Grape seeds are rich in antioxidants, especially phenolic acids and flavonoids.
Grape Seed Extract has been shown to improve heart health and high blood pressure through its antioxidant effects. The high antioxidant effect of grape seed extract may help protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage and inflammation.
Blood Pressure Benefits
A review of 16 studies in 810 people with high blood pressure, or an elevated risk of it, found that taking grape seed extract daily significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom numbers in a blood pressure reading) by an average of 5.6% for the systolic pressure and 4.7% for the diastolic pressure after 8 to 16 weeks. Those people under the age of 50 with obesity, or a metabolic disorder, such as diabetes, showed the greatest improvements. The conclusion was that grape seed extract may help reduce blood pressure, especially in young to middle aged people and those who have excess weight.
Improved Blood Flow
Grape Seed Extract may also improve blood flow.
In a study with healthy post-menopausal women, taking grape seed extract had blood thinning effects, potentially reducing the risks of blood clots.
An additional study in healthy young women assessed the effects of a single dose of grape seed extract immediately followed by 6 hours of sitting. This study showed that grape seed extract reduced leg swelling and edema by 70%, compared to not taking grape seed extract.
Reduction of LDL Oxidation
In several studies, grape seed extract has been found to reduce LDL oxidation triggered by high fat diets.
An elevated blood level of LDL (bad) cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart diseases. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol significantly increases this risk and plays a central role in atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries.
When people eat a high fat meal, grapeseed extract has been shown to inhibit the oxidation of fats in the blood, compared to a 150% increase seen in those who did not take grape seed extract.
Improved Kidney Function
Grape seed extract can improve kidney function, which can directly relate to improving blood pressure. The kidneys are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage, which is often irreversible.
Studies have shown that grape seed extract may reduce kidney damage, and improve function, by reducing oxidative stress and inflammatory damage to the kidneys.
The bottom line is that grape seed extract is a potent source of antioxidants which may help alleviate oxidative stress, inflammation and tissue damage that occur alongside chronic diseases, including high blood pressure.