Grape seed extract
Grape seed extracts are industrial derivatives from whole grape seeds that have a great concentration of vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and OPCs. The typical commercial opportunity of extracting grape seed constituents has been for chemicals known as polyphenols, including oligomeric proanthocyanidins recognized as antioxidants.
Human case reports and results from laboratory and animal studies provide preliminary evidence that grape seed extract may affect heart diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. By limiting lipid oxidation, phenolics in grape seeds may reduce risk of heart disease, such as by inhibiting platelet aggregation and reducing inflammation. While such studies are promising, more research including long-term studies in humans is needed to confirm initial findings.
A polyphenol contained in grape seeds is resveratrol, which may interfere with cancer cell growth and proliferation, as well as induce apoptosis, among other potential chemopreventive effects.
Preliminary research shows that grape seed extract may have other possible anti-disease properties, such as in laboratory models of
- wound healing —- OPCs induced vascular endothelial growth factor and accelerated healing of injured skin in mice
- tooth decay -- seed phenolics may inhibit oral sugar metabolism and retard growth of certain bacteria that cause dental caries
- osteoporosis -- grape seed extracts enhanced bone density and strength in experimental animals
- skin cancer -- grape seed proanthocyanidins decreased tumor numbers and reduced the malignancy of papillomas
- ultraviolet damage to skin -— dietary proanthocyanidins may protect against carcinogenesis and provide supplementation for sunscreen protection
- venous insufficiency and edema
There are 13 clinical trials (January, 2012) assessing potential effects of grape seed extracts on human diseases, such as breast cancer, blood estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, and coronary artery disease.
There is also anecdotal evidence that this substance increases the growth rate of hair and nails.