Do you have high blood pressure? Could you stand to lose a few pounds? Do you have high cholesterol?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, the bad news is that you could be one of the 50 million North Americans who are suffering from “metabolic syndrome” — a combination of factors that increase your risk of heart disease.
But there’s good news for you, too. A March 2006 California study of people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome revealed that those participants taking grape seed extract experienced a significant reduction in their blood pressure.
The study’s lead researcher also noted that the patients with the highest blood pressure going into the trial actually experienced the greatest reduction of symptoms. Isn’t that remarkable? The patients suffering the most found the greatest relief with grape seed extract!
More recently, researchers studying grape seed extract reported that the dietary supplement could help prevent the damage to your heart that’s caused by free radicals.
Destructive free radicals come from the foods you eat, the environment in which you live, and your own body’s natural processes. The thing is, free radicals are unstable, and, as a result, they cause chemical reactions in your body that do damage to your health on a cellular level. Free radical oxidative damage is a contributing factor to inflammation, hardening of the arteries, and heart disease.
Grape seed extract, the researchers concluded, helps make your body more resilient to oxidative damage. And, if that’s not enough proof that grape seed extract is good for those of you who are at an elevated risk for heart disease, consider this:
A recent University of Wisconsin Department of Cardiovascular Medicine study showed that a combination grape seed extract product could help inhibit “platelet aggregation.” Platelet aggregation is a fancy way of saying “blood clotting,” and blood clots are a definite risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
The University of Wisconsin study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, showed that the combination of grape seed extract and grape skin extract could exhibit up to a 30% greater anti-platelet effect than the individual extracts display on their own could.
From our perspective, all the recent studies coming out touting the benefits of grape seed extract are nothing but good news for people who want to reduce their risk of heart disease.
If you’re interested in this supplement, look for a formula that delivers 100 to 200 mg of grape seed extract per day. Note that grape seed extract is often marketed as a “red wine supplement” or as “red wine extract.” To get the greatest benefits, heed the findings of the University of Wisconsin study and look for a supplement that offers a combination of both grape seed extract and grape skin extract.