Grape Seed Extract – What Does it Do to Your Body?
Grape Seed Extract powder is obtained after the process of extracting, drying, crushing and refining whole grape seeds from the vitis vinifera tree or simply the common grape. Its most important chemical content are the OPCs or oligomeric proanthocyanidins which possess a broad spectrum of health-promoting properties.
Proanthocyanidins are the principal vasoactive polyphenols in red wine responsible for significantly reducing the risk of heart disease and maintaining a healthy heart. They are present at higher concentrations most especially in wines coming from the areas in southernwestern France and Sardinia with physical manifestation on longer life expectancy of the people in the area.
Previous research shown the total oligomeric proanthocyanidin content in red wines including catechins is substantially higher than that in white wines
Vitamin C and vitamin E are some of the best known antioxidants that we have been exposed to but studies show that the antioxidant properties of proanthocyanidins are 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E.
Grape seed extract powder, with its powerful OPC content is able to protect us from the harmful effects of environmental degradation such as air and water pollution, cigarette smoking, and harmful emissions from vehicles and factories.
The beneficial effects to people may include healthy blood fat, decongested blood vessels, low blood pressure, low cholesterol level, preventing blood vessel scleroses, decreasing blood viscidity and preventing thrombus formation.
Additionally, studies have shown that OPCs may prevent cardiovascular diseases by counteracting the negative effects of high cholesterol in the heart and blood vessels
The proanthocyanidin content in pine bark and grape seed extracts is known to strengthen our blood vessels and promote efficient delivery of oxygen to the cells. Proanthocyanidins also protect cell membranes by providing the nutrients necessary in reducing capillary permeability and fragility. The proanthocyanidin compound is most abundantly found in the bark of the maritime pine and in grape seeds called pips.
Grape seed extract powder can be used as a treatment option for skin disorders by stabilizing collagen and maintaining the elastin in the connective tissues that support our organs, joints, blood vessels, and muscles.
Pycnogenol, an OPC obtained from pine bark extract was shown to delay the progress of retinal edema and visual acuity especially in the infancy stage of diabetic retinopathy.
Proanthocyanidins are known to suppress the production of a protein called endothelin-1 that causes constriction of blood vessels. Endothelins are proteins that cause blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise and normally works with other mechanisms to maintain its balance but causes hypertension when the balance is lost. Thus the use of Grape seed extract powder with substantially high OPCs will significantly lower down blood pressure, reduce the risk of a heart attack and minimize migraine attacks.
Many plants like apples, cocoa, cinnamon, grape seeds, grape skin, red wines and pine bark are known to contain substantial amounts of proanthocyanadins but the berries of the chokeberry plant are known to have the highest concentration of these antioxidants. Bilberry. Cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea also contain these flavonoids.
Apples also contain, on average per serving, eight times the amount of proanthocyanidins found in red wines with the highest concentration found in the Red Delicious and Granny Smith apple varieties. Proanthocyanidins have long been sold as a nutritional supplement in Europe since the 1980s. It is only recently that it was introduced in the US market.