Health Benefits of Activated Grape Seed Extract (GSE)

Activated grape seed extract has been noted for providing many potential health benefits, including the following:

  • Supports the Cardiovascular system
  • May support Healthier Skin
  • Helps to maintain and promote Cellular Energy
  • May support Healthier Aging
  • May help to support efficient Control of Oxidative Stress during Exercise 

Many people have heard of the French Paradox. Despite eating a hearty and fat rich diet, the French population has one of the lowest incidences of heart and coronary conditions of any western nation. Many reasons have been put forward for this, with perhaps one of the most prominent being the consumption of wine. 

As good wines are produced from high quality grapes it is no surprise to learn that grapes, especially the resveratrol compound found in their skins, are a rich source of healthy bioactive compounds. Likewise, their seeds contain a rich source of bioactive substances, such as catechins, flavonoids, and flavonol esters. such as the antioxidant catechins, flavonoids, and flavonol esters. 

Grape seed extract (GSE) naturally contains large amounts of procyanidins (Proanthocyanidins). These polymer chains are formed from (+)-catechin and Procyanidin B2. GSE is also rich in Procyanidin B1, C1, and epicatechin.

The Procyanidin B1 compounds present in grape seed extract can be readily absorbed by humans following digestion, and are able to circulate within the blood serum [1]. The catechins found in grape seeds have been reported to have a similar level of absorption and bioavailability as green tea catechins, which are thought to support numerous human health aspects [1]. However experimental studies using rats have suggested that absorption may not be as effective across intestinal cells [2]. This makes it important to take GSE alongside piperine to prolong its longevity in the human system.

Black Pepper for Better Absorption and Retention of GSE Catechins

Our grape seed extract contains black pepper extract (BPE). The active ingredient in BPE is bioperine, which itself is derived from piperine [3]. This bioactive compound may help the body to better retain GSE and other supplements in its system. 

Without the use of BPE, enzymes in the liver catalyze the bonding of glucuronide to supplement and pharmaceutical molecules; this in turn targets them for removal from the body via the urinary system. So without the use of BPE, much of the beneficial aspects associated with GSE supplementation will be nullified, as it will not stay in the body long enough to be effective. 

Cardiovascular System and Cholesterol Support

The bioactive compounds present in GSE may help to support heart rate and healthy blood pressure levels.

Consumption of GSE has been reported to increase levels of the signaling molecule nitric oxide in rats, at both rest and during exercise [4]. Nitric oxide is known to widen blood vessels through a process known as vasodilation [5]. The authors speculated the reason why GSE helps to prevent oxidative stress in rats during exercise is through an increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes and through the prevention of lipid peroxidation [4].

A small trial in postmenopausal women suggested that GSE might help to support blood flow [6]. It also may help to support blood flow in the legs of people sitting down for a prolonged amount of time [7].

It is possible that GSE may also help to support total cholesterol levels at a healthy range, and that tablets containing 200 or 400 milligrams of GSE may have beneficial effects on oxidized LDL [8]. 

Body Weight and Blood Sugar Control

 Research in rats suggests that GSE dosages are able to lower the circulating quantity of adiponectin [9]. This protein is known to be involved in the modulation of both lipid and glucose metabolism [10]. This suggests that grape seed extract may play a role in the regulation of triglycerides and blood glucose levels.

Further to this, GSE has been demonstrated to affect appetite suppression in rats [11]. The authors reported that polymeric grape seed tannins had a beneficial effect on intestinal metabolism, and also helped to protect the colon through decreasing the activity of fecal bacterial enzymes. In humans, GSE may also help to support the control of appetite; this is thought to occur through bringing about increased feelings of satiety and by cognitive enhancements of mood [12].

Hormonal interactions

Grape seed extract may be able to help support healthy levels of estrogen and testosterone. It may do this indirectly by supporting the protection of testicular tissue against damage from alcohol toxicity [13]. The authors noted that GSE might prove a useful herbal remedy as it may have a role in the control of oxidative damage.

GSE may also play a role in the support of membrane androgen receptor agonists. This is likely to be because of the presence of catechin and epicatechin; these are also found in green tea. [14, 15] 

Aesthetic Properties

When grape seed extract was taken in conjunction with fish protein polysaccharides, extracts from white tea, chamomile, soy, and tomato, and vitamins C and E, and zinc it was reported to support skin health qualities such as structure, firmness, and condition in post-menopausal women [16].

Further Reading

  • WebMD: The benefits and side effects of Grape Seed Extract - {}
  • Drugs : An overview of grape seed usage on - {}
  • Reddit: GSE as a testosterone booster - {}
  • Quora: Is eating grape seeds equal to eating grape seed extract? Short answer, you need to make sure that you really chew on every seed to break it down; otherwise it will pass straight through your digestive system! - {}

Published Citations, Abstracts, Reviews, and References

[1] Sano et al. Procyanidin B1 is detected in human serum after intake of proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003 May;67(5):1140-3. 

[2] Appeldoorn et al. Procyanidin dimers A1, A2, and B2 are absorbed without conjugation or methylation from the small intestine of rats. J Nutr. 2009 Aug;139(8):1469-73. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.106765.

[3] Rao et al. Simultaneous determination of bioactive compounds in Piper nigrum L. and a species comparison study using HPLC-PDA. Nat Prod Res. 2011 Aug;25(13):1288-94. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2010.535158.

[4] Belviranlı et al. Effects of grape seed extract supplementation on exercise-induced oxidative stress in rats. Br J Nutr. 2012 Jul;108(2):249-56. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511005496.

[5] Rapoport and Murad. Endothelium-dependent and nitrovasodilator-induced relaxation of vascular smooth muscle: role of cyclic GMP. J Cyclic Nucleotide Protein Phosphor Res. 1983;9(4-5):281-96. 

[6] Shenoy et al. Effects of grape seed extract consumption on platelet function in postmenopausal women. Thromb Res. 2007;121(3):431-2. 

[7] Sano, et al. Proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract reduces leg swelling in healthy women during prolonged sitting. J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Feb;93(3):457-62. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5773. 

[8] Sano et al. Beneficial effects of grape seed extract on malondialdehyde-modified LDL. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2007 Apr;53(2):174-82. 

[9] Meeprom at al. Grape seed extract supplementation prevents high-fructose diet-induced insulin resistance in rats by improving insulin and adiponectin signalling pathways. Br J Nutr. 2011 Oct;106(8):1173-81. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511001589. 

[10] Liu et al. Adiponectin regulates expression of hepatic genes critical for glucose and lipid metabolism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4;109(36):14568-73. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211611109.

[11] Tebib et al. Effects of dietary grape seed tannins on rat cecal fermentation and colonic bacterial enzymes. Nutrition Research. January 1996Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 105–110. 

[12] Vogels et al. The effect of grape-seed extract on 24 h energy intake in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;58(4):667-73. 

[13] El-Ashmawy et al. Effects of marjoram volatile oil and grape seed extract on ethanol toxicity in male rats. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2007 Nov;101(5):320-7. 

[14] Nifli et al. Monomeric and oligomeric flavanols are agonists of membrane androgen receptors. Exp Cell Res. 2005 Oct 1;309(2):329-39.

[15] Kampa et al. Novel oligomeric proanthocyanidin derivatives interact with membrane androgen sites and induce regression of hormone-independent prostate cancer. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2011 Apr;337(1):24-32. doi: 10.1124/jpet.110.177246.

[16] Skovgaard et al. Effect of a novel dietary supplement on skin aging in post-menopausal women. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;60(10):1201-6.

[17] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website [URL:]

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