Grape seed is a rich source of flavonoids, a group of antioxidants that are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. According to the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University a diet that is high in foods that are good sources of flavonoids has been shown in research to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
One of the most important flavonoid antioxidant compounds found in both grape seed and grapes is oligomeric proanthocyanidin or OPC. Antioxidants protect cells from the damage of free radicals. OPCs are known to be extremely powerful antioxidants and they may help to lower high blood pressure, slow skin aging and even help to prevent cancer. While the potential benefits of these compounds, and therefore grape seed extract, are great, it is important to keep in mind that scientific evidence is limited.
These antioxidants can help to protect blood vessels from damage, which can help with hypertension and can protect the body from heart disease. There is no research as of yet to prove that taking grape seed will lower blood pressure.
Studies in test tubes have found that grape seed extract can potentially prevent the growth of cancer cells from breast, stomach, colon, prostate and lung cancer. According to research done by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, taking grape seed extract in conjunction with chemotherapy agents may be a powerful tool for treating breast cancer. If taking chemo drugs, always discuss the use of grape seed or any other natural supplement with your doctor before use.