Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement made by removing, drying, and pulverizing the bitter-tasting seeds of grapes.
Grape seeds are rich in antioxidants, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs).
In fact, GSE is one of the best-known sources of proanthocyanidins.
Due to its high antioxidant content, GSE can help prevent disease and protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation.
Note that grape seed extract and grapefruit seed extract are both marketed as supplements and abbreviated by the acronym GSE. This article discusses grape seed extract.
Here are 10 health benefits of grape seed extract, all based on science.
Several studies have researched the effects of GSE on high blood pressure.
Those under the age of 50 with obesity or a metabolic disorder showed the greatest improvements.
The most promising results came from lower doses of 100–800 mg daily for 8–16 weeks, rather than a single dose of 800 mg or more.
Summary GSE may help reduce blood pressure, particularly in young to
middle-aged people and those who have excess weight.
Some studies suggest that GSE may improve blood flow.
In the same study, 8 other healthy young women who took a daily 133-mg dose of proanthocyanidins from GSE for 14 days experienced 40% less leg swelling after 6 hours of sitting.
Summary GSE has been shown to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood
clotting, which may benefit those with circulatory problems.
An elevated blood level of LDL (bad) cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart disease.
The oxidation of LDL cholesterol significantly increases this risk and plays a central role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty plaque in your arteries.
GSE supplements have been found to reduce LDL oxidation triggered by high fat diets in several
When 8 healthy people ate a high fat meal, taking
Summary GSE may help reduce your risk of heart disease by inhibiting the
oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reducing oxidation to heart tissue
during times of stress.
Increasing flavonoid consumption may improve collagen synthesis and bone formation.
As a rich source of flavonoids, GSE may thus help increase your bone density and strength.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in severe inflammation and the destruction of bone and joints.
GSE also significantly reduced pain, bony spurs, and joint damage in osteoarthritic mice, improving collagen levels and reducing cartilage loss.
Despite promising results from animal research, human studies are lacking.
Summary Animal studies show promising results regarding GSE’s ability to help
treat arthritic conditions and promote collagen health. However, human-based
research is lacking.
Flavonoids’ combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are thought to delay or reduce the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the components of GSE is gallic acid, which animal and lab
Clusters of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Animal studies have found that GSE may prevent
However, human studies on the use of GSE in adults with preexisting memory or cognitive deficits are lacking.
Summary GSE shows potential to inhibit many of the degenerative
characteristics of brain and cognitive decline. However, more human studies are
Your kidneys are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage, which is often irreversible.
This means that the kidneys of those in the test group were much better able to filter urine than the kidneys of those in the placebo group.
Summary GSE may offer protection against damage from oxidative stress and
inflammation, thus promoting kidney health.
GSE displays promising antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Studies have shown that GSE inhibits the growth of common foodborne bacteria, including Campylobacter and E. coli, both of which are often responsible for severe food poisoning and abdominal upset.
Candida is a common yeast-like fungus that can sometimes result in candida overgrowth, or thrush. GSE is widely used in traditional medicine as a remedy for candida.
Unfortunately, human studies on GSE’s ability to help treat infections are still lacking.
Summary GSE may inhibit a variety of microbes and offer protection against
antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, foodborne bacterial illnesses, and
fungal infections like candida.
The causes of cancer are complex, though DNA damage is a central characteristic.
A high intake of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and
The antioxidant activity of GSE has shown potential to inhibit human breast, lung, gastric, oral squamous cell, liver, prostate, and pancreatic cell lines in lab settings.
GSE appears to protect against oxidative stress and
Keep in mind that the anticancer and chemopreventive potential of GSE and its proanthocyanidins may not be directly transferable to people with cancer. More studies in humans are needed.
Summary In lab studies, GSE has been shown to inhibit cancer in various human
cell types. GSE also appears to reduce chemotherapy-induced toxicity in animal
studies without negatively affecting treatment. More human-based research is
Your liver plays an important role in detoxifying harmful substances introduced to your body through drugs, viral infections, pollutants, alcohol, and more.
GSE appears to have a protective effect on your liver.
The liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a key indicator of liver toxicity, meaning that its levels rise when the liver has sustained damage.
After 3 months, the GSE group experienced a 46% reduction in ALT, while the vitamin C group showed little change.
Summary GSE appears to protect your liver against drug-induced toxicity and
damage. However, more human studies are needed.
Human studies show promise as well.
These results are most likely due to high levels of proanthocyanidins in GSE triggering the release of growth factors in the skin.
Summary GSE creams appear to increase growth factors in your skin. As such, they
may aid wound healing and help reduce the signs of skin aging.
GSE is generally considered safe with few side effects.
Dosages of around 300–800 mg per day for 8–16 weeks have been found to be safe and well tolerated in humans.
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid it, as there is insufficient data on its effects in these populations.
GSE may lower blood pressure, thin your blood, and increase blood flow, so caution is advised for those taking blood-thinning or blood pressure medications.
Summary GSE appears to be well tolerated. However, pregnant and breastfeeding
women should avoid it. Also, those taking certain medications should discuss
taking this supplement with their healthcare provider.
Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement made from the seeds of grapes.
It’s a potent source of antioxidants, particularly proanthocyanidins.
The antioxidants in GSE may help alleviate the oxidative stress, inflammation, and tissue damage that can occur alongside chronic diseases.
By supplementing with GSE, you’ll reap the benefits of better heart, brain, kidney, liver, and skin health.