Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

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  1. Overview:

    Grape seed extract, as the term suggests, is a natural chemical extract made from the seeds of grapes. Most often, the seeds left over from the commercial production of wine or juice are used; harvested, ground, and extracted.

    Especially high in particular chemical compounds science terms OPC’s (oligomeric proanthocyanidins), grape seed extract increases the strength of weakened blood vessels, and is also one of the most potent antioxidants known. And in terms of cost-efficiency, grape seed extract is one of the least expensive ways to get your daily dose of these highly beneficial compounds.

    Additionally, grape seed extract contains a vast array of health-supporting ingredients including substantial amounts protein, lipids, carbohydrates, and polyphenols (which come mainly in the form of flavonoids, also known as bioflavonoids).

    ‘Flavonoids” are a class of plant chemicals known for their highly potent antioxidant qualities; their capability to protect the body against oxidative, “free radical” damage. And when you consider that the antioxidant power of polyphenols is 20 times more powerful than vitamin E, and 50 times greater than vitamin C, you can image the potential curative and preventative qualities grape seed extract provides.

    But, what does this mean for those who use grape seed extract?

    What are the health benefits of grape seed extract?

    As scientific studies have shown, few natural nutrients can boast as many potential benefits that grape seed extract can. Used pharmaceutically in Europe for decades, here are a few of its known uses:

    > Antioxidant protection

    > Cardio-protection (reduces the risk of arteriosclerosis)

    > Maintain healthy vascular strength

    > Maintain healthy capillary strength

    > Treat diabetes conditions (neuropathy, capillary weakness, retinopathy)

    > Reduce cancer risk (grape seed extracts have anti-cancer activities and can protect chromosomes)

    > Reduce edema and inflammation

    > Eye health

    > Improve the body’s cardiovascular and gastric systems

    > Treat ADD/ADHD

    > Help prevent the build up of bacteria in the body

    > And grape seed extract may also help heal wounds and injuries, and even prevent wrinkles


    The Science:

    > Researchers at University of Alabama at Birmingham found that grape seed extract is “chemo-preventive” regarding breast cancer. (Can inhibit the creation of new cancer cells.)

    > Japanese researchers have found that grape seed extract can prevent H(2)O(2)-induced chromosomal damage–thus preventing cancer cells from developing in the first place.

    > Researcher N. Llopiz from Spain showed that the flavanols found in grape seed extract are effective in preventing DNA lesions in liver cells–thus preventing cancerous cellular mutation.

    > Researchers at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UC), Denver, found that grape seed extract bolsters the effects of the cancer drug doxorubicin in treating breast cancer. They also found it beneficial as an “antiantigenic” agent (preventing new growth) regarding blood vessels–thus thwarting new cancer growth.

    > Likewise, many studies, including one conducted at Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, CA, showed that "procyanidin B dimers" found in red wine and grape seed extract suppress estrogen production, thus inhibiting hormone-dependant cancer tumors.

    > Grape seed extract has also been shown to be a powerful weapon against prostate cancer. As the same research team from UC, Denver, discovered, grape seed extract possesses powerful in vivo (within the living) anticancer agents that prevent, protect, and fight prostate cancer.

    > Researchers from Japan found that grape seed extract is able to inhibit blood-clot formation in the carotid artery, thus helping to prevent atherosclerosis.

    > Likewise, scientists at Universite Montpellier II, France, found grape seed extracts prevent the development of aortic atherosclerosis by as much as 68%.

    > A research group at Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, demonstrated that grape seed extract alone is able to drive vascular endothelial growth (the layer of flat cells lining the closed spaces of the body such as the inside of blood vessels, heart, and body cavities). Topical application of grape seed extract accelerates wound closure and healing.

    > Japanese researchers found that grape seed extract prevents the progression of eye cataract formation by its antioxidative action.

    > Initially discovered in 1936 by Professor Jacques Masquelier, one particular type of phenol found in grape seed extract called “procyanidin” apparently protects the body from premature ageing. Procyanidins bond with collagen — the most abundant protein in the body and a key component of skin, gums, bones, teeth, hair and body tissues — thus promoting cell health and skin elasticity, making it appear more youthful.

    Additionally, procyanidins help protect the body from sun damage, which can also cause premature ageing of the skin. The procyanidins present in grape seed extract are known to exert anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and anti-allergic activities, thus preventing skin aging. They also inhibit the damaging effects of UV radiation from sunlight.

    But even more important to your body than just physical appearance, procyanidins can also improve your vision, the flexibility of your joints, the health of your arteries and body tissues (such as the heart), and also strengthen capilliaries and veins to improve your circulatory system. (This is important considering that your circulatory system directly affects the condition of your heart.)


    Additional Findings:

    > Grape seed extract has been shown to have anti-hyperglycemic effects on diabetes. The way it affects the activities of insulin-sensitive cell lines is very similar to that of insulin.

    > Grape seed extract may be useful in weight management or obesity treatments. Preliminary studies show that grape seed extract inhibits activity of fat-metabolizing enzymes, suggesting it might be useful as a treatment to limit dietary fat absorption and the accumulation of body fat.

    > Some researchers now refer to the chemical compounds found in grape seed extract as “nature’s biological response modifiers” for their potential to help the body fight viruses, allergens, and carcinogens. They exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-cancerous, and anti-microbial activity that could benefit any number of health conditions.

    > It seems that grape seed extract delays the oxidation of low density lipoproteins, the fats that are responsible for “bad cholesterol.” As science shows, the longer it takes LDL to oxidize, the less likely it is to start clogging your veins and arteries. (People who drink purple grape juice can show an increase in oxidation lag time of 27%.)

    > As numerous studies have already shown, grape seed extract is a powerful anti-carcinogenic and/or anti-tumor-promoting agent. New studies show it may have particular use against colorectal cancer, with scientists now devoting a fair amount of new research to this important area of study.

    > Another chemical found in grape seed extract, primarily in the skin and seeds of grapes (particularly in muscadine grapes), appears to provide a number of additional health benefits not previously recognized including the ability to help the brain work more efficiently. Studies have shown that this chemical is the only antioxidant known that is able to penetrate the brain barrier; enabling the extract to protect the brain and nerve tissues. It also appears to improve your mental state in terms of alertness, and may even prevent senility.

    > Studies are currently being conducted to affirm that grape seed extract may prevent arteries from becoming covered in plaque.

    > Recent lab experiments have shown that grape seed extract stimulates leukemia cells to “self-destruct.” Within 24 hours, 76% of leukemia cells exposed to the extract were killed off, while healthy cells were left unharmed.


    So, still wondering about the health benefits of grape seed extract?


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