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Surprising Benefits & Side Effects of Grape Seed Extract

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What is Grape Seed Extract?

Grape seed extract is a substance derived from the seeds of grapes. Scientifically belonging to the Vitis genus, most grape seed extract is made from Vitis vinifera, as are many types of wine, but there are a handful of other species from which this extract can be made. Grape seed extract is produced by grinding up the seeds found at the center of grapes and then using a steam distillation or cold-pressing method to extract the pure compounds of the seeds.Some of the most important compounds found in grape seed extract are tannins, oligomeric procyanidins, catechins and epicatechins, as well as vitamin E, and linoleic acid. Here are some Grape Seed Extract Benefits and Side effects.

Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

grape seed extract benefits

 

The many health benefits of grape seed extract include improving the appearance of the skin, lowering cholesterol levels, aiding in weight loss, and increasing cognitive function. It also helps in regulating blood pressure, optimizing fluid balance, speeding the healing of wounds, reducing swelling after injury, and preventing muscle damage.

Weight Loss

Research has shown that the active ingredients within grape seed extract inhibit fat deposition within the body, and even lower the level of fat absorption from our diet.Combined with a negligible amount of calories, this extract can give you an energetic boost and speed up the metabolism, which can further aid your weight loss efforts.

Controls Blood Pressure

Research has found that the oligomeric procyanidins in this extract are able to protect blood vessels and arteries from damage, which can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.Furthermore, the compounds in grape seed extract are able to stimulate the activity of vitamin C in the body, which will boost collagen production and speed up the repair process on damaged blood vessels.

Lowers Oxidative Stress

Widely known as an anti-aging secret, the regular consumption of grape seed extract can help flood the body with antioxidants, which will counter the effects of oxidative stress in your organs as well as your skin and hair. These compounds will also reduce your risk of chronic disease, which becomes much more of a threat as we age.

Boosts Immune System

The flavonoids in grape seed extract stimulate the vitamin C already present in the body, but there is also a moderate amount of vitamin E in this extract, which can help boost the function of the immune system to defend against bacterial and viral pathogens.Furthermore, the antioxidants in this extract are considered 30-50 times more potent than vitamin C in terms of protecting the body from pathogens.

Speeds Healing Process

The procyanidins in this extract have a direct stimulating effect on a certain endothelial growth factor, which is crucial to the wound-healing process. Consumption of this extract will speed blood clotting and increase your chances of the wound to heal without a scar.

Relieves Allergies

Thanks to the presence of resveratrol, one of the highly praised compounds in wine, grape seed extract can also minimize the impact of allergic reactions, due to its anti-inflammatory nature. This is also good for aches and pains, either from acute injuries or from more chronic issues such as arthritis or gout.

Treats Fungal Infections

This extract has proven itself to be very effective against a variety of fungal infections, particularly those of the Candida genus.This can help people who regularly suffer from yeast infections, oral thrush, Athlete’s foot and other common fungal infections.

Stimulates Brain Function

Oligomeric procyanidins have been researched extensively and it has been found that the compounds can stimulate cognitive function, which can help with things like concentration, retention, memory formation and mood. This is also important for people who are suffering from or are at high risk for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Side Effects of Grape Seed Extract

While the benefits of using this extract are clear, there are some possible side effects of which you should be aware, including bleeding disorders, drug interactions, complications with pregnancy, allergic reactions, stomach upset and dizziness.

  • Drug Interactions: Depending on what medications you are taking, grape seed extract could cause some unwanted side effects, including medications for blood clotting or cholesterol.For example, this extract can slow down blood clotting, and lower cholesterol, so it may complicate the use of anticoagulant drugs and cholesterol-suppressing medication.
  • Pregnancy: As an herbal remedy, rather than a formal pharmaceutical one, there can be some unexpected hormonal fluctuations when using this powerful substance. For pregnant women, this can stimulate menstruation, or be dangerous for your unborn child. Speak with your doctor before using this or any other herbal remedy if you are pregnant.
  • Bleeding Disorders: As mentioned, the anticoagulant nature of seed extract can cause internal and external bleeding, so do not consume this extract within 1-2 weeks of any major surgery.
  • Allergic Reactions: The concentration of organic compounds in this extract can cause allergic reactions in certain people, even if they aren’t allergic to grapes. The symptoms include upset stomach and diarrhea, as well as skin inflammation, rashes or hives. Consuming an excessive amount of seed extract may also cause abdominal pain and discomfort.
  • Dizziness: Some people have reported dizziness, cognitive confusion, and lightheadedness when using this extract, particularly when more than 1 supplement is taken. As with any herbal medicine, only use this extract in moderation, and speak with your doctor or a trained herbalist about any specific risk factors for you.

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