The Little-Known Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

03 February, 2020
The health benefits of grape seed extract have been widely studied. While further evidence is still needed, today, it is recognized as a safe and healthy dietary supplement.
 

Over the last few years, grape seed extract has become a popular nutritional supplement, especially in countries like Australia, Korea, Japan and the US. The reason?

According to a study published in Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, it’s rich in phenolic compounds, which have important benefits for our health. Want to know more?

What are the benefits of grape seed extract?

First things first, it’s important to clarify that grape seed extract is not a substitute for medical treatment, and it’s not some kind of miracle cure. However, there is evidence to suggest that, when used as a supplement, it could help to improve your health in a number of different ways.

As with any other supplement, it’s important to consult a doctor to confirm whether or not it could be suitable for your particular case. Remember, in some cases, supplements can have the opposite of the desired effect. So, what are the benefits of grape seed extract?

Studies into the benefits of grape seed extract

To date, several investigations have found evidence to support the beneficial properties of grape seed extract. For example, a study published in Nutrition Journal confirmed that it has a high concentration of polyphenol proanthocyanidins, including catechin and epicatechin.

 

As well as being powerful antioxidants, these substances also act as anti-inflammatories, and help to reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. Meanwhile, an investigation published in the journal, Antioxidants, details some of the main benefits of this extract. Let’s take a look:

  • Grape seeds contain protein (11%), fiber (35%), minerals (3%) and water (7%). Their lipid content can vary from 7-20%.
  • They’re also rich sources of flavonoids, and contain monomers, dimers, trimers, oligomers and polymers.
  • They help to protect against free-radicals.
  • Grape seeds have antidiabetic properties.
  • They also display anti-plaque properties.
  • They help to regulate cholesterol levels.
  • As we mentioned earlier, grape seeds have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • They can help to reduce the risk of premature aging associated with oxidative damage.
  • The also have an antibacterial effect against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 

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Possible side effects

According to a meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials published in 2016, grape seed extract was safe and well-tolerated by humans in doses of around 300-800 mg per day for 8 – 16 weeks. However, recommended dosages vary from patient to patient.

 

Since evidence on the safety and efficacy of grape seed extract is still limited, this supplement should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Additionally, caution should be taken by those experiencing any kind of illness, or currently undergoing medical treatment.

Grape seed extract has been approved and recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s currently sold commercially as a dietary supplement.

However, it is not a substitute for medication or a healthy diet, nor should it be considered a primary course of treatment against disease. Use it with caution, and do not exceed the recommended dosage.

 
  • Rodríguez Montealegre, R., Romero Peces, R., Chacón Vozmediano, J. L., Martínez Gascueña, J., & García Romero, E. (2006). Phenolic compounds in skins and seeds of ten grape Vitis vinifera varieties grown in a warm climate. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis19(6–7), 687–693. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2005.05.003
  • Weseler, A. R., & Bast, A. (2017, January 19). Masquelier’s grape seed extract: from basic flavonoid research to a well-characterized food supplement with health benefits. Nutrition Journal. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-016-0218-1
  • Ma ZF, Zhang H. Phytochemical Constituents, Health Benefits, and Industrial Applications of Grape Seeds: A Mini-Review. Antioxidants (Basel). 2017;6(3):71. Published 2017 Sep 15. doi:10.3390/antiox6030071
  • Zhang H, Liu S, Li L, et al. The impact of grape seed extract treatment on blood pressure changes: A meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(33):e4247. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000004247