanidin extract from GSE to open wounds on the backs of test mice (4).

It was found that mice treated with the proanthocyanidin had healed faster than those not treated. The researchers wrote that this provided solid evidence to support using a topical application of GSPE (grape seed proanthocyanidin extract) to support healing skin wounds.

One reason for this effect could be how the GSE-derived proanthocyanidin extract increased production of a hormone called vascular endothelial growth factor, a critical part of the wound healing process (4).

Grape Seed Can Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Recent research found that grape seeds have nutritional components called proanthocyanidins that may considerably reduce the severity of skin cancer (5).

Scientists examined hairless mice to test whether grape seed proanthocyanidins in GSE can slow skin tumor growth. They concluded that GSE could be an effective way to reduce the risk of UV-induced skin damage in human skin.

The researchers theorize that the protective nature of this compound is because it can reduce oxidative stress from free radicals and can affect immunosuppression by altering cytokine activity in skin cells.

Good for Bone Health and Collagen

Consuming more plant-based flavonoids is a proven way to improve both bone formation and collagen synthesis. Since GSE is an exceptionally rich source of flavonoids, it could help increase your bone density and strength.

Animal studies have shown that when GSE was added to either a low-calcium, normal or high-calcium diet, it caused increased bone density, mineral content and bone strength (6, 7).

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that creates severe inflammation and ultimately destroys bone and joints.

However some studies find that GSE can slow the bone destruction characteristic of this autoimmune disorder (8, 9). GSE is also effective to reduce the pain, bony spurs and joint damage of osteoarthritis while improving collagen health and preventing the loss of cartilage (10).

Grape Seed Helps Preserve Cognitive Health

Through a combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, plant-based flavonoids like those found in GSE may delay the onset of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s (11).

Gallic acid, found in GSE, is one substance that has been found to inhibit the growth of brain-damaging fibrils created by the beta-amyloid proteins symptomatic of Alzheimer’s disease (12).

Further research indicates that GSE could also improve cognitive status, prevent memory loss, and reduce both brain lesions and amyloid clusters (13, 14, 15).

A 12-week study including 111 senior participants suggests that 150 mg of GSE daily improved (16):

  • Attention
  • Language
  • Immediate and delayed memory

Better than Vitamin C for Liver Health

GSE may have a powerful protective effect for liver health. Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body; like the heart or lungs – you won’t live long if it’s not functioning optimally.

Your liver detoxifies the body of harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, pollutants, and even viral infections. In-vitro (test-tube) studies suggest that GSE can reduce inflammation, recycle antioxidants and protect against oxidative damage when cells are exposed to toxins (17, 18).

The liver enzyme alanine-aminotransferase (ALT) is a key indicator of liver toxicity, meaning that levels elevate when the liver has sustained damage (19).

15 people with high ALT levels due to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were given a three-month course of GSE. Liver enzymes were monitored monthly, and the results were compared to those of patients who only took 2 grams of vitamin C per day.
At the end of the study the GSE group demonstrated a 46 percent reduction in ALT levels, and the vitamin C group showed almost no change (20).

The Next Level Difference

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Alpha Wolf Nutrition includes a whopping 400 mg (95% Polyphenols) of Grape Seed Extract in our Next Level Superfoods Multivitamin.

While many other multi’s on the market include GSE in their formulations, you will usually see them in a “proprietary blend” so they don’t have to tell you just how little is actually in their products.

At Alpha Wolf Nutrition, we don’t believe in “token ingredients” just so we can slap it on the label. You get healthy doses and for that reason we proudly display exactly what you are getting on our labels.

REFERENCES

  1. Fine AM. Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes: history, structure, and phytopharmaceutical applications. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Apr;5(2):144-51 – Link
  2. Shenoy SF, Keen CL, Kalgaonkar S, Polagruto JA. Effects of grape seed extract consumption on platelet function in postmenopausal women. Thromb Res. 2007;121(3):431-2. Epub 2007 Oct 24 – Link
  3. Sano A, Tokutake S, Seo A. Proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract reduces leg swelling in healthy women during prolonged sitting. J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Feb;93(3):457-62. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5773. Epub 2012 Jul 2 – Link
  4. SavitaKhanna, et al. Dermal wound healing properties of redox-active grape seed proanthocyanidins. Free Radical Biology and Medicine Volume 33, Issue 8, 15 October 2002, Pages 1089-1096 – Link
  5. Katiyar SK. Grape seed proanthocyanidines and skin cancer prevention: inhibition of oxidative stress and protection of immune system. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008;52 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S71–S76. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200700198 – Link
  6. Ishikawa M, Maki K, Tofani I, Kimura K, Kimura M. Grape seed proanthocyanidins extract promotes bone formation in rat’s mandibular condyle. Eur J Oral Sci. 2005 Feb;113(1):47-52 – Link
  7. Yahara N, Tofani I, Maki K, Kojima K, Kojima Y, Kimura M. Mechanical assessment of effects of grape seed proanthocyanidins extract on tibial bone diaphysis in rats. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2005 Jun;5(2):162-9 – Link
  8. Park JS, et al. Grape-seed proanthocyanidin extract as suppressors of bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51377. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051377. Epub 2012 Dec 10 – Link
  9. Ahmad SF, Zoheir KM, Abdel-Hamied HE, Ashour AE, Bakheet SA, Attia SM, Abd-Allah AR. Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract has potent anti-arthritic effects on collagen-induced arthritis by modifying the T cell balance. Int Immunopharmacol. 2013 Sep;17(1):79-87. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2013.05.026. Epub 2013 Jun 10 – Link
  10. Cho ML, Heo YJ, Park MK, Oh HJ, Park JS, Woo YJ, Ju JH, Park SH, Kim HY, Min JK. Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) attenuates collagen-induced arthritis. Immunol Lett. 2009 Jun 4;124(2):102-10. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2009.05.001. Epub 2009 May 14 – Link
  11. Solanki I, Parihar P, Mansuri ML, Parihar MS. Flavonoid-based therapies in the early management of neurodegenerative diseases. Adv Nutr. 2015;6(1):64–72. Published 2015 Jan 7. doi:10.3945/an.114.007500 – Link
  12. Liu Y1, 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 – Link
  13. Sarkaki A, et al. Improvement in Memory and Brain Long-term Potentiation Deficits Due to Permanent Hypoperfusion/Ischemia by Grape Seed Extract in Rats. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2013 Sep;16(9):1004-10 – Link
  14. Asha Devi S1, Sagar Chandrasekar BK, Manjula KR, Ishii N. Grape seed proanthocyanidin lowers brain oxidative stress in adult and middle-aged rats. Exp Gerontol. 2011 Nov;46(11):958-64. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Aug 16 – Link
  15. Ono K, Condron MM, Ho L, Wang J, Zhao W, Pasinetti GM, Teplow DB. Effects of grape seed-derived polyphenols on amyloid beta-protein self-assembly and cytotoxicity. J Biol Chem. 2008 Nov 21;283(47):32176-87. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M806154200. Epub 2008 Sep 24 – Link
  16. Calapai G, et al. A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Clinical Trial on Effects of a Vitis vinifera Extract on Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Oct 31;8:776. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00776. eCollection 2017 – Link
  17. Nuttall SL, Kendall MJ, Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P. An evaluation of the antioxidant activity of a standardized grape seed extract, Leucoselect. J Clin Pharm Ther. 1998 Oct;23(5):385-9 – Link
  18. Maffei Facino R, Carini M, Aldini G, Calloni MT, Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P. Sparing effect of procyanidins from Vitis vinifera on vitamin E: in vitro studies. Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):343-7 – Link
  19. Bagchi D1, Swaroop A2, Preuss HG3, Bagchi M. Free radical scavenging, antioxidant and cancer chemoprevention by grape seed proanthocyanidin: an overview. Mutat Res. 2014 Oct;768:69-73. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2014.04.004. Epub 2014 Apr 19 – Link
  20. Khoshbaten M1, Aliasgarzadeh A, Masnadi K, Farhang S, Tarzamani MK, Babaei H, Kiani J, Zaare M, Najafipoor F. Grape seed extract to improve liver function in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver change. Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul-Sep;16(3):194-7. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.65197 – Link

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