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Grapeseed Oil Extract: Information & Benefits

Grape seed oil is derived from the seeds of grapes, or Vitis vinifera. Grapes are a type of fruit native to Asia, though Vitis vinifera vines can be found in some regions of Europe and North America today. Before using grape seed oil extract, talk to your medical provider about the benefits and potential risks associated with this natural supplement.

Grape seeds contain a powerful class of antioxidants called proanthocyanidins that help protect your cells against oxidative damage. Treatment with grape seed oil extract is purported to help protect your heart by lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol and reducing high blood pressure levels. However, additional research in humans is necessary to further support these reported benefits of grape seed oil extract. The use of this supplement may also help reduce excessive tissue swelling, called edema, and chronic venous insufficiency, a condition characterized by swelling, pain and visible veins in the legs. Grape seed oil extract may help control blood sugar levels, treat hemorrhoids, improve night vision and protect the skin against normal aging. However, health officials with the University of Maryland Medical Center warn that research supporting the use of grape seed oil extract for treating medical conditions is lacking.

When used as directed for up to eight weeks, grape seed oil typically does not induce side effects. Mild side effects have been reported following treatment with grape seed oil extract such as nausea, indigestion, hives, dizziness and headache. Grape seed oil extract may cause dryness or itchiness on your scalp. Certain people may also experience an unusual increase in their blood pressure. Seek care from your medical provider if you experience severe or persistent side effects while taking grape seed oil extract.

Talk with your doctor about any medications that you are currently taking before beginning treatment with grape seed oil extract. Concomitant use of this supplement and blood-thinners may enhance the effects of the anticoagulants. Consequently, you may be at risk of developing unusual bleeding or bruising complications.

If you have any health concerns, let your doctor know before taking grape seed oil extract. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid treatment with this supplement as its safety has yet to be fully established.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.