Not only are users in the nootropic community looking to boost their cognitive abilities, but their overall brain health as well. Luckily, there are some supplements which provide you with both benefits. Grape seed extract is a prime example, as it’s known for its nutritional benefits, as well as its cognitive effects.
Not only does this extract help prevent free-radical brain damage, but it also helps improve one’s memory, while reducing stress and inflammation in the brain. It is also being studied for its potential life extension and anti-aging effects.
Grapes are nothing new, as you have probably eaten them many times before. This nutrient-rich, fruiting berry, has been used for thousands of years. The use of grapes was common in ancient Greece and Egypt, for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. With that being said, it was most commonly used for wine.
We’re used to eating plump, juicy grapes, however, grape leaves also provide benefits. These leaves have been used in order to stop bleeding, minimize pain, and reduce inflammation. Unripe and dried grapes have also been utilized, treating sore throats and constipation respectively.
What Are the Effects of Grape Seed Extract?
Extracts that are sold today, are typically derivatives from grape seeds. These seeds have a high concentration of flavanoids, vitamin E, linoleic acid, and phenolic OPC’s (which are powerful anti-oxidant). Although you will find the highest concentrations of OPC’s within the seeds, there are lower concentrations in the juice and skin as well.
Due to the effects of grape seed extract, the compounds mentioned above are may be useful for treating a variety of illnesses and diseases. So, how does this extract work? Well, this natural supplement has hundreds of separate components, making it challenging to understand which ingredient creates which specific effect.
With that being said, flavanoids and polyphenols tend to be the most effective and beneficial. These work by providing anti-oxidant effects. They target free-radicals, which have been linked to a number of degenerative diseases, as well as cancer. Not only do these compounds fight off free-radicals, but they also help to remove toxins from the body.
A lot of research has been conducted on resveratrol (a polyphenol found in grapes), which has shown to increase the lifespan of numerous animal species. It has been reported as a compound which has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-oxidant effects. It also helps individuals stabilize their blood sugar, improving their overall cardiovascular health.
What Are the Key Benefits?
When users take grape seed extract, they achieve a number of benefits. Not only does the brain benefit, but multiple organs and internal systems also benefit. Since this supplement helps to reduce bad cholesterol (known as your LDL levels), it helps to protect your heart. It has also been reported as a protector against bacterial infections.
For those that have diabetes, this could be a great addition to your health routine. Considering diabetes can create a number of complications (including issues with one’s cardiovascular and nervous system), grape seed extract can help. By significantly improving both inflammation and fluctuating blood sugar levels, diabetics can help prevent future health complications.
Whether you’re diabetic or not, grape seed extract has been shown to improve one’s blood pressure. It also helps to reduce one’s risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes. All of these systems are interconnected, so improving one system (for instance your cardiovascular health), can help improve other systems as well.
As mentioned above, grape seed extract is a powerful anti-oxidant. By removing oxidative stress from the body and mind, you can greatly improve your future health. With diseases like Alzheimer’s, it’s believed that free-radical damage creates brain plaque. Antioxidants help target these free-radicals, before they cause damage.
You do not need to eliminate all free-radicals in order to stay healthy. In fact, free-radicals do play a role in terms of our metabolism. Damage and negative effects occur when these free-radicals are not kept under control. This is why daily supplementation can assist free-radicals levels, preventing various diseases and brain damage.
Are There Side-Effects?
At this time, there are no reported serious side-effects for grape seed extract. There is a slight possibility that you may experience some mild stomach discomfort. Other than that, this supplement is generally very well tolerated. At this present time, there are two core groups which should avoid this supplement.
If you are pregnant or nursing, then please avoid grape seed extract. Also, if you are on blood thinners, then you should also not take this supplement. If you are currently taking any medication, please check with your doctor, ensuring your safety.
Grape Seed Extract Dosage
It is important to understand the recommended dosage for any supplement you take. When supplements are considered safe, that is often at a recommended, controlled dose. When taking grape seed extract, it comes in various forms.
You can consume this supplement in tablet, capsule, or liquid form. In order to achieve the greatest effects, you should look for products that have a OPC content of at least 95%. Since there are so many different forms, there is not a standardized dosage.
On average, users typically take between 25 mg and 150 mg daily. However, there have been doses up to 900 mg reported. In order to maintain anti-oxidant support, you should take the typical dose (up to 150 mg). If you suffer from chronic venous insufficiency, it’s recommended that you take up to 300 mg daily.
Like any supplement, start with a lower dose. See how that affects you before taking anymore. Also, discuss any concerns that you may have with your doctor.