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Please see individual product pages for more information and any state restrictions. 10 Benefits of Grape Seed Extract, Based on Science. Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement made by removing, drying, and pulverizing the bitter-tasting seeds of grapes. Grape seeds are rich in antioxidants, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). In fact, GSE is one of the best-known sources of proanthocyanidins ( 1 , 2 ). Due to its high antioxidant content, GSE can help prevent disease and protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation ( 3 ). Note that grape seed extract and grapefruit seed extract are both marketed as supplements and abbreviated by the acronym GSE.
Here are 10 health benefits of grape seed extract, all based on science. Several studies have researched the effects of GSE on high blood pressure. A review of 16 studies in 810 people with high blood pressure or an elevated risk of it found that taking 100–2,000 mg of GSE daily significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom number) by an average of 6.08 mmHg and 2.8 mmHg, respectively. Those under the age of 50 with obesity or a metabolic disorder showed the greatest improvements. The most promising results came from lower doses of 100–800 mg daily for 8–16 weeks, rather than a single dose of 800 mg or more ( 4 ). Another study in 29 adults with high blood pressure found that taking 300 mg of GSE daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 5.6% and diastolic blood pressure by 4.7% after 6 weeks ( 5 ). Summary GSE may help reduce blood pressure, particularly in young to middle-aged people and those who have excess weight. Some studies suggest that GSE may improve blood flow. In an 8-week study in 17 healthy postmenopausal women, taking 400 mg of GSE had blood-thinning effects, potentially reducing the risk of blood clots ( 6 ). An additional study in 8 healthy young women assessed the effects of a single 400-mg dose of proanthocyanidin from GSE immediately followed by 6 hours of sitting. It was shown to reduce leg swelling and edema by 70%, compared with not taking GSE. In the same study, 8 other healthy young women who took a daily 133-mg dose of proanthocyanidins from GSE for 14 days experienced 40% less leg swelling after 6 hours of sitting ( 7 ). Summary GSE has been shown to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clotting, which may benefit those with circulatory problems. An elevated blood level of LDL (bad) cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart disease. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol significantly increases this risk and plays a central role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty plaque in your arteries ( 8 ). GSE supplements have been found to reduce LDL oxidation triggered by high fat diets in several animal studies ( 9 , 10 , 11 ). Some research in humans shows similar results ( 12 , 13 ). When 8 healthy people ate a high fat meal, taking 300 mg of GSE inhibited the oxidation of fats in the blood, compared with a 150% increase seen in those who did not take GSE ( 14 ). In another study, 61 healthy adults saw a 13.9% reduction in oxidized LDL after taking 400 mg of GSE. However, a similar study was unable to replicate these results ( 5 , 12 ).
Additionally, a study in 87 people undergoing heart surgery found that taking 400 mg of GSE the day before surgery significantly reduced oxidative stress. Therefore, GSE likely protected against further heart damage ( 15 ). Summary GSE may help reduce your risk of heart disease by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reducing oxidation to heart tissue during times of stress.
Increasing flavonoid consumption may improve collagen synthesis and bone formation. As a rich source of flavonoids, GSE may thus help increase your bone density and strength. In fact, animal studies have found that adding GSE to either a low calcium, standard, or high calcium diet can increase bone density, mineral content, and bone strength ( 16 , 17 ). Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in severe inflammation and the destruction of bone and joints. Animal studies have shown that GSE may suppress bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis ( 18 , 19 , 20 ).