Supporting a healthy cardiovascular system with grape seed extract
Even though we now know that good lifestyle choices--like a healthy diet and staying active--can help support heart function, many people still struggle to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. And this is evidenced by the fact that heart disease in the United States is still a prevalent health issue. More than 18 million American adults have coronary heart disease. Statistics on the prevalence of high blood pressure, a related condition, are equally concerning with nearly one in three adults having higher than optimal blood pressure, according to data from the America Heart Association. And these conditions tend to gain prevalence with age. So, it’s little wonder, with our aging population, that many people are looking for solutions to help them keep their heart and blood pressure functioning optimally.
Certainly, a good diet that is heavy with leafy green vegetables and contains moderate amounts of lean meats and lower levels of carbs and sugar, as well as regular exercise are critical. But there are also some supplementation options that can offer an extra measure of support to keep these critical systems operating at their best.
Grape seed extract (Vitis vinefera) is one of those options with great potential. It has solid clinical substantiation for maintaining healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular function.,[4} * Grape seeds are a waste product of the wine and grape juice industry, which are rich in numerous important antioxidant compounds, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, and they are an exceptionally good source of oligomeric proanthocyanins (OPCs). Scientific studies on grape seed extract have shown that the antioxidant power of proanthocyanidins is 20 times higher than Vitamin D and as much as 50 times greater than Vitamin C.
Clinically-validated for support of healthy blood pressure
Grape seed extract has seen particularly strong evidence for its support of healthy blood pressure. For example, a 2016 meta-analysis of 16 clinical trials demonstrated that grape seed extract supports healthy blood pressure, which is instrumental in healthy heart function. One proprietary grape seed extract, Enovita®**, has been specifically studied and shown to support maintenance of normal blood flow when associated with diet and lifestyle modifications in healthy people with borderline pressure.
In this 2013 study, two doses of the Enovita® grape see extract were evaluated (150 mg/day and 300 mg/day) using blood pressure and heart rate as primary endpoints, over a four month period of treatment. The researchers concluded that both dosage groups saw improvement, but 93% of those with the higher 300 mg dose saw a normalization of blood pressure. The data suggests that grape seed extract in the profile associated with Enovita® is worth considering to complement dietary and lifestyle changes associated with attainment of healthy blood pressure status. The researchers also noted that the effect on blood pressure adds to the beneficial support of grape seed extract on cardiovascular health.*
Extensive research also suggests that grape seed extract may enhance other health systems that need a boost to maintain normal function with age. This includes its antioxidant effect to bond with collagen to promote youthful skin, cell health, elasticity and flexibility. Other studies have also shown that the proanthocyanidins may help protect the body from sun damage, support healthy vision, and enhance joint flexibility.
So, there are plenty of good reasons to add grape seed extract to your daily supplement regimen, and it is increasingly clear that grape seed extract can be a beneficial tool in supporting overall cardiovascular function. That noted, it is important to choose a formula with a clinically validated ingredient like Enovita® and proper dosage to ensure you are getting the full benefits of this important antioxidant.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
**Enovita®is a trademark product of Indena, S.p.A., Italy
Fryar CD, Chen T-C, Li X. Prevalence of uncontrolled risk factors for cardiovascular disease: United States, 1999–2010 pdf icon[PDF-494K]. NCHS data brief, no. 103. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2012.
America heart Association. Statistical Fact Sheet 2013 Update. High Blood Pressure. https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_319587.pdf
Feringa HH, Lasky DA et al. The effect of grape seed extract on cardiovascular risk markers: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of the America Dietetic Association. 2011 Aug.;111-(8):1173-1181.
Natella F, Belelli F et al. Grape seed proanthocyanidins prevent plasma postprandial oxidative stress in humans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2002. Dec. 18;50(26):7720-7725.
Shi J, Yu J et al. Polyphenolics in grape seeds—Biochemistry and functionality. Journal of Medical Food. 2003. 6(4):291-299.
Hailee Zhang HH, Shuang Liu MM, et al. The impact of grape seed extract treatment on blood pressure changes. A meta-analysis fo 16 randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016. Aug; 95(33):e4247
Belcaro G, Ledda A, Hu S et al. Grape seed proanthocyanidins in pre- and mild hypertension: A registry study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/313142.
Ibid. Journal of Medical Food.