Grape Seed Extract

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-17 (EDT)

See Also Food Supplements

Grape seed extract, as the name suggests, is derived from grapes and contains one of the most beneficial groups of plant bioflavonoids; the proanthocyanidins. Mixtures of proanthocyanidin molecules are commonly referred to as procyanidolic oligomers or PCO.

Food Sources

Grape seed extract is derived from the ground-up seeds of red wine grapes.


Grape seed extract has been found to have a number of health benefits including:

  • Potent antioxidant activity and effective at free-radical scavenging.[1]
  • Reduces swelling caused by injury.
  • Visual function: Grape seed PCO extract supplementation aids in visual functioning even in healthy individuals. This improvement is due to improved retinal functioning.
  • Activin, a constituent in grape seed extract has been found to reduce tissue damage caused by cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury.[2]
  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention: The ability for PCOs to protect against these disease is largely due to its antioxidant action. Animal studies have shown that PCO extracts prevent damage to cholesterol and the lining of arteries, and lower blood cholesterol and decrease the size of cholesterol deposits in arteries. They also decrease platelet aggregation and vascular constriction.
  • Venous and capillary disorders: such as venous insufficiency, varicose veins, capillary fragility, and disorders of the retina such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

Prescribing Considerations

The recommended dosages have not yet been established. To determine what your specific requirements are talk to your naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional.

  • Grape seed extracts are available that contain a total of 92% or 95% PCO. The suggested dosage ranges from 50-300mg/day, with a maintenance dosage in the range of 50-100mg/day.[2]


Grape seed extract is generally considered safe. Specific safety precautions include:

  • If you are sensitive or allergic to grapes it is best to avoid grape seed extract.
  • Side effects are very rare, but many include headaches, itchy scalp, dizziness and nausea.
  • Children: The safety of grape seed extract for children has not been established.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:
  • The safety of grape seed extract has not been established and is best avoided.
  • Drug interactions:'
  • There are no known drug-herb interactions or strict contraindications to grape seed extract, but due to its mechanism of action it could interact with blood thinners, NSAID painkillers (aspirin, Advil, Aleve, etc.).


  1. Murray Michael (1996)Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. Prima Publishing.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Murray F (2000) 100 Super Supplements for a Longer Life. Keats Publishing.