Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that can be used to benefit the body in many ways. Grape seed has antioxidant, antiallergenic, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties and it can be instrumental in helping the body fight viruses, allergens, and carcinogens.
The bioflavonoids in grape seed extract help strengthen and protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Its antioxidant properties are considered to be stronger than those of vitamin C and Vitamin E. It helps to repair connective tissue while promoting skin enzyme activity. Grape seed extract aids wound healing by helping to regenerate damaged blood vessels and clearing harmful bacteria from the wound.
It can help prevent cardiovascular disease, varicose veins, edema, and arthritis. Grape seed extract also acts as a natural anti-histamine, moderating allergic responses by reducing histamine production and boosting the immune system.
Grape seed antioxidants also may decrease the risk of developing cancer. Additionally, laboratory studies show that grape seed extract prevents the growth of various types of cancer in test tubes, according to the UMMC, including breast, colon, stomach, prostate and lung cancer. Grape seed extract also may protect the liver from cell damage caused by chemotherapy.
Grape seed extract is frequently recommended to combat macular degeneration, cataracts, and eye strain. Studies have shown that 300 mg daily reduces eye strain from prolonged computer use in 60 days.
Grape seed extract can also be effective in the treatment of conditions such as ADD, as it aids in regulating the neurotransmitters in the brain and inhibits the breakdown of norepinephrine and dopamine. Grape seed extract is one of the few antioxidants that can help to protect nerve and brain tissue by penetrating the blood brain barrier.
The most likely side effects include headache, dizziness, nausea and a dry, itchy scalp, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Grape seed extract may have blood-thinning properties, which could increase the risk of bleeding if taken with blood thinning medications.
The extract should be standardized to at least 40 percent proanthocyanidins. A common daily dose is 25 to 150mg one to three times daily.