Benefits of Grape Seed Extract and its Supplement

Grape seed extract is derived from the small seeds of red grapes. Grape seeds are one of the richest sources of plant flavonoids known as oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, which include quercetin, tannins and resveratrol. These OPCs, which are polyphenolic compounds, are the precursors of anthocyanins, which are the reddish-purple coloring in the skin of grapes.

Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

  1. OPCs are potent antioxidants. They protect the body from free radicals which damage cells and contribute to the degenerative diseases of ageing like heart attack, cancer, strokes and arthritis. As such, they were found 20 times stronger than vitamin C and 50 times stronger than vitamin E. Moreover, OPCs even enhance the action of these vitamins in the body.
  2. OPCs are known to inhibit protease enzymes, which break down proteins during inflammations protecting the blood vessel walls. And indeed, studies of OPCs have revealed their effectiveness in treating circulatory disorders by strengthening the capillaries, reducing hypertension and the risk of heart attack. Research shows that proanthocyanidins prevent the cross-linking of cells, increasing the strength and elasticity of connective tissues in skin and joints and preventing the main cause of wrinkles and ageing.
  3. Proanthocyanidins also inhibit the release of histamine which causes the uncomfortable symptoms associated with allergies and colds. Grape seeds also contain a small amount of catechins, a group of polyphenol flavonoids which have a strong antioxidant effect and were found especially to protect the liver against hepatitis.
  4. Also fight skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
  5. People who stare at computer monitors for extended periods may benefit from taking grape seed extract. The findings of one recent study indicate that 300 mg, taken daily, will ease eyestrain and enhance perception of contrast after just 60 days.

Available in health food stores, grape seed extracts come in capsules on their own or incorporated in antioxidant formulaes. Grape seed oil is also available for kitchen use.

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