Grape Seed is as the name implies, taken from the small seeds of red grapes — the same grapes that are used to make red wine.
While still relatively unknown in the US, it has long been used in Europe for its tremendous health benefits. Grape-seed extract is rich in phytochemicals and flavonoids that are rich in antioxidant properties.
In fact, nutritional rsearchers claim its antioxidant activity is 36 to 44% times stronger than vitamin E and Beta Carotene, and 12 to 19% stronger than Vitamin C.
The most potent flavonoids in grape seed extract are oligomeric procyanidolic (proanthocyanidins or OPCs), which are responsible for its potent antioxidant action.
This antioxidant capability is not the only health benefit of grape seed extract. Let’s go over those now.
Benefits of Grape Seed
Before we get into the more specific benefits of the grape seed, let’s discuss why its antioxidant capabilities is so important. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, molecules scavenge stealing the electron of stable molecules and when the attacked molecule loses its electron, it too becomes a free radical.
Free radicals contribute to aging and disease and that is where antioxidants like Grape Seed Extract have tremendous importance.
Antioxidants are either water soluble or fat soluble. Vitamin E, for example, is a fat soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C, however, is a water-soluble antioxidant acting primarily in cellular fluids.
Grape seed extract is actually an antioxidant that can cross the blood-brain barrier and even protect delicate brain cells from free radicals.
The other benefits of Grape Seed Extract are:
- When used in skin cream, it helps to maintain skin elasticity (many European skin creams have the extract in it
- Helps prevent heart disease as studies suggest it helps prevent plaque build up on arterial walls.
- Is an anticoagulant, thinning the blood and thus helps to stabilize blood pressure.
- Actually can increase the good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce triglycerides (fats) in the blood.
- Limits fibromylagia damage and helps protect stressed muscle cells from damage (something also of interest to athletes like bodybuilders).
- Helps fight cancers of the lung, colon, skin, prostate, breast, and stomach.
- As it is a natural antihistamine, it can help lessen allergy symptoms
- In the computer age where eye strain is so prevalent, it can ease eye strain symptoms, but also help slow macular degeneration and cataract growth.
As you can see grape seed is a formidable nutrient or substance capable of providing many health benefits.
Grape Seed Extract Guidelines
Doctors recommend taking it religiously to derive its benefits as the 30% of the PCOs remain in the body 24 hours after it’s taken. All in all, it appears to be a very safe supplement.
No toxic effects have been reported. Before taking any new supplement, though, please cosult with your doctor first — especially pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Choosing Quality Grape Seed
There are a couple of things to look for when choosing a good grape-seed extract supplement. Look for:
- Doctors recommend only using standardized extracts as this is what retains and preserves the active ingredients, which is where the therapeutic benefits reside. Further, doctors/herbalists recommend only using grape seed extract that is standardized to have 92% to 95% PCOs.
- Ideally, make sure the supplement does not contain any fillers or additives such as sucrose (sugar), starch, gluten, silica (sand) or any other artificial colors, dyes, or flavors.
I’ve found a company that meets the above criteria. A New Zealand company we came across in our research offers GMP compliant products. Their memory supplement product not only has Grape Seed Extract, but Alpha Lipoic Acid, Quercetin, Resveratrol, SAMe, Gotu Kola, Passion Flower, Green Tea concentrate, and Ginkgo Biloba among other superstar antioxidants and health-giving nutrients.
This memory supplement is a scientifically formulated containing a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, trace and specialty minerals, herbal extracts, and nutrient-rich enzymes.
Yours in health,