Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, currently affects millions of individuals around the globe. This condition significantly threatens one’s cardiovascular health, increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke. To target these conditions, modern medicine is beginning to implement the benefits of grapes.
Grape seeds and skins are of greatest interest in terms of their compounds and related effects. While focusing on this beneficial ingredient, there’s a growing interest in grape seed extract’s ability to reduce blood pressure. Studies have reported that polyphenols in grape seeds can improve cardiovascular function, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.
The newest studies now support the notion that grape seed extract has positive effects on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This has increased interest regarding the possible treatment of hypertension through more natural means, reducing one’s reliance on prescription medication.
What Exactly is Grape Seed Extract?
Grape seed extract is a supplement which is considered to be highly safe and effective. It is produced from crushed red grapes, offering high concentrations of antioxidants. Based on research, it’s been confirmed that this extract raises antioxidant levels in the blood, improving various ailments and overall health.
Although beneficial compounds are found throughout the entire grape, the greatest concentration of these compounds is found within the seed. Within grape seed extract, you will benefit from vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and even resveratrol which is known for its heart-health properties.
Although it’s mainly been researched regarding its effects on blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer, grape seed extract has a wide range of benefits. From improving mental clarity to wound healing, lowering cholesterol and preventing tooth decay, this extract offers many benefits with very little risk of adverse effects.
The Connection Between Grape Seed Extract and Blood Pressure
Recent research has supported the notion that grape seed extract can positively impact blood pressure levels, as reported in multiple studies. At the University of California, researchers conducted a double-blind study with previous research in mind.
When grape seed extract was tested amongst individuals who had normal blood pressure, no effects were experienced. Moving forward, researchers in California split participants into three key groups. Within the first group a placebo was given; the second group was given 150 mg of grape seed extract, and group three was given 300 mg of grape seed extract.
Over a four-week period, participants were monitored in order to record results. Within the placebo group, no significant effects were reported. Both groups who received grape seed extract experienced a reduction in their blood pressure levels. Contrary to previous clinical reviews, positive effects were seen regarding both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Across all participants who consumed grape seed extract the average reduction in systolic pressure dropped by 11-12 points and diastolic dropped by 7-8 points.
Benefiting Metabolic Syndrome with Grape Seed Extract
Metabolic syndrome is a term that’s used when describing a combination of conditions, including high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. There’s significant interest regarding grape seed extract in order to improve symptoms of this syndrome, especially those that are suffering from prehypertension. This allows certain individuals to avoid prescription medications which can have multiple side effects.
Researchers from the University of California focused on the reasons why grape seed extract has an effect on this syndrome. It was found that this extract acts as a catalyst to nitrous oxide synthase. The production of this enzyme helps produce eNOS which is known as the good nitrous oxide. When this enzyme is produced, it helps relax arteries, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
These results support specific findings within a study that was conducted a year earlier. When studying muscadine grape extract, most areas failed to yield significant results, except for the positive effects observed regarding brachial diameter when at rest. Once again, these findings suggest that grape seed extract can relax arteries enough to enhance blood flow and reduce overall blood pressure.
Taking Grape Seed Extract to Improve Symptoms of Diabetes
The findings reported from the University of California have sparked significant interest from those in the scientific community, as well as those in various medical fields. These findings suggest that grape seed extract could help individuals suffering from type II diabetes.
Another plus is that side effects from taking grape seed extract are rare and minor which would allow for a more natural and preferable solution. In addition to aiding symptoms of diabetes, if taking grape seed extract continually proves that blood pressure levels could be reduced, this extract may be implemented into mainstream medicine.
Grape Seed Extract for Obesity
Based on the positive effects on symptoms of metabolic disorder, research believes that there may be a dual effect regarding the overall health of patients. For those aiming to prevent diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is critical. Obesity is one of the greatest risk factors in terms of type II diabetes.
When taking this extract, individuals are able to limit their appetite while reducing the accumulation of fat. Excess fat is generally absorbed and then store in adipose tissue. The phytochemicals found in grapes are what’s believed to reduce this accumulation.
These effects would not only reduce blood pressure but also help target the conditions in which cause one’s blood pressure to increase in the first place. By losing weight, individuals can help reduce instances of hypertension, reducing their risk of heart attack or stroke.
What Side Effects Should I Be Aware Of?
Based on current research and knowledge, side effects of grape seed extract are very limited. There is a specific precaution against breastfeeding and pregnant women. Of course, if you have an allergy to grapes, please refrain from taking this supplement and at this time, it’s also recommended that children should not take this extract.
When symptoms do suffer based on adverse effects, they include a headache, dizziness, stomach ache, sore throat, and an itchy scalp. If you are currently taking any medication, such as blood pressure drugs, NSAId painkillers, blood thinners, cancer drugs, or another other medication, please speak to your doctor about possible interactions.