Grape seed extract benefits : a powerful antioxidant
Before taking a look at the grape seed extract benefits let's review what it is. Grape seed is typically an extract from red grapes and is known for its high flavonoid content. Flavonoids are strong antioxidants that protect healthy DNA from damaging free radicals. Antioxidants are shown to protect against the formation of age-related macular degeneration, cancer, and heart disease.
The French, despite their high fat intake, surprisingly have a low occurrence of heart disease. Researchers have linked this “French Paradox” to a high consumption of red wine, which is processed from red grapes. There are similar flavonoid contents in red wine as there are in grape seed extract. Researchers have also discovered that grape seed is a more potent antioxidant than vitamins C and E.
Pycnogenol is similar in function to grape seed extract, but it is derived from the bark of the French Maritime Pine tree. It has the same powerful flavonoid antioxidant protection and can also protect against age-related macular degeneration, cancer, and heart disease.
Grape seed extract benefits
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Protects the cardiovascular system from atherosclerosis (hardened arteries)
- Decreases the risk of cancer
- Makes blood vessels strong
- Helps decrease swelling due to water retention
- Supports healthy eyes (reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts)
Evidence for Grape seed extract benefits
The majority of studies on grape seed extract benefits (GSE)have been done in test tubes and on animals. However, the results of these studies have been remarkable. For example, one laboratory study looked at the cancer-fighting effects of GSE in breast and lung cancer tissue. The study showed that GSE destroyed the cancer cells but preserved the healthy cells. But because these effects have not been studies in human clinical trials, the results cannot be applied to humans.
Another laboratory study looked at the antioxidant effects of GSE and vitamins C and E on cell damage due to tobacco smoking. The results showed that vitamins C and E reduced the cell damage by 10-85%, but GSE was 2-5 times more effective than vitamins C and E. With all three antioxidants combined, the cell damage was reduced even more.
In an animal study, rabbits were fed a high cholesterol diet with and without GSE supplementation. The study found that GSE had no effect on cholesterol levels in the rabbits, but the blood vessel damage caused by the high cholesterol was greatly reduced in the rabbits given the GSE. This slowed the progression of atherosclerosis, caused by plaque build-up in the artery.
In one of the few human studies on grape seed extract benefits, subjects taking 300mg of GSE per day for 5 days had a significant improvement in their total blood antioxidant capacity. This means that their blood was able to protect against DNA damage caused by oxidation.
Other documented studies have shown that 1-2 glasses of red wine per day can decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers.
Our personal suggestion for a health supplement combining the grape seed extract benefits with other nutrients to maximize efficacy and results
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