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Grape Seed Extract

Grape Seed Extract, derived from Vitis vinifera, is well known for its rich antioxidant content. However, the benefits this little seed has to offer are much more broad-reaching that this. Its pharmacological effects extend to anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic, and it is also a natural protectant of the liver, nervous system and heart. This was reported in a review article published in May 2016 by Phytotherapy Research. These beneficial health effects are likely due to its naturally high concentration of plant compounds, called phenolics.

 

 

By definition, antioxidants are cellular protectants that neutralise free-radicals and the detrimental effects that they have on the body. However, we don't need to neutralise all free-radicals, as we need some to maintain our health. That’s right, some free-radicals are produced and released within the human body for a very specific and important purpose. For instance, some leukocytes (white blood cells) release free-radicals to destroy harmful infections, which is of course very beneficial to us. Therefore, too many antioxidants is certainly not a good thing.

 

 

 

There does need to be a balance, and taking the approach of more is better does not usually apply here. However, given our lifestyles and the level of environmental pollutants, a small amount in supplemental form can be helpful, particularly if the diet is lacking in a broad range of antioxidant rich foods. Quality foods such as organic cacao, blueberries and walnuts—amongst many others—have been tested and shown to be exceptionally high on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale—a measure of the antioxidant potency of a substance. When assessing the antioxidant potency of a food or extract, the ORAC scale is a good reference tool.

 

 

Grape Seed Extract—ideally in combination with a diet rich in a broad range of antioxidant foods—may therefore assist with a broad range of health maladies and also support the maintenance of general health.

 

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