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Most people know them for their plump, refreshing juiciness, as well as their characteristic seedlessness when cultivated for snacking purposes. I’m talking about grapes, that timeless aliment of kings and the fruit that dreams are made of − especially if you’re a wine aficionado. But in all seriousness, grapes have long held high status as being one of the world’s most popular fruits, and they just so happen to be loaded with miracle nutrients that can help reverse the aging process while warding off degenerative diseases like cancer.
The skins and seeds of grapes are particularly remedial for human health because they contain a treasure trove of powerful antioxidant compounds that science has linked to vibrant quality of life and longevity. Nearly every imbalance, ailment, and pathology afflicting modern man, in fact, is a potential target for the various nutritive substances found in grapes. This is why these bulbous little berries are among the most well-studied fruits within the realm of functional, food-based medicine.
Resveratrol in Grape Skins: An Anti-Aging Marvel
Like with most foods that quietly boast medicinal properties, the popularity of the grape hasn’t traditionally centered around its therapeutic potential, at least not in the West. The average grape-lover today prefers this fruit because of its succulent tartness and sweetness, not because it has the ability to prevent cardiovascular events and infections. But this is changing, thanks to the devoted work of scientists who are uncovering how grape constituents such as resveratrol, found primarily in grape skins, can help prevent and treat a host of human health conditions.
Resveratrol is arguably the most well-known therapeutic substance found in grapes, a natural outcome of everything that science has uncovered over the years about its incredible anti-aging potential. A fat-soluble polyphenolic compound, resveratrol’s claim to fame centers around is prominence in longevity research. Many a study has shown its effectiveness at preventing and treating a wide range of age-related health conditions. Things like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cognitive decline, and even cancer.
The strong antioxidant effects of resveratrol make it an ideal nutritional supplement for combating the oxidative stress brought about by free radical damage. Resveratrol essentially neutralizes free radicals throughout the body, preventing them from stoking the types of inflammatory responses that end up leading to chronic, and potentially terminal, health conditions like coronary heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
One of the biggest contributing factors to rapid aging is hardening of the arteries, another area where resveratrol shines with flying colors. Studies have shown that resveratrol directly up-regulates endothelial progenitor cells. These are the adult stem cells that work to keep blood vessels elastic and healthy, helping to promote healthy circulation and blood flow to and through the heart. Long-term cardiovascular health is contingent upon a flexible, well-flowing circulatory system, and resveratrol is a perfect fit for this important job.
Can Grape Seeds Turn Back the Aging Clock, Too?
But it doesn’t stop at resveratrol. Grape seeds contain their own unique healing constituents as well that work symbiotically as a complement to resveratrol. Unfortunately, grapes that actually contain seeds are becoming increasingly harder to find in the produce aisle as many people prefer seedless varieties. But don’t spit out those seeds! Grape seeds are naturally rich in oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPC), a class of plant metabolites that studies have shown bear strong antioxidant.
OPC are therapeutic in a number of ways, exhibiting antibacterial, antiviral, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and vasodilatory activities. They also help protect cell membrane lipids against oxidative damage; prevent platelet aggregation and blood clots; strengthen capillary integrity; and promote the function and efficiency of enzyme activity.
Perhaps you’re familiar with a dietary supplement known as pine bark extract (PBE), often sold under the brand name of Pycnogenol, that’s marketed as an anti-aging supplement. PBE, it turns out, is composed of roughly 65-75% procyanidin compounds by weight. Procyanidin falls into the larger category of OPCs, which are also found in grape seeds.
Extracts of grape seed (GSE) containing high levels of OPC are similarly anti-aging in nature, performing a number of important functions inside the body. Like PBE, grape seed extract contains a wide range of catechins, procyanidins, phenolic acids, linoleic acid, and flavonoids that, biologically speaking, support life in a number of important ways.
Studies suggest that grape seed extract may help:
- Strengthen bones and improve bone formation
- Support oral health by protecting teeth against decay and remineralizing cavities
- Normalize blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and guarding against oxidative damage
- Improve circulation, thus preventing conditions like chronic venous insufficiency and edema
- Boost brain function and protect against cognitive brain conditions like Alzheimer’s
- Prevent diabetes and blood sugar disorders by normalizing metabolic function
- Reduce the likelihood of hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and other conditions symptomatic of poor circulation
Some studies have also found that grape seed extract may help prevent the growth of various types of cancer cells, including those of the breast, stomach, prostate, lung, and colon, at least in vitro. The University of Maryland Medical Center, while offering the caveat that test tube studies aren’t necessarily indicative of efficacy in humans, admits that GSE could eventually prove to be a powerful anti-cancer medicine, and I’m of the persuasion that they’re right.
One study out of Austria that looked at the effect of OPC on prostate cancer cells found that these nutritive substances are both anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic, meaning they stop cancer cells from spreading and cause them to commit suicide. Another study out of South Korea found OPC exerts the same anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects against colorectal cancer cells.
You Need More Than Just Whole Grapes to Benefit
To truly benefit from the benefits of resveratrol and OPC takes more than just eating a handful of grapes (or drinking a glass of wine). The reality is that you’d have to eat massive quantities of whole grapes and whole grape seeds in order to obtain the therapeutic doses of resveratrol and OPC you’d need to achieve these types of health benefits. I’m talking many large clusters of grapes just to get even a moderate dosage of these important nutrients.
That’s why the preferred method of intake is dietary supplements that have been standardized to at least 40% (or preferably as high as 80%) proanthocyanidins, and at least 95% OPC. Therapeutic dosages of resveratrol can vary from anywhere between one milligram to 500 milligrams, depending on the desired health outcome.
Since neither class of compound has shown signs of toxicity, even at high levels, and with no established dosage for efficacy, my suggestion is to lean towards taking too much GSE and resveratrol rather than too little. In this case, the more the merrier is a good and safe rule of thumb.
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Why wouldn’t we just take the seeds from the grapes we grow, perhaps crush them a little, put them in strong alcohol (say 50%) for six weeks or more, shaking each day, and just take a teaspoon each day? That is a grape seed extract tincture. I’m only saying that for people who are poor, or cheap like me.
Michele Germain says
Please offer a link to the supplements you recommend.
Thank you for your comment!
The main brand of supplements that we recommend is Epigenetic Labs. Here is a link to their website: https://epigeneticlabs.com/
I make grape jam from our Niagara Coronation grapes (very sweet) with Stevia and thicken with Chia seeds – delicious on your organic peanut butter and gluten free toast in the am. Recipes for freezer/fridge jam with chia are on line – a good way to get grape seeds and skins – just pre process the grapes before cooking in your blender – you would never know there were skins or seeds.
jill green says
John brings up a good point. Supplements are expensive and there are MANY people who are unable to afford them.
Wilhelminah Botlhoko says
oh how wonderful, I am sure if we are true to ourselves we will beat all the ailments. May the good Lord bless you for the good work you are doing. I want to believe that you are encouraged by the feedbacks you get from us. I am pleased to be in your contact list and receiving all the eye opening news.
Sue Shelley says
What about juicing the foods in the probiotic…..grapes, kiwi fruit……?
Rossi Dickson says
For years I’ve been sautéing and frying with grape seed oil, mainly because of its high smoke point. I wonder if it contains GSE or resveratrol.
Charles Maybury says
Comercially grown grapes are high in floride. If I could grow my own at 7500 foot elevation I would. I already supplement with resveretrol, but might add gse to my list. Good article.
Some of the farmers markets have organic grapes. You would have to ask them about the floride content
walter schwenk says
charles, I know that certain varieties of grapes can do well even as far north as prince albert city in saskatchewan canada. there is nothing like home grown vine ripened.
Pat-super article. I used to spit out the seeds. No more
Chandra Prakash Dugar says
I agree with you completely, as grape seed contains polyphenol, which is only super antioxidants which can pass brain barrier and can reach any part of the body which needs to be cured. Since it is super antioxidants it actually rejuvenate the person who takes it.
Chandra Prakash Dugar says
Their are 3 fatal things for every human
1. Free redicals
One should always supplement himself after attaining the age of 20 plus. Above all one should start taking Probiotic Fibre for good gut flora as the same will change pH of intestine from acidic to alkaline by which one can avoid lot of complications one may face in future
Linda Tulbert says
I do whatever I can for good health but I battle cholesterol . I have know had a test that says my small particles in my lol are high. Should not be over 1000 but is 1706. I take supplements geared to help. I’am 65 and already outlived parents . I take 35 supplements a day and all I take is always recommended in all the books on health. I’am I taking way to much and what do you do about inherited problems. I follow you and would love your suggestions. I spend so much money trying to stay healthy
Not to forget that organic substances are too fast to metabolise. Eat them often.
Conversely organic substances are metabolised at the correct rate, that is not too fast.
Sadly I have tried to find orgainc grapes with seeds and they have all been modified to be seedless.
As usual, the info is the helpful, but MERCY, can you stop with all the sales things?!
Nira Bhasin says
Walter Schwenk says
Every year I thank Yah for the many grape vines in the yard!
Muscadine grapes are the best in USA. But most citizens don’t know about this.Potent resveratrol.
Something is in the soil of Georgia,N. And S. Carolina that they like.Copper?
California soil is trash or sand. Sometimes you can find some good organic comming from New York state. And Organic seeded from Mexico.
Ani Everts says
Thank you for the article Ty
What would you use instead of alcohol?
How does grape seed oil stack up in all of this?
Silvia Logan says
I love grapes very much. They are so delicious. I have the habit of buying seedless grapes, because I find seeds a nuisance to swallow. I did not even know that grapes seeds were good for your health. I heard that fruit seeds consist of vitamin B17 which is suppose to fight cancer. I eat a few apple seeds, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries that are high in vitamin B17.
AbooBakr RanaDeen says
I read that apple and cherry seeds have cyanide. It is therefore forbidden.
Since you chose the name of the first Caliph….where is it forbidden to consume these two fruits? Apricot seeds promote cyanide that destroys cancer cells as well. Forbidden to consume what is good for your health??
so….yes to pine bark or no??
we eat lots and lots of grapes directly from the vineyard in the South of France….thanks for sharing!!
Charles S says
Yes, I learned about this recently. The missus and I now chew and swallow grape seeds and apple seeds. Also eating apricot kernels for the cancer killing effects, quite bitter but I actually like the taste now.
Chandra Prakash Dugar says
For cancer prevention apricot bitter seeds are very good and effective way. Furthermore grape seed should be chewed like grounded so it will be very effective since our intestine will be able to take out full benefits of the same.
You may want to check out Cancertutor.com and see what they say about consumption of Apricot kernals? They are to be used as complimentary method in addition to other course for cancer.
I have heard of someone who takes grape seed oil and swears by it. It lowered sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol
Do you mean grape seed extract(GSE)?
Lynda Kamrath says
There are many oils on the market that are so much better than vegetable oils. We use coconut oil and olive oil for most of our cooking and dressings. Take a look in the oil area of a good market. All vegetable oils from here in the U.S. have been contaminated with GMO. Deep frying with one of these oils (like french fries) is a killer for sure.
I am never able to find grapes with seeds in them. Every grocery carries only seedless. Where are they to be purchased?
I found the same thing to a degree, but it is part of my belief structure to grow what I need. Maybe this could be an option. Good luck and have a great journey.
I totaly agree on that.
I think it’s a good idee
You read incorrectly my friend, the cyanide is bound, not free. Also it is only forbidden, if you are brainwashed.
I have also been whizzing my back-yard grapes in my Vita Mix and either adding the puree to my veggie juice or making chia/stevia jam. Insanely delicious, I will be sad when my grapes are done.
As far as the cyanide in some seeds, I heard on the Truth about Cancer series that the cyanide is bound and will only be unbound by an enzyme produced by cancer cells.
Lynda Kamrath says
So, why are dogs unable to eat grapes and raisins? We have always been told they are toxic to dogs. Also, we have always been told not to eat apple seeds (and my father was an apple/dairy farmer). Just curious.
I mix equal parts of expeller presser grapeseed oil with extra virgin olive oil when making salad dressing. I don’t know if you get the same benefits from grapeseed oil as from extract.
I agree with you. Why is there not a movement to return to seed fruits.
Yes, agree. Always gets back to supplements. What if you live in Haiti or Africa? they just die, do they, because they can’t get supplements. Doesn’t work like that in my book.
I take Shaklee’s Vivix product. Kosher Vivix® _ KOSHER _ Type _ Shaklee CA site.html