Grape Seed Extract or Vitis vinifera is made from the ground up seeds of red wine grapes. Although relatively new to western medicine grapes have been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians used grapes for both healing and nutritional purposes. Europeans also made use of many parts of the grape plant for medicinal purposes.
Grape Seed Extract as its name implies is derived from grape seeds which are thought to contain large quantities of antioxidants, specifically the substance oligomeric proanthocyanidin complex (OPC). Antioxidants are substances that help to protect cells from damaging free radicals and may even protect cells from disease. Free radicals can hasten aging as well as contribute to a variety of illnesses and diseases.
Clinical studies have shown grape seed extract to be a potential benefit to those who suffer from high blood pressure, circulation problems, and heart conditions. The extract is also thought to have potential in helping with pain, infections, and swelling post-operative.
Any healthy adult should be able to consume grape seed extract supplements. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid the supplement as should children. People on medications should consult with their doctor before use.
Grape Seed Extract is most commonly used as a dietary supplement and is available in capsule, liquid and tablet form. Be sure to look for extract that is standardised to 40 - 80% proanthocyanidins. Usual dosages will contain 50-100 mg of the extract.