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Grape Seed Extract Information
Vitis vinifera L. and V. coignetiae
COMMON NAME(S): Grape seed, muskat
As its name implies, grape seed extract is derived from the small seeds (and occasionally the skins) of red grapes--the same kind that are pressed to make wine. Used extensively in Europe, grape seed extract is rich in flavonoids, phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties some consider even greater than the old standbys vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants are believed to prevent and control numerous ailments by safeguarding cells against the ravages of unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals.
The main benefit of grape fruit seed extract comes from chemical compounds it contains called proanthocyanidins. Proanthocyanidins also called "PCOs" for procyanidolic oligomers or "OPCs" for oligomeric procyanidins are a class of nutrients belonging to the flavonoid family.
Before Grape seed extract was discovered, the best sources of antioxidants came from vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene; however, these sources were not powerful enough to fight the free radicals and are also excreted by the body within a short time of ingestion. Grape seed extract, on the other hand, has been shown to remain in the body for as long as 3 full days, and is 20 times more potent than vitamin C, and 50 times more stronger than Vitamin E.
Botany :- Red grape seeds are generally obtained as a by-product of wine production. When ground, the seeds become the source of grape seed oil.
Uses of Grape Seed
Grape seed oil has shown promise in lab research as a cleansing agent, antienzyme, nutritional supplement, and inhibitor of tooth decay.
Professional herbalists may also recommend grape seed extract for a variety of circulatory ailments (including varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency) and other diseases related to free radical damage, including age-related macular degeneration, an eye disorder that develops with age and can lead to blindness. Grape seed extract may help improve night vision and photophobia (sensitivity to light) as well.
Side Effects of Grape Seed
Thus far, there are little or no side effects reported with grape seed extract, and no drug interactions have been reported either. However, grape seed extract may cause excessive bleeding for individuals taking blood thinners, and also, you should not take grape seed extract if you're allergic to grapes.
Some minor side effects may include dizziness, nausea, and it may interfere with cholesterol lowering drugs. Of course, if you have concerns, it's always a good idea to consult a health care professional before using any supplements.
--Always use a grape seed extract preparation that's standardized to contain 92% to 95% PCOs.
ToxicologyNo human toxicity has been reported in recent literature for the grape seed, the oil, or its isolated constituents.
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