This fact sheet provides
basic information about grape seed extract—uses, potential side effects, and
resources for more information. The grape seeds used to produce grape seed
extract are generally obtained from wine manufacturers. The leaves and fruit of
the grape have been used medicinally since ancient Greece.
What Grape Seed Extract Is Used For
seed extract is used for conditions related to the heart and blood
vessels, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, and poor circulation.
reasons for the use of grape seed extract include complications related to
diabetes, such as nerve and eye damage; vision problems, such as macular
degeneration (which can cause blindness); and swelling after an injury or
seed extract is also used for cancer prevention and wound healing.
How Grape Seed Extract Is Used
Grape seed extract is
prepared from the seed of grapes. It is available in capsule and tablet forms.
What the Science Says
studies have shown that grape seed contains antioxidants-substances that
prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which are highly reactive
molecules that can damage cell function. However, it is still unclear how
grape seed might affect human health.
seed extract has shown some beneficial antioxidant effects in preliminary
clinical trials. However, few trials have looked at specific diseases or
conditions, and little scientific evidence is available.
study funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found that grape seed
extract did not reduce the hardening of breast tissue that can occur after
radiation therapy for breast cancer.
is also funding studies evaluating whether grape seed extract is effective
in preventing breast and prostate cancers.
is studying whether the action of grape seed extract and its components
may benefit the heart or have protective effects in the brain.
Side Effects and Cautions
seed extract is generally well tolerated when taken by mouth. It has been
used safely for up to 8 weeks in clinical trials.
effects that have been reported most often include headache; a dry, itchy
scalp; dizziness; and nausea.
interactions between grape seed extract and medicines or other supplements
have not been carefully studied.
your health care providers about any complementary and alternative
practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your
health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.