Nutrition Made Simple

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT AND ITS PROPERTIES AND USES

July 30 2021

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT AND ITS PROPERTIES AND USES

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT AND ITS PROPERTIES AND USES

Grape seed extract is an extremely potent source of antioxidant polyphenols which we get from grape seeds. The specific polyphenols present in grape seed extract are known as proanthocyanidins which are the cause of the sensation of dry mouth which we get from drinking red wine or the juice of berries. Grape seed extracts have profound antioxidant properties that support the heart, brain and skin health. 

The main benefits of grape seed extract are lowering the blood pressure, protecting the brain, heart, blood vessels, liver and kidneys and promoting wound healing. Oxidative stress has been considered to be the underlying cause of a large number of health conditions. The presence of antioxidant properties in grape seed extract as it contains proanthocyanidins which build oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). The other components of grape seed extract which prevent oxidative damage include phenolic acids and flavonoids. The presence of these compounds in the grape seed extract exhibit properties such as protection from free radicals, relief from inflammation and allergies, fighting microbes  and protecting healthy cells from toxic effects of various chemicals and radiation.

The main uses of grape seed extract include:

  • In maintaining circulatory and vein health

Supplementing with grape seed extract daily in studies showed its activity of protecting the blood vessels against free radical damage by promoting the production of nitric oxide. Grape seed extract also reduces the risk of heart attack by lowering the inflammation and oxidative stress as it prevents the oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood vessels which can otherwise trigger atherosclerosis or plaque formation. Research shows the ability of grape seed extract in protecting the heart and blood vessels by inhibiting various processes such as LDL oxidation, clogging and hardening of the blood vessels, drug-induced damage, injury as a result of heart attack and lead poisoning. 

  • Blood pressure

Studies show that grape seed extract can reduce blood pressure which is markedly more prominent in people in the younger age group, obese patients and those suffering from metabolic disorders. 

  • Venous thrombosis and swelling

Deep vein thrombosis is a condition in which the blood clot from the legs can get lodged in the lungs can lead to a life-threatening situation called pulmonary embolism. Grape seed extract shows blood-thinning effects which are applied in lowering the risk of developing blood clots in patients with deep vein thrombosis especially in older women who are more prone to have the condition. Supplementing with grape seed extract also manifested a significant reduction in swelling even after prolonged sitting.

The effects of grape seed extract are still undergoing research on blood lipid levels and levels of a marker for inflammation- C reactive protein (CRP). Supplementing with grape seed extract also showed to enhance cognition and decrease the symptoms of stress and depression. These extracts also show protective benefits by preventing the damage of the brain cells from oxidative damage triggered by different types of toxins. 

  • Alzheimer’s disease

The main problem which occurs in Alzheimer’s disease is the age-related cognitive degeneration which happens as a result of protein mutations and free radical damage which occurs in the brain. The components of grape seed extract, polyphenols, reduced the manifestation of cognitive decline and memory loss. This extract also showed promise by lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the free radical damage in the hippocampus part of the brain, by raising the levels of antioxidants, by preventing protein mutations and by boosting cognition and memory.

  • Wound healing

In studies conducted on post-operative patients, the application of grape seed extract cream enhanced the process of wound healing by initiating the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), inhibiting oxidative damage and fighting against microbes. It also shows faster wound healing in women after cesarean section. 

  • Liver protection

In patients diagnosed with fatty liver syndrome, grape seed extract shows a drastic decrease in liver enzymes and reversal of fat accumulation. Because of its antioxidant properties, administration of grape seed extract shields the liver from potential damage caused by bile duct obstruction, heavy metals, acetaminophen and other hazardous chemicals such as aflatoxins which can even cause liver problems.

  • Kidney protection

Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, grape seed extract is known to enhance kidney function by lowering the markers of inflammation such as interleukin (IL-1B), tumour necrosis factor (TNF-a )and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1), by raising the levels of protective molecules like HDL, NO and cGMP, by boosting kidney function through a reduction in the levels of creatinine, urea and uric acid, by preventing the oxidation LDL and its accumulation.

  • Hair loss

The components of grape seed extract called procyanidins which are powerful antioxidants boost hair growth by stimulating hair follicles. 

  • Weight loss

Grape seed extract is thought to stimulate weight loss by blocking fat production and buildup in the liver, boosting fat burning and by lowering the levels of blood cholesterol and lipids.

  • Benefits for the skin

Excessive exposure to sunlight may lead to sunburns and skin damage. Studies show that application of grape seed extract before ultraviolet exposure limits damage and mutation in the cells of the skin. It also reduces the risk of ultraviolet radiation-induced skin problems by blocking oxidative damage and inflammation.

Supplementing with Alvizia alenglow glucosamine chondroitin rich in grape seed extract lightens the skin and reduces face spots. In combination with other antioxidants, grape seed extract shows marked improvement in skin complexion by getting rid of dark circles, blemishes and other skin imperfections.

  • Reproductive health

In some studies, grape seed extract prevents testicular damage which can occur as a result of chemotherapy, injury or exposure to toxic chemicals and also helps in recovering testosterone levels in the body. 

  • Diabetes

In clinical trials conducted on diabetic patients, grape seed extract lowered blood sugar, cholesterol and lipid levels while boosting insulin secretion and providing antioxidant support. It also protects from diabetic complications such as heart disease, bladder dysfunction, brain damage, diabetic neuropathy, lung impairment and diabetic nephropathy.

  • In conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, autoimmune inflammation and oxidative stress lead to bowel damage called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Application of grape seed extract in this condition is known to tighten the gut lining, inhibit inflammatory markers like TNFa and IL-6 and reduce oxidative stress and thus can be used as a complementary approach along with the standard treatment protocol.

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

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