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Grape Seed Extract

Researchers are now finding that grape seed extract is an antioxidant cocktail that is many times stronger than its popular counterparts.

Grape seed extract contains powerful antioxidants called proanthocyanidins. The antioxidant power of proanthocyanidins is many times stronger than vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants neutralize harmful radicals (toxic byproducts of metabolic functions) and protect against inflammation, cancer, and age-related diseases. Now research reports that grape seed extract may help prevent skin cancer.

The study, presented at the 223rd annual meeting of the American Chemical Society on April 8, 2007, investigated the effects of grape seed extract on mice exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Researchers from the University of Alabama, Birmingham administered a standard diet supplemented with grape seed extract or a standard diet without supplementation to hairless mice. The mice were exposed to UVB radiation.

The researchers found that the mice in the grape seed group had a 35 percent reduction in tumors, compared to the untreated mice. Findings also revealed that the grape seed group had a 78 percent decrease in tumor size and 65 fewer tumors than the untreated mice. Grape seed extract appears to block the suppression of the immune system caused by UV light.

"It suggests that regular consumptions of GSPs (grape seed proanthocyanidins) as a dietary supplement may be beneficial for the prevention of skin cancers," says study chief Santosh K. Katiyar, PhD, in a news release.

By limiting oxidation, a process in which electrons lose a molecule, atom, or ion, grape seed extract may help prevent and treat heart diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

It has also been shown that the powerful antioxidants found in grape seed extract, proanthocyanidins, strengthen the walls of blood vessels which protects them against damage.

Some studies indicate that you may want to avoid grape seed extract if you are taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. The result may lead to uncontrolled bleeding, therefore caution should be exercised when implementing this supplement into your diet. The studies are limited and therefore further research is limited. Discuss grape seed extract with your doctor if you are these medications.

If you are looking for a powerful supplement to take as a part of a healthy diet, consider grape seed extract. The benefits described in the article only begin to reveal its true potential as a free radical scavenger.

REFERENCES: 1. Grape seed extract may help prevent skin cancer. Yahoo news, March 26, 2007.

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