Grape seed extract is an herbal remedy that may reduce your risk for several major diseases, including heart disease and cancer. It contains a number of natural compounds with potential health benefits. The most widely studied of these belong to a class called proanthocyanidins, compounds with strong antioxidant activity. Consult your doctor to discuss whether consuming grape seed extract is appropriate for you.
Grape seed extract, or GSE, is produced from grape seeds, which are a byproduct of wine and juice production. Its proanthodyanidins are potent antioxidants, which remove free radicals from your body. These free radicals, which are byproducts of metabolism, may harm cells by damaging their membranes or DNA. Other compounds in GSE also block oxidation of lipids, including cholesterol, and modify the activity of genes important for division of abnormal cells.
Grape seed extract benefits your cardiovascular system in several ways. By interfering with oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, it prevents its deposition in artery-blocking plaque. This lowers your risk for atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. GSE may also strengthen the walls of veins, especially those in your legs, and, if you have hypertension, it may protect your blood vessels from damage caused by elevated blood pressure. GSE also helps relieve tissue swelling after surgery or an injury by promoting movement of fluid from tissues into nearby vessels.