Grape Seed Extract Health Benefits
Grape seed extract health benefits include help in managing conditions related to the heart, blood vessels, vision, and diabetes, but grape seed extract may also help fight prostate cancer growth. The active ingredients in grape seed extract are believed to be procyanidins, a type of bioflavonoids that have potent antioxidant properties.
The search to verify grape seed extract health benefits has taken several turns. Several studies have looked at whether grape seed extract (Vitis vinifera) is effective in preventing cancer, and thus far all the research has been limited to lab animals. In a University of Colorado Denver study, researchers found that a substance called gallic acid, which is found in grape seeds, was effect against prostate cancer growth in mice. (Kaur 2009)
In another study, grape seed was just one of several ingredients in a supplement that proved to have anticancer activities against prostate cancer cells and aggressive prostate cancer tumors in mice. (Evans 2009) These few preliminary findings in mice hold some promise for the use of grape seed extract to help prevent and/or treat prostate cancer.
One human study, the VITamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort, asked more than 35,000 males (ages 50 to 76) questions about their use of supplements. The authors then evaluated that information with the incidence of prostate cancer among the group. They found that among the supplements (chondroitin, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine, saw palmetto, and grape seed), any use of grape seed supplements was associated with a 41 percent reduced risk of total prostate cancer. (Brasky 2011)
How To Use Grape Seed Extract
The suggested dose for people who want to enjoy grape seed extract health benefits against free-radical damage is 25 to 150 mg one to three times daily. People who have circulatory problems generally take 150 to 300 mg daily. (University of Maryland) Grape seed extracts are generally well tolerated and rarely cause side effects, which may include headache, itchy scalp, dizziness, and nausea.
Brasky TM et al. Specialty supplements and prostate cancer risk in the VITamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort. Nutrition and Cancer 2011; 63(4): 573-82
Evans S et al. The effect of a novel botanical agent TBS-101 on invasive prostate cancer in animal models. Anticancer Res 2009 Oct; 29(10): 3917-24.
Kaur M et al. Gallic acid, an active constitutuent of grape seed extract, exhibits anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic and anti-tumorigenic effects against prostate carcinoma xenograft growth in nude mice. Pharm Res 2009 Sep; 26(9): 2133-40.
University of Maryland Medical Center, information on grape seed extract health benefits: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/grape-seed-000254.htm