What is Grape Seed Extract (Vitis vinifera)?
Grape seed extract is one of the leading sources of proanthocyanidin. Proanthocyanidin is a bioflavonoid
complex and antioxidant extracted from wine grape seeds (Vitis vinifera). Proanthocyanidin contains
procyanidin, a flavonoid made up of catechin and epicatechin antioxidants. Foods and beverages that cause a
mouth-puckering and astringent sensation contain high levels of procyanidins.
Proanthocyanidins also have anti-inflammatory properties and promote circulation and wound healing. It’s also
the primary polyphenol found in red wine and might be why red wine supports heart health. However, most of
grape seed extract’s benefits relate to its high antioxidant levels. Grape seed extract also contains
tannins, much like two similar antioxidants: resveratrol and green tea catechins (EGCG).
Between the two, its mechanism of action is more closely related to green tea catechins, and the two share a
similar bioavailability. Like grape seed extract, green tea extract contains high levels of catechins.
PureBulk’s Grape Seed Extract powder is standardized to contain at least 95% proanthocyanidins.
Potential Grape Seed Extract Benefits
Grape Seed Extract and Heart Health
Grape seed extract may support heart health in a couple of ways. Some studies show it helps improve blood
flow and circulation. Better circulation reduced leg swelling in participants. It also helped lower heart
rate in a study examining grape seed extract’s effects on cardiovascular risk markers. It also helps reduce
LDL cholesterol oxidation and may reduce fat buildup in the arteries. One study examined participants’ fat
oxidation following a high-fat meal. The placebo group experienced a 150% increase in oxidation compared to
those taking grape seed extract. Another study noted a 13.9% decrease in oxidized LDL cholesterol after
participants took grape seed extract.
Grape Seed Extract as an Antioxidant
The polyphenols and flavonoids native to Vitis vinifera grape seeds are effective free radical
scavengers. While free radicals are a normal part of cell regulation and signaling, an overaccumulation can
disrupt normal cell function, cause oxidative stress, and contribute to cellular degeneration. Prolonged
oxidative stress promotes several disease states and causes rapid aging. Grape seed extract is a potent
antioxidant that combats oxidative stress and damage. It has higher antioxidant activity than many other
popular antioxidants, including vitamin
C and vitamin E.
Grape Seed Extract and Inflammation
Much like free radicals, inflammation is a normal part of cell functioning. It plays an important role in
recovery and healing following an injury, as inflammation can protect cells from pathogens while
facilitating the removal of damaged cells. However, long-term inflammation can lead to or worsen chronic
health conditions. Grape seed flavonoids and proanthocyanidins help combat prolonged inflammation by
scavenging free radicals, reducing fat oxidation, and inhibiting pro-inflammatory proteins. Grape seed
polyphenols also help suppress the release of histamine, a compound that triggers inflammatory allergic
responses. Its anti-inflammatory properties may support healthy joints, cognitive function, kidney function,
and liver function.
Proanthocyanidin and Pine Bark Extract
extract is another rich source of
proanthocyanidin. It has similar properties to grape seed extract.
Grape Seed Extract for Wound Healing and Skin Aesthetics
Grape seed extract has antifungal and antibacterial properties that may protect the body against some
bacteria and yeast growth. It expedites wound healing as well. One study found that adults given a grape
seed extract cream to use after surgery healed after eight days, whereas the placebo group took a full two
weeks to heal. Researchers believe this effect is due to the high levels of proanthocyanidins in grape seed
extract. They trigger endothelial growth factor in the skin, promoting skin contracture and closure for
Grape seed extract may also improve the appearance of skin and reduce the signs of aging. One study noted
that participants using a grape seed extract cream experienced less sebum production and improved skin
elasticity. Additional research shows that grape seed extract bonds with collagen and promotes collagen
synthesis to protect the skin from aging prematurely. An in vitro study noted that the extract protected
skin from oxidative damage caused by UVB rays.
Grape Seed Extract and Joint Health
Collagen synthesis is also crucial for joint health. An animal study noted that grape seed extract boosted
collagen levels while inhibiting cartilage loss. Inflammation also plays a role in joint pain. Grape seed
extract helps preserve bone density by inhibiting the destructive effects of inflammation. It may improve
bone strength, too. Animal studies found that grape seed extract enhances bone strength, density, and
Grape Seed Extract Side Effects
Most individuals tolerate grape seed extract with minimal side effects. Grape seed extract may interact with
certain medications, including blood thinners or blood pressure medication. Consult with a physician before
taking any new supplements.
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