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The Benefits Of Grape Seed Extract For Heart Health

The Benefits Of Grape Seed Extract For Heart Health

If you are fond of supplements, you have probably heard of grape seed extract or GSE. What are the benefits of taking this supplement for heart health? Also, when is the best time to take grape seed extract? The answers and more in this article.

What is Grape Seed Extract?

Before we answer the question, When is the best time to take grape seed extract?, let’s first have an overview of the supplement.

Grape seed extract, as the name suggests, comes from the crushed seeds of wine grapes, the grapes we usually enjoy.

Perhaps, you’re already familiar with the medicinal benefits of grapes. After all, even ancient Greek philosophers boast about their wonderful healing properties, usually in the form of wine.

But, what about grape seeds? Are they just as beneficial for the heart?

The Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

Experts say the substance that makes grape seed extract so beneficial for our health is the oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) or simply proanthocyanidins. These chemicals give grapes their purple color.

But, what exactly are the potential benefits of grape seed extract for heart health?

1. Grape seed extract is a rich source of antioxidants¹

OPCs are thought to be powerful antioxidants. After all, they are phenolic compounds called flavonoids, which we can also get from most fruits and vegetables.

A study involving healthy adults noted that taking GSE increased their antioxidant blood levels. Note that antioxidants can neutralize free-radicals, substances that can cause harm to the cells, including our DNA¹.

Some reports likewise indicated that GSE is a more potent antioxidant than Vitamins C and E².

2. GSE may help protect against heart attack and stroke

Just like red wine, grape seed extract also appears to have beneficial effects on the heart. Several animal studies show that GSE has cardioprotective properties.

Reports say taking this supplement can protect the blood vessels and lower the risk of a heart attack and stroke.

3. It might help lower the levels of bad cholesterol

Another possible way that grape seed extract helps protect the heart is by lowering the low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol.

A review of multiple studies has shown that GSE can also lower the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels³.

Note that increased LDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides are not good for the heart.

4. Grape seed extract might help lower the blood pressure⁴

Reports say GSE may slightly lower the blood pressure in healthy people and those with elevated BP, particularly those with obesity or metabolic syndrome. However, they also underlined the need for further studies.

5. It might help lower the effects of stress

Perhaps, you have read that heart diseases can be stress-related. Come to think of it, increased, especially prolonged, stress can increase blood pressure or trigger you to have unhealthy practices, like smoking and overeating.

There are reports indicating that GSE can help lower the effects of stress³.

When is the Best Time to Take Grape Seed Extract?

Now that we have a better understanding of the potential benefits of GSE for heart health, let’s answer this question: When is the best time to take grape seed extract?

Generally, you can take it any time of the day – moderate intake appears to be well-tolerated by most people. However, you might want to be cautious if you:

  • Are taking other medicines or supplements as GSE may interact with them.
  • Have blood thinning medicines, like aspirin or coumadin. GSE might increase the risk of bleeding. Hence, avoid taking it if you are likewise at risk of bleeding.
  • Experience stomach upset or nausea. These might be side effects of GSE. Consider taking the supplement with food.
  • Have high blood pressure and are taking Vitamin C – this combination might worsen your BP
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you have doubts, please don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider BEFORE taking this supplement.

Learn more about Heart Health here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1. Grape seed, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/grape-seed, Accessed May 30. 2022
2. Comparative Effect of Grape Seed Extract (Vitis Vinifera) and Ascorbic Acid in Oxidative Stress Induced by On-pump Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5290695/#:~:text=%5B5%2C6%5D%20Grape%20seed,over%20Vitamins%20E%20and%20C., Accessed May 30. 2022
3. Grape Seed Extract, https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/grape-seed-extract, Accessed May 30. 2022
4. Grape seed, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/grape-seed, Accessed May 30. 2022
5. Proanthocyanidins,https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=proanthocyanidins#:~:text=Proanthocyanidins%20are%20chemical%20compounds.,group%20of%20compounds%20called%20polyphenols., Accessed May 30. 2022

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 4 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza