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Question:
What are the benefits of grape seed extract?

Answer:
Grape seed extract is a source of oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), which are antioxidant compounds. Several studies suggest it can help reduce symptoms of venous insufficiency (causing leg swelling), as well as swelling after surgery (such as arm swelling after breast cancer surgery), although large studies are needed for confirmation. These studies, as well small studies of grape seed extract and OPCs for other conditions, are discussed in detail in the OPCs article in our Encyclopedia.

Additionally, a small, placebo-controlled study in men and women with prehypertension found that a fruit drink containing 150 mg of grape seed extract (MegaNatural® BP, Polyphenolics) consumed twice daily for six weeks reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressures by, respectively 5.6% and 4.7% (Park, Br J Nutr 2015). Subjects with higher initial blood pressures experienced nearly double the reduction.

As noted in the Encyclopedia article, grape seed extract may cause minor side effects but has generally been found to be safe, although it may have anticoagulant properties at high doses. OPCs are also found in pine bark extracts, such as Pycnogenol.

The current method of testing for OPCs is inexact and amounts can be falsely inflated by other ingredients and it has been reported that less expensive ingredients, such as extracts of peanut skin, have been substituted for grape seed extract (a concern for people with peanut allergy) (Villani, Food Chem 2014). ConsumerLab.com intends to test grape seed extract supplements when more reliable testing methods become available.


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COMMENTS

Adam15583   September 26, 2017
I've been using Grape ?? Seed Extract for several yrs now and I've noticed two primary benefits. My skin became stronger and my vision miraculously went from 20/35 to 20/20. Not certain if GSE was the reason for better vision but my skin became stronger very quickly. My son who is autistic used to draw blood when he grabbed my arms and hands with his finger nails but when I started taking approx 600mgs of GSE daily not only did my skin become stronger but it took on a healthier overall appearance.
Also my sister in law had terminal brain cancer and she started taking 600mgs GSE daily as well in conjunction with her chemo and is today cancer free. IMO Gods medicines are in our foods.

Jerry15920   October 21, 2017
Which brand of GSE were you using?

Adam17086   August 19, 2018
I was taking Twin Labs and now I take Puritans Pride, 200mgs 2-4 capsules daily with my Vit C 3gm, & 5000iu vit D3 for my 190lbs body & cal mag zinc. Sorry it took so long to get back to you, haven't looked at this article in a long time.

Jonathan8094   November 22, 2015
I work for a large pharmaceutical company where I analyze the results of clinical trials for new drugs. Therefore, I use this same knowledge to evaluate quality clinical trials for vitamins/herbs. I have found it to be my favorite supplement which is beneficial for a few different indications, but please keep in mind that I have also found it to be a blood thinner.

A personal story is that my mom had muscular dystrophy for a number of years. Unfortunately, it did not help deterioration of her muscles; however, many years ago, she had fallen down a flight of stairs and tore her connective tissue in her knee. Because of her disease, her knee started bowing inward and for a couple of years, she had to wear a full metal brace. I did research and saw that grape seed would be good for this sort of thing. It was amazing. After only about 2 weeks of taking it, her knee stiffened up to the point of no longer needing the brace. There were a number of times over the next few years that she would run out of it and not replace it right away. Her knee would immediately start bowing again and when she would restart it, it would do the job again each time.

PALLINE8087   November 19, 2015
My Integrative Medicine M.D. uses pine bark extract or Pycnogenol for her kidney patients. I began when my GFR was 51( stage 3 kidney disease) and after about a year it is now 64 (stage 2). I count this as nice confirmation!

MAX 8143   December 6, 2015
My recent GFR was found to be 47. I have started taking 100 mg Pycnogenol twice per day now. We'll see what happens in a year.

Peg8081   November 18, 2015
I found that Pycnogenol, followed by Grape Seed Extract when Pycnogenol became too expensive, had a most beneficial effect on my eye sight. I haven't changed my prescription for over 20 years...20/30 and I credit both these proanthrocyanidins for that as I wasn't the only one noticing improvement in the ocular vision.

Steve8080   November 18, 2015
I have been undergoing TRT for 2 years now, and have been using GSE as an alterntive to Arimidex or Anastrozole as an anti-aromatizer, to keep my Estrogen levels at normal. I had used the aforementioned pharmaceuticals for that purpose and they dropped my E levels WAY too low, but the GSE has kept them steadily normal for quite a while now. I use 300 mg per day.

ConsumerLab.com   January 1, 2016
Hi Steve - That is interesting, thank you for sharing your experience with grape seed extract. Some preliminary research suggests it may inhibit aromatase activity, although the evidence is mixed (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/66/11/5960.long; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25167077). We are not aware of any studies in men.

Robert8009   October 13, 2015
I've been using Grape Seed Extract (GSE) since it became available in the 1990's and prior to the I used Pycnogenol, which contains the same ingredients. I'm 74 and in excellent health, much of it I believe due to GSE. I've followed research over the years and there is supporting research of its' anti cancer properties. Recently the University of Colorado published results related to colorectal cancer indicating it is far more effective Invivo than chemotherapy. Research also indicates it has protective effects for the heart.

ConsumerLab.com   October 15, 2015
Hi Robert - Thank you for sharing your experience with grape seed extract! The studies about grape seed and cancer are interesting, although they are laboratory and animal studies. There do not appear to any studies yet of grape seed extract in people with cancer or for the prevention of cancer.

William8004   October 12, 2015
Great confusion exist re the role/safety of antioxidants. Research published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine reports that antioxidant use was associated with a two-fold increase in the rate of melanoma metastasis. Other studies have also reported an association between cancer and antioxidant use.

K. Le Gal, M. X. Ibrahim, C. Wiel, V. I. Sayin, M. K. Akula, C. Karlsson, M. G. Dalin, L. M. Akyurek, P. Lindahl, J. Nilsson, M. O. Bergo. Antioxidants can increase melanoma metastasis in mice. Science Translational Medicine, 2015; 7 (308): 308re8 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad3740

ConsumerLab.com   October 13, 2015
Hi William - Thank you for your comment. We have also noted negative effects of certain antioxidants in the "Cautions" section of their respective reviews, including the Vitamin C Supplements Review https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/vitaminc/#cautions, the Vitamin E Supplements Review https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/vitamine/#cautions, and the Resveratrol Supplements Review https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/Resveratrol_Red_Wine/#cautions.

gordon8082   November 18, 2015
According to some information I have seen, free radicals actually kill cancer cells as well as other healthy cells. And it is possible that usage of antioxidants which will kill free radicals can interfere with cancer cell apoptosis.

ConsumerLab.com   November 18, 2015
Hi Gordon - It's true that too much of an antioxidant can have negative effects. For example, this has been found with vitamin C (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/vitaminc/#cautions), vitamin E (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/vitamine/#cautions) and resveratrol (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/Resveratrol_Red_Wine/#cautions).


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This CL Answer initially posted on 10/11/2015. Last updated 8/2/2017.
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