Research has long suggested that red wine has protective ingredients. These include antioxidants such as resveratrol, and certain polyphenols and tannins.
An important point in making red wine is that the fermenting ‘must’ – consists of juice, skins, AND seeds. As a result, the higher antioxidant value of red wine, is determined by the constituents extracted from skins AND seeds in addition to those present in the juice.
Proanthocyanidin, a compound found in the seeds of grapes, is said to be far more protective than red wine itself. (A shame – but true!)
Grape seed extract (GSE) is one of the best sources of many polyphenols, and this natural substance is one of the most widely noted sources of proanthocyanidins. Grape seed extract contains antioxidants that may prevent heart disease, brain damage, skin ageing, along with a host of other protective benefits.
Yes, the much-touted health benefits of red wine come from the presence of proanthocyanidins! Taking GSE as a supplement allows you get all the benefits of the of red wine without the hangover and damaging effects of too much alcohol consumption.
After reading this article, you’ll probably stop throwing away the seeds when eating grapes!
An even better choice – would be to include a supplement that contains Grape Seed Extract as part of your daily regimen. Many of our Community members swear by this practice and the positive impact it had had on their overal health and wellbeing.
How this by-product of winemaking could help YOU slow ageing, prevent illness and feel your best!
- About Grape Seed Extract
- 1. Can Help Your Heart
- 2. Could Reduce Oxidative Damage
- 3. May Improve Your Collagen Synthesis
- 4. Supports a Healthy Brain
- 5. Can Improve Kidney Function
- 6. Can Inhibit Infections
- 7. May Reduce Cancer Risk
- 8. May Protect Your Liver
- 9. Enhances Wound Healing & Skin Appearance
- Concluding Thoughts & Extra Tips
About Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract that can be taken as a supplement, and is made from the crushed seeds of grapes. It’s made by removing, drying, and pulverising the grape seeds.
Grape seed extract is rich in antioxidants, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). In fact, GSE is one of the best-known sources of proanthocyanidins. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28914789/
Taking grape seed extract (GSE) as a dietary supplement is a powerful way to boost your health by obtaining extra antioxidants not normally found in your diet.
Due to its high antioxidant content, GSE can help prevent disease and protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation – core drivers of many diseases.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28208630
1. Can Help Your Heart
Several studies have looked at the effects of GSE on high blood pressure.
A review of 16 studies in 810 people with high blood pressure or an elevated risk of it – found that taking GSE daily significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 6.08 mmHg and 2.8 mmHg, respectively. Those under the age of 50 with obesity or a metabolic disorder showed the greatest improvements.
Another study in 29 adults with high blood pressure found that taking GSE daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 5.6% and diastolic blood pressure by 4.7% after 6 weeks!https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26568249
Some studies suggest that GSE may improve blood flow and reduce risk of blood clots.
In an 8-week study in 17 healthy postmenopausal women, taking GSE daily had blood-thinning effects, potentially reducing the risk of blood clots.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17950783
An additional study in 8 healthy young women assessed the effects of a single 400mg dose of proanthocyanidin from GSE immediately followed by 6 hours of sitting. It was shown to reduce leg swelling and oedema by 70%, compared with not taking GSE.
In the same study, 8 other healthy young women who took a daily 133-mg dose of proanthocyanidins from GSE for 14 days experienced 40% less leg swelling after 6 hours of sitting.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22752876
Imagine the benefits for those who are stuck sitting a lot at work or in a seated position in vehicle or plane!
2. Could Reduce Oxidative Damage
Polyphenols are some of the most powerful antioxidants that science has discovered, and these substances protect the tissues throughout your body from the dangers of free radicals and oxidative damage.
Specifically, scientists have found that the antioxidants in grape seed extract can protect the tissues in your heart, brain, and other organs.
GSE has an antioxidant effect and this may lower the risk of certain cancers.
The oxidation of LDL cholesterol significantly increases this risk and is considered to play a central role in atherosclerosis.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258672/
GSE supplements have been found to reduce LDL oxidation in several animal studies and some research in humans shows similar results.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17616006
When 8 healthy people ate a high fat meal, taking 300 mg of GSE inhibited the oxidation of fats in the blood, compared with a 150% increase seen in those who did not take GSE.
In another study, 61 healthy adults saw a 13.9% reduction in oxidized LDL after taking 400 mg of GSE. Additionally, a study in 87 people undergoing heart surgery found that taking 400 mg of GSE the day before surgery significantly reduced oxidative stress. Therefore, GSE likely protected against further heart damage.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28074795
3. May Improve Your Collagen Synthesis
Increasing flavonoid consumption may improve collagen synthesis.
Proanthocyanidin in GSE may protect the blood vessels and cardiovascular system, by stopping the breakdown of collagen. This reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, and a heart attack or stroke.
As a rich source of flavonoids, GSE may thus help increase your collagen levels and even bone density and strength.
Animal studies have found that adding GSE to either a low calcium, standard, or high calcium diet can increase bone density, mineral content, and bone strength.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in severe inflammation and the destruction of bone and joints. Animal studies have shown that GSE may suppress bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis.
GSE also significantly reduced pain, bony spurs, and joint damage in osteoarthritic mice, improving collagen levels and reducing cartilage loss.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19446580
Many of our Community members have experienced these benefits and this is why we include Grape Seed Extract in our preventative supplemental regimens.
4. Supports a Healthy Brain
A wide array of studies provide evidence that GSE has antioxidant properties that improve cognition and prevent memory loss.
Since neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by oxidative stress and inflammation, the flavonoids in GSE might protect your brain from age-related brain diseases.
Flavonoids have the great combination action of being both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This is thought to delay or reduce the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4288281
One of the components of GSE is gallic acid, which animal and lab studies have shown can inhibit the formation of fibrils by beta-amyloid peptides.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24157371 Clusters of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Animal studies have found that GSE may prevent memory loss, improve cognitive status and brain antioxidant levels, and reduce brain lesions and amyloid clusters.
One 12-week study in 111 healthy older adults found that taking GSE daily improved attention, language, and both immediate and delayed memory.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29163162
5. Can Improve Kidney Function
Your kidneys are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage. Animal studies have shown that GSE may reduce kidney damage and improve function by reducing oxidative stress and inflammatory damage.
In one study, 23 people diagnosed with chronic renal failure were given 2 GSE daily for 6 months and then compared with a placebo group. Urinary protein decreased by 3% and kidney filtration improved by 9%. This means that the kidneys of those in the test group were much better able to filter urine than the kidneys of those in the placebo group.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27822171
Some of our Community members have seen tremendous improvement in kidney function on our wellness programs. Some of this benefit may be attributed to the benefits of GSE in the product formulas we utilise.
6. Can Inhibit Infections
GSE displays promising antibacterial and antifungal properties. Studies have shown that GSE inhibits the growth of common food-borne bacteria, including Campylobacter and E. coli, both of which are often responsible for severe food poisoning and abdominal upset.
In lab studies, GSE has been found to inhibit 43 strains of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20519844
Candida is a common yeast-like fungus that can sometimes result in candida overgrowth, or thrush. GSE is widely used in traditional medicine as a remedy for candida.
In one study, mice with vaginal candidiasis were given an intravaginal GSE solution every 2 days for 8 days. The infection was inhibited after 5 days and gone after 8!https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4017847/
This backs up the findings of of our Community members, who have successfully used the Antioxidant blend we use as a vaginal suppository with much success for candida infections (along with dietary and supplement changes).
7. May Reduce Cancer Risk
The causes of cancer are complex, however a high intake of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, is associated with a reduced risk of some cancers.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24751946
The antioxidant activity of GSE has shown potential to inhibit human breast, lung, gastric, oral squamous cell, liver, prostate, and pancreatic cell lines in lab settings.
In animal studies, GSE has been shown to enhance the effect of different types of chemotherapy.
GSE appears to protect against oxidative stress and liver toxicity while targeting chemotherapy action on the cancerous cells.
A review of 41 animal studies found that either GSE or proanthocyanidins reduced cancer-induced toxicity and damage in all but one of the studies.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25880972
8. May Protect Your Liver
Your liver plays an important role in detoxifying harmful substances introduced to your body through drugs, viral infections, pollutants, alcohol, and more. GSE appears to have a protective effect on your liver.
In test-tube studies, GSE reduced inflammation, recycled antioxidants, and protected against free radical damage during toxin exposure.
The liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a key indicator of liver toxicity, meaning that its levels rise when the liver has sustained damage.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24751946
In one study, 15 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and subsequent high ALT levels were given GSE for 3 months. Liver enzymes were monitored monthly, and results were compared with taking 2 grams of vitamin C per day.
After 3 months, the GSE group experienced a 46% reduction in ALT, while the vitamin C group showed little change.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20616415
9. Enhances Wound Healing & Skin Appearance
Grape seed extract appears to cause powerful skin benefits. This natural substance improves sebum production, skin appearance, and skin elasticity. All these effects would reduce the symptoms of skin conditions like acne and rosacea, and GSE may even reduce the effects of ageing.
This extract also appears to increase collagen levels throughout your body, which benefits your skin health. The more collagen you have in your skin, the plumper it will look, and the better it will feel.
Several animal studies have found GSE can aid wound healing and human studies show promise as well.
In one such study, 35 healthy adults who had undergone minor surgery were given either a 2% GSE cream or placebo. Those using the GSE cream experienced full wound healing after 8 days, while the placebo group took 14 days to heal.
These results are most likely due to high levels of proanthocyanidins in GSE triggering the release of growth factors in the skin.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25948437
In another 8-week study in 110 healthy young men, a 2% GSE cream improved skin appearance, elasticity, and sebum content, which can help reduce the signs of ageing.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25402429
GSE creams appear to increase growth factors in your skin. As such, they may aid wound healing and help reduce the signs of skin ageing.
Although we do not use a GSE cream – countless members of our Community have experienced the benefits of crushing the grape seed extract supplements we use – with beneficial effects on would healing.
Concluding Thoughts & Extra Tips
The antioxidants in GSE may help alleviate the oxidative stress, inflammation, and tissue damage that can occur alongside chronic diseases.
By supplementing with GSE, you’ll potentially reap the benefits of better heart, brain, kidney, liver, and skin health.
GSE may lower blood pressure, keep your blood healthy, and increase blood flow, so caution is advised for those taking blood-thinning or blood pressure medications. Routine doctor visits will pick up the changes, and it’s not uncommon for your doctor to reduce you medication based on the favourable changes in your health.
It’s also worth noting that since it may improve liver function and drug metabolism and excretion – you may need your Doctor to adjust any medication you might be taking.
GSE is generally considered safe.
Here in the Savvy Team, we include Grape Seed Extract as part of many of our Wellness Action Plans, such as ‘The Savvy 90’, The ‘Healthy Heart Challenge’, and our Detox Protocol, among others.
Our Community members swear by the benefits of Grape Seed Extract taken daily, and we’re sure you’ll find benefit as well!
Have questions? Want to know what we suggest?
If you’d like to try the blend we suggest, it is available in the Australia / New Zealand region and we will hook you up with a $10 credit towards your first order. If you have a Savvy Team Wellness Guide already – please ask them.
Request a free ‘How Can We Help’ Discovery Session, and one of our Wellness Guides will help you uncover 3 key action areas for you to reach the next level of wellness!
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