Grape seed extract is rich in antioxidants such as phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids and is one of the best known sources of oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). Due to this, grape seed has the ability to help protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage and inflammation, as well as prevent disease.
The extract is formed by removing the seeds from the fruit, then drying and pulverising them.
Supports heart health
High bad (LDL) cholesterol is known to be a risk factor for heart disease and oxidised LDL cholesterol increases this risk further, playing a role in the build-up of fatty plaque in the arteries – also known as atherosclerosis.
Various studies have found supplementing with grape seed extract can reduce the oxidation of LDL. One study showed after eight healthy people ate a meal high in fat, supplementing with grape seed extract prevented the oxidation of fats in the blood whereas an increase of 150% was see in those that did not supplement with the extract. Other research found people who took grape seed extract before heart surgery found it significantly reduced oxidative stress, meaning it could protect against further heart damage.
Blood pressure and blood flow
Various studies have researched the effects of grape seed extract on high blood pressure, with promising conclusions. These studies found that when taking the extract, those with high blood pressure saw a significant reduction, with those over that age of 50 with obesity showing the most improvement.
There are also studies to suggest that grape seed extract could improve blood flow. One study of postmenopausal women found that the extract had blood-thinning effects, which could potentially reduce the risk of blood clots.
Supports brain health
The combination of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids in grape seed extract is thought to delay or reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. One animal study found that it may prevent memory loss and improve cognitive status, by preventing the formation of fibrils by beta-amyloid peptides.