Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract - Rejuvenation Therapeutics

Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

Grapes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and they have been used for health benefits since the days of the ancient Greeks.1,2 Wine, the main product of cultivated grapes, was considered the divine beverage of Greek gods like Dionysus, and wine has long played a central role in Mediterranean life.2

Oil made from the seeds of grapes has existed for 6,000 years and was mentioned in the Old Testament as having been consumed by the prophet Daniel for health reasons.3 Research on the bioactive components of grape seed extract began early in the 20th century, and commercial production ramped up several decades later.1,4

Composition of grape seeds

Depending on the variety of grapes they come from, grape seeds contain 5% to 8% polyphenols, as well as lipids, protein, and carbohydrates. The polyphenols in grape seeds are chiefly flavonoids and include gallic acid, the monomeric flavan-3-ols catechin, epicatechin, gallocatechin, epigallocatechin, and epicatechin 3-O-gallate.5

Like grape skins, grape seeds contain oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC)—an antioxidant believed to support good health in a variety of ways.1

Anti-aging properties

Grape seed extract’s antioxidant properties are known to protect the body from the damage caused by premature aging. The antioxidative strength of the OPCs contained in grape seed extract has been shown to be 20 times more powerful than that of vitamin E and 50 times more powerful than that of vitamin C.5

Research suggests that grape seed extract’s antioxidant effect bonds with collagen, which leads to more youthful-looking skin and better cell health. According to other studies, OPCs help to improve vision and increase flexibility in joints, arteries, and body tissues.5

Results of an in vitro study of OPC showed it to be effective in protecting retinal ganglion cells injured by oxidative stress by inhibiting the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Death of retinal ganglion cells is present in many neurodegenerative diseases of the eye, including glaucoma and retinopathy.6

Good for the heart

Studies have shown that grape seed extract has numerous heart health benefits. Taking grape seed extract has been demonstrated to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients less than 50 years old, and systolic blood pressure in obese patients and those with metabolic disorders.7 In another study, muscadine grape seed supplementation was connected with a significant increase in resting brachial artery diameter.8

Research indicates grape seed extract has antiplatelet and anticoagulant properties, which means it could help to prevent cardiovascular thrombotic events.9 Grape seed extract also has shown some promise in reducing edema and helping with symptoms of venous insufficiency, a condition where veins have difficulty transporting blood from the legs back into the heart.1

In another study, a single administration of 150 milligrams of OPCs was found to increase venous tone in patients with widespread varicose veins.10 And in a clinical trial of elderly patients with low capillary resistance, the group treated with 100 to 150 milligrams of OPCs from grape seed extract daily showed the maximum attainable improvement in capillary resistance after three weeks.11

Research has demonstrated the polyphenols found in extracts from the grape seed, skin, and grape juice have properties that can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol oxidation and protect against atherosclerosis and arrhythmia.12 One study found that administering procyanidins from grape seed prevented an increase in total and LDL cholesterol and a decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in high-cholesterol animal models.13

Other potential benefits

According to research into the potential role of a particular grape seed polyphenol extract (GSPE) in preventing and treating tau-associated neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, GSPE can affect processes critical to the onset and progression of neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunctions.14

Research into grape seed extract’s potential as an anticancer agent is ongoing.1 The National Cancer Institute is studying the use of grape seed extract in patients with certain types of prostate cancer.15 A study of grape seed proanthocyanidins demonstrated that they could inhibit the growth of certain sarcoma tumor cells by stimulating the body’s immune system.16 Research has also demonstrated that grape seed extract has some chemoprotective effects against skin and colorectal cancers.17

Grape seed extract is also being studied to promote wound healing and reduce inflammation. Research suggests that grape seed extract could help protect the pancreas in patients with diabetes because of its anti-inflammatory properties.18

Both grape seed and green tea have been studied for potential use in treating hereditary hemochromatosis—a genetic disorder in which an excess of iron accumulates in the body due to abnormally high intestinal iron absorption. If untreated, hemochromatosis can result in cirrhosis, liver cancer, congestive heart failure, endocrinopathies, and premature death. The study has examined the effects of polyphenols in green tea and grape seed extract on iron metabolism and intestinal iron absorption.19

Is grape seed extract safe?

As long as it’s used moderately, grape seed extract is usually well-tolerated. However, it may be best to avoid taking grape seed extract if you have a bleeding disorder, take blood thinners, or are about to have surgery.1 Always check with your healthcare practitioner before adding supplements such as grape seed extract to your diet.


  1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health. Updated September 2016.
  2. Trends in Genetics. 2006; 22(9): 511-519.
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  6. Neural Regen Res. 2013 Sep 5;8(25):2317-26.
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  8. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Oct; 29(5): 469–475.
  9. Nutrients. 2019 Jan; 11(1): 93.
  10. Sem Hop. 1981 Dec 18-25;57(47-48):2009-13.
  11. Bord Med. 1980;13:903-907.
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  13. J Nutr. 1994 Dec;124(12):2451-7.
  14. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health. March 12, 2009.
  15. National Cancer Institute. Grape Seed Extract in Treating Patients with Asymptomatic or Minimally Symptomatic Prostate Cancer.
  16. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Nov 9; 59(21): 11543-7.
  17. J Nutr. 2009 Sep; 139(9): 1806S–1812S.
  18. Food Funct. 2015 Sep; 6(9): 3065-71.
  19. National Institutes of Health. Green Tea and Grape Seed Extract in Prevention of Iron Overload Disease.