Grapes and Grape Seed Extract Benefits, Side Effects, Reviews and Facts

Grapes and Grape Seed Extract Benefits, Side Effects, Reviews and Facts

Grapes (Vitis vinifera) have been heralded for their medicinal and nutritional value for thousands of years. Egyptians ate grapes a very long time back, and several ancient Greek philosophers spoke about the healing power of grapes -- usually in the form of wine. European folk healers made an ointment from the sap of grapevines to treat skin and eye diseases. Grape leaves were used to stop bleeding, inflammation, and pain, such as the kind brought on by hemorrhoids. Unripe grapes were used to treat sore throats, and dried grapes (raisins) were used for constipation and thirst. Round, ripe, sweet grapes were used to treat a range of health problems including cancer, cholera, smallpox, nausea, eye infections, and skin, kidney, and liver diseases.

Grape seed extracts are industrial derivatives from whole grape seeds that have a great concentration of vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid and phenolic OPCs. The typical commercial opportunity of extracting grape seed constituents has been for chemicals known as polyphenols having antioxidant activity in vitro.

Benefits of Grapes

Grape Seed Extract (GSE) is a natural plant constituent (bioflavonoid) which strengthens and protects living tissue. The OPC components in GSE are 50 times stronger than Vitamin E and 20 times stronger than Vitamin C. Grape Seed Extract is an antiallergenic, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. It strengthens blood vessels, improves skin, and aids in circulation.

As we age, our bodies produce less antioxidants to combat the ongoing destruction caused by free radicals. This increases our risk of developing serious health problems. Grape Seed Extract is prescribed by doctors in several European countries for the prevention and treatment of a variety of health problems including cardiovascular disease, varicose veins, water retention, collagen damage and arthritis. Because it is used pharmaceutically, it has undergone a tremendous amount of testing. In the United States it is considered to be a dietary supplement, and may be purchased without a prescription. Grape Seed Extract is an extraordinarily safe and effective nutritional supplement.

Grape Seed Extract contains natural bioflavonoids called proanthocyanidins which help strengthen and protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Catechins, components of Grape Seed Extract, help reduce allergic responses by inhibiting enzymes involved in the formation of histamine (helping reduce symptoms of allergies and excess histamine in the stomach which may lead to further stomach problems).

Grape Seed Extract provides cardiovascular protection by preventing oxidation of lipoproteins (LDL), making them less likely to stick to blood-vessel walls. It also makes the linings of the arteries more resistant to damage and helps control excessive clotting. GSE strengthens the capillaries ensuring a good supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain and throughout the body. It also affects enzymes that influence blood-fluid balances and therefore may be helpful in lowering blood pressure.

By protecting and enhancing Vitamins A and C, GSE may also aid in the reduction of wrinkles and vision problems. Recently, researchers discovered that Grape Seed Extract can help to stimulate healthy hair growth by defeating the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that stops the hair follicle growth cycle. [GSE & MSM are a great combination for healthy hair.]

List of Common Uses for Grape Seed Extract

  • Allergies

  • Arthritis

  • Asthma

  • Blood clots

  • Blood pressure

  • Cancer

  • Cataracts

  • Cellulite

  • Cholesterol

  • Circulation

  • Diabetes

  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Eczema

  • Edema

  • Emphysema

  • Eyestrain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Glaucoma

  • Gout

  • Hair loss

  • Hay fever

  • Heart attack

  • Heart disease

  • Hives

  • Leg cramps

  • Macular degeneration

  • MS

  • Night vision

  • Numbness (tingling)

  • PMS

  • Psoriasis

  • Scars

  • Skin cancer

  • Skin elasticity

  • Skin health

  • Stretch marks

  • Stroke

  • Teeth & gum healing

  • Tumor formation

  • Varicose veins

  • Wound healing

Side Effects of Grapes

Possible Side Effects of Grape Seed Extract

Possibly bothersome (although usually not serious) grape seed extract side effects may include:

  • Headaches

  • Itchy, dry scalp

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)

  • Sore throat

  • Cough.

Grape Seed Extract Side Effects to Report

Theoretically, grape seed extract could increase the risk of bleeding, including dangerous internal bleeding. This risk is probably most significant for people with a bleeding disorder or who take "blood thinner" medications. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any signs of bleeding, such as:

  • Easy bruising

  • Cuts or scrapes that are slow to stop bleeding

  • Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, including:

    • Black, tarry stools

    • Bright red blood in the stool

    • Vomiting of blood

  • Signs of a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain), including:

    • Vision or speech changes

    • Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg

  • Severe headache.

Of course, seek immediate medical attention if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction to grape seed extract, such as:

  • A rash

  • Hives

  • Itching

  • Swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat

  • Wheezing or other difficulty breathing.

Grape Seed Extract Reviews

Does what it claims to do April 20, 2009, From Australia

I've found that ... has kept my blood pressure at acceptable levels since taking one capsule daily. Reduction has been from around 185/95 to around 145/75. I have been able to get off all medications and with that - no more adverse side effects. Certainly worth a try!

Very good for high blood pressure September 04, 2009, From Texas

I started taking this with olive leaf extract after my doctor wanted to put me on high blood pressure medicine. It dropped my blood pressure within 3 weeks.

Lowers Blood Pressure Significantly May 08, 2010, By Steven Hinkamp From Florida

My blood pressure had gotten out of control. It was registering as 155/105 which is way too high. It was probably caused by my sedentary lifestyle and aggravated by the fact that I am overweight. I refuse to take blood pressure medicine as they with fraught with negative side effects. I did some research and found that this specific product... was found to lower blood pressure. After taking the first capsule, my blood pressure went down to 140/85. After about three days of taking one capsule per day, my blood pressure is now averaging about 120/80. This stuff really works! Not only has my blood pressure been lowered without any negative side effects, but grape seed extract has also been found to have other beneficial qualities. It's not cheap, but when you purchase... the cost per month is less than... which is less than my co-pay for a prescription blood pressure medicine that isn't good for me and has bad side effects.

Grape Seed Extract Restores Insulin Sensitivity December 22, 2009, From Minnesota

High quality; a new study shows that grape seed extract turns back on gene signals that help insulin receptors work properly.

grape seed September 25, 2011, From New Zealand

Helps me to sleep

Immune system January 11, 2011, By olga Adashunas From Arizona

This is very helpful for your immune system and also berneficial for the heart. So I take it for all the good benefits.
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