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5 Benefits and Side Effects of Grape Seed (4 Contraindications To Be Noted)[Updated Feb/2023]

Since ancient Greece, grapes, grape leaves and sap have been used to promote health. Grape seed extract was developed in the 1970s to treat a variety of diseases, including venous insufficiency, promoting wound healing, and reducing inflammation.

What is grape seed extract?

Grape seed extract mainly refers to preanthocyanidin OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes), which is a natural plant metabolite widely found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and flowers.

In addition to free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities, proanthocyanidins also have antibacterial, antiviral, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, vasodilation; Inhibits lipid peroxidation, platelet aggregation, capillary permeability and fragility

Common natural foods rich in proanthocyanidins include: cranberrypine barkresveratrolcocoa, etc

How do you eat grape seed capsules?

Grape seed OPC extract is available as a dietary supplement in liquid form, tablets, or capsules. Supplements typically contain 50 to 100 mg of extract.

The effective dose of grape seed OPC extract has not been determined, the dose used in the study is between 100-300 mg per day, and the highest safe dose is also to be confirmed

What are the proven benefits of grape seed?

  1. Beneficial blood pressure regulation

High blood pressure is a chronic condition in which blood pressure rises. It significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and renal insufficiency and is therefore the leading cause of death worldwide, with an overall prevalence of hypertension in adults over 25 years of age at around 40%.

Although high blood pressure is usually not symptomatic, people with severely elevated blood pressure may suffer from headache, dizziness, dizziness, or syncope.

A meta-analysis (16 randomized controlled studies with 810 participants) noted that grape seed extract had a beneficial effect on blood pressure, especially in young or obese subjects and in patients with metabolic diseases. Note 1

The mechanism behind it may be related to the ability of polyphenols in grape seed to prevent free radical damage to cells, endothelial-dependent relaxation response, and enhance nitric oxide biological activity.

*Conclusion: Oral administration of grape seed extract can have a positive effect on blood pressure regulation, but due to heterogeneity and small sample size, more studies are needed to confirm it

  1. Good for non-alcoholic fatty liver

Nonalcoholic fatty liver mainly defines the accumulation of triglycerides in liver cells, the content of which exceeds 5% of liver weight, and occurs in the state of not drinking.

It ranges from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with varying degrees of fibrosis, which can progress to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease, and even hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Common causative factors for fatty liver are obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, including dyslipidemia and hypertension

A double-blind controlled study (3 months, 30 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) showed that the use of grape seed extract improved liver function measures: aspartate transaminase (AST) and reduced the level of steatosis (measured by ultrasound) compared with the control group using vitamin C. Note 2

*Conclusion: Oral grape seed extract may have a positive benefit in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, but more large randomized controlled trials are needed

  1. Good for chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is a major health problem with an increasing prevalence worldwide, defined as glomerular filtration rate less than 3 mL/min/60.1 m73 (with or without renal damage) for 2 consecutive months, resulting in irreversible end-stage renal disease.

Regardless of the stage, possible complications of chronic kidney disease include drug toxicity, metabolic and endocrine disorders, anemia, bone loss, cardiovascular disease, and infection, weakness, and cognitive impairment.

The main risk factors for chronic kidney disease are age, sex, race and ethnicity, family history, drug use, smoking, socioeconomic status, hypertension, and diabetes.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (6 months, 33 patients with chronic kidney disease) found that oral grape seed extract increased antioxidant status, improved inflammatory CRP, triglyceridemia, and antagonism and thrombocytopenia in addition to improving glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and proteinuria. Note 3

*Conclusion: Oral grape seed extract may have a positive effect on the improvement of chronic kidney disease, but it is limited by small samples and needs to be supported by more studies

  1. Improve menopausal disorders

Menopause is a period of changes in psychophysiological functions and social functioning caused by decreased ovarian hormone activity and estrogen levels in women, and about 85% of menopausal women have at least one menopausal symptom.

Early menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, sweating, sleep disturbances, psychological changes, and menstrual disturbances, and in late menopause, urogenital atrophic changes and associated sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and musculoarticular disorders may also occur.

An 8-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 96 women aged 40 to 60 years with menopausal symptoms noted that oral grape seed extract improved menopausal symptoms (including hot flashes, anxiety, and insomnia), increased muscle mass, and lowered blood pressure (average 5 mm Hg). Note 4

*Conclusion: Grape seed extract can help improve physical and psychological symptoms of menopause, increase muscle mass, and lower blood pressure, but it is limited by small sample trees and short duration, and more research is needed

  1. Reduce the adverse effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy

Chemotherapy is an important part of many cancer treatments and is thought to reduce cancer recurrence, improve patient survival, and is one of the largest areas of drug development.

However, the nature of chemotherapy means that it damages healthy cells as well as cancer cells, leading to side effects.

The most common side effects during and after chemotherapy include nausea/vomiting, thrombocytopenia, mouth ulcers, and fatigue.

A Systematic Review (41 in vitro and animal studies) suggests that either grape seed proanthocyanidins or grape seed extract can help reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Note 5

Doxorubicin was the most common drug, followed by platinum compounds (cisplatin), methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, idarubicin, cyclophosphamide.

*Conclusion: Grape seed extract may improve the cytotoxic effects of chemoradiotherapy on normal cells or tissues, but more human studies are needed to confirm it

Are there any side effects of grape seed extraction?

Grape seed extract is considered safe when taken in moderation, but possible side effects include: sore throat, headache, stomach pain, itchy scalp, dizziness, nausea.

Safety precautions

1. Do not use if you have been allergic to grape-related food, it may cause allergic reactions, and the symptoms may include: swelling of the face or hands, swelling or tingling of the mouth or throat, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, urticaria or rash, if these symptoms occur, seek medical assistance immediately

2. Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing mother, liver and kidney function (due to unknown safety)

3. Grape seed extract may have anticoagulant or blood-thinning effects, so taking anticoagulants (warfarin, clopidogrel, aspirin), poor blood clotting, or two weeks before surgery may increase the risk of bleeding

4. If you have been allergic to the drug or suffer from any medical condition, please confirm with your doctor before use to ensure safety

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