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Grape Seed Extract

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This fact sheet provides basic information about grape seed extract—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information.

 

Common Names:  grape seed extract, grape seed

Latin Name: 
Vitis vinifera

Background

  • Since ancient Greece people have used grapes, grape leaves, and sap for health purposes. Grape seed extract was developed in the 1970s.
  • Today, grape seed extract is used as a dietary supplement for various conditions, including for venous insufficiency (when veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart), to promote wound healing, and to reduce inflammation.
  • Grape seed extract contains the antioxidant compound oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC), which has been studied for a variety of health conditions.
  • OPCs are found in extracts of grape skin and seeds, which are by-products of the wine industry. Grape seed extract is available in capsules and tablets and as a liquid.

How Much Do We Know?

  • There are a few well-controlled studies of people using grape seed extract for health conditions.

What Have We Learned?

  • Some studies suggest that compounds in grape seed extract may reduce edema (swelling) and help with symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, but the evidence isn’t strong.
  • Grape seed extract may have some heart benefits, including lowering systolic blood pressure and heart rate. The lower heart rate may cause the decrease in systolic blood pressure. The extract had no effect on lipid levels such as cholesterol or C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation in your arteries.
  • The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is supporting preliminary research on grape seed extract for Alzheimer’s disease and also for hereditary hemochromatosis, when the body’s iron levels are too high. The National Cancer Institute is supporting preliminary studies on grape seed extract for preventing prostate, lung, and colon cancer.

What Do We Know About Safety?

  • Grape seed extract is generally well tolerated when taken in moderate amounts. It has been tested safely for up to 14 weeks in studies of people. It’s possibly unsafe if you have a bleeding disorder or are going to have surgery or if you take anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as warfarin or aspirin.

Keep in Mind

  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

NCCIH Clearinghouse

The NCCIH Clearinghouse provides information on NCCIH and complementary and integrative health approaches, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.

Toll-free in the U.S.: 
1-888-644-6226
TTY (for deaf and hard-of-hearing callers): 
1-866-464-3615
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PubMed®

A service of the National Library of Medicine, PubMed® contains publication information and (in most cases) brief summaries of articles from scientific and medical journals. For guidance from NCCIH on using PubMed, see How To Find Information About Complementary Health Approaches on PubMed.

Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

ODS seeks to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, supporting research, sharing research results, and educating the public. Its resources include publications (such as Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know), fact sheets on a variety of specific supplement ingredients and products (such as vitamin D and multivitamin/mineral supplements), and the PubMed Dietary Supplement Subset.

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Key References

This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged.

NCCIH has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by NCCIH.
NCCIH Publication No.: 
D370
Updated: 
September 2016

This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged.


NCCIH has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advise of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by NCCIH.


U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

nccih.nih.gov

This page last modified March 16, 2017