Grapeseed extract is derived from the seeds of grapes and is known for its numerous health benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants, including oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), which are believed to be responsible for many of its health-promoting effects. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of grapeseed extract and the scientific evidence supporting its use.
1. Cardiovascular Health
One of the most significant benefits of grapeseed extract is its ability to improve cardiovascular health. Several studies have shown that grapeseed extract can help reduce blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease. A review of 16 studies found that grapeseed extract was associated with a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels in individuals with metabolic syndrome (1). Another study found that taking 200-400 mg of grapeseed extract per day for eight weeks resulted in a significant decrease in blood pressure in individuals with pre-hypertension (2).
2. Skin Health
Grapeseed extract is also known for its skin health benefits. Due to its antioxidant properties, it can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and UV radiation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and inflammation associated with skin conditions such as eczema and acne. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that applying a cream containing grapeseed extract to the skin for six weeks improved skin elasticity and hydration (3).
3. Anti-Cancer Properties
Several studies have also suggested that grapeseed extract may have anti-cancer properties. One study found that grapeseed extract inhibited the growth of human colon cancer cells in a laboratory setting (4). Another study found that it inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells in mice (5). However, more research is needed to determine its potential effectiveness in humans.
4. Cognitive Function
Grapeseed extract may also have a positive effect on cognitive function. A study published in the Journal of Pineal Research found that taking 600 mg of grapeseed extract per day for six months improved memory recall and reaction time in healthy older adults (6). Another study found that it improved cognitive function in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (7).
5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Grapeseed extract has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation and prevent these conditions. One study found that taking 400 mg of grapeseed extract per day for six months significantly reduced markers of inflammation in individuals with metabolic syndrome (8).
1. Shidfar, F., Keshavarz, A., Hosseyni, S., & Ameri, A. (2016). The Effect of Grapeseed Extract on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 35(5), 391-404.
2. Kar, P., Laight, D., & Rooprai, H. K. (2009). Effects of grape seed extract in Type 2 diabetic subjects at high cardiovascular risk: a double blind randomized placebo controlled trial examining metabolic markers, vascular tone, inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin sensitivity. Diabetic Medicine, 26(5), 526-531.
3. Farris, P., Krutmann, J., Li, Y. H., McDaniel, D., Krol, Y., & Niemiec, T. (2014). A randomized,