Grape seed extracts (GSE) are rich in antioxidants which have been associated with useful effects on health such as prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. One group of polyphenols found in grapeseed is OPCs (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins), which help combat free radicals that might increase the risk of disease. Supplements, are usually standardized to have between 40 to 80% of proanthocyanidins or an oligomeric proanthocyanidin complex (OPC) content of at least 95%.
Grape Seed Extract Antioxidant Benefits
Grape seed is a strong antioxidant and as such provides protection against cellular damage by free radicals. Free radicals have been implicated in over a hundred disease conditions in humans, including atherosclerosis, advancing age, ischemia and reperfusion injury of many organs, arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer disease, gastrointestinal dysfunctions, tumor promotion and carcinogenesis. The high antioxidant content of grape seed extract makes it extremely beneficial for preventing cancer. Studies on mice and rats have shown grape seed extract to reduce skin and breast tumors. A study reported in Jan, 2012 demonstrated that grape seed extract prevents the growth of cancer cells by damaging the cancer cells’ DNA. A study reported in “Clinical Cancer Research” in Jan, 2009 found that grape seed extract killed laboratory leukemia cells.
Studies have shown that the antioxidant effect of proanthocyanidins is 20 times greater than vitamin E and 50 times greater than vitamin C. Also extensive research, demonstrated that grape seed is useful in many areas of health because of its antioxidant benefits to bond with collagen, promoting youthful skin, cell health, elasticity, and flexibility. One of the most bioavailable and strong forms of antioxidant, oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes appear to be synergistic with vitamins, and in especially they protect the free radical scavenging effect of vitamin C. An study, conducted by Boston University of Medicine and USANA Health Sciences, demonstrated that the combination of grape seed extract plus vitamin C improved antioxidant status and vascular function in people with clinically proven cardiovascular disease.
Several researches have shown that proanthocyanidins help to protect the body from sun damage, to improve vision, to improve flexibility in joints, arteries, and body tissues such as the heart, and to improve blood circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins. Grape seed promotes a healthful circulatory system by strengthening capillary walls and reducing leakage. In a double-blind study, a group of elderly participants with either spontaneous or drug-induced low capillary resistance were treated with 100-150 mg OPCs from GSE (grape seed extract) per day or placebo. 53% of patients in the treated group showed noticeable improvement in capillary resistance after 2 weeks. All patients in this group reached the maximum attainable result after 3 weeks.