Grape seed (Vitis vinifera, Vitis coignetiae)


Grape leaves, sap, seed, and fruit have been used medicinally since the Greek empire. Different parts of the plant have been used traditionally for conditions such as skin and eye irritation, bleeding, varicose veins, diarrhea, cancer, and smallpox.
Interest in grape products increased with the recognition of the potential heart-protective effects of wine consumption in French men consuming a high-fat diet. Grape has been shown to possess antioxidant, blood clot-preventing, and cholesterol-lowering properties.
The antioxidant properties of grape seed oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) make these extracts potential therapies for many diseases. Research has documented the effectiveness of grape seed OPCs for damaged blood vessel valves or weak blood vessels, diabetic retinopathy (eye damage), edema (fluid accumulation) in the arms and legs, and high cholesterol. OPCs appear to be well tolerated, with few side effects noted in the available research. However, long-term studies assessing safety are lacking.

Related Terms

1,2-Di-O-acyl-3-O-beta-D-galactopyranosyl glycerols, 6'-O-acyldaucosterols, ActiVin®, activin, alpha-ylangene, amino acids, ampelopcin A, anthocyanins, astringin, betulin, betulinic acid, bioflavinols, black grape extract, black grape raisins, Bordeaux wine grape seed, cabernet franc, cabernet gernischt, cabernet sauvignon, caffeic acid, calzin, Carlos, catechin, chardonnay, Chilean black grape, chlorogenic acid, condensed tannins, coumaric acid, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyaniding, daucosterol, delphinidin, drue kerne, emperor, Endotelon®, enocianina (Italian), epicatechin, epicatechin 3-O-gallate, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, epsilon-viniferin, (E)-resveratrol 3,5-O-beta-diglucoside, extrait de pepins de raisin (French), fatty acids, fatty aliphatic aldehydes, ferulic acid, fisetin, flame seedless, flav-3-ols, flavanones, flavonoids, fragola, French red grape extract, French red wine grapes, fruit extracts, FruitSmart® Concord grape extract, gallic acid, gallocatechin, grape, grape complex, grape fruit, grape fruit skin, grape homogenate extracts, grape juice, grape marc, grape molasses, grape poamce, grape pomace extracts, grape rinds, grape seed, grape seed extract (GSE), grape seed oil, grape skin, grape skin extract, grapes, grapeseed, grapeseed oil, Grapple®, GSPE, IH636 grape seed proanthocyanidin, Indena's Grape Seed Standardized Extract®, iron, Isabel grape extract, Ison, kuromanin, leucoanthocyanidins, Leucoselect®-phytosome, malvidin, malvidin-3-acetylglucoside, malvidin 3-O-acetylglucoside, malvidin 3-O-acetylglucoside-4-vinylphenol, malvidin 3-O-acetylglucoside-pyruvate, malvidin 3-O-coumaroylglucoside-4-vinylphenol, malvidin 3-O-coumaroylglucoside-pyruvate, malvidin 3-O-glucoside, malvidin 3-O-glucoside-4-vinylphenol, malvidin 3-O-glucoside-pyruvate, Masquelier's Original OPCs®, melatonin, meoru, merlot, monomeric stilbenoid glucosides, morin, muscadine grape, muskat, myricetin, myrtillin, Nagano grape, Nagano purple grape, Niagara grape extract, Noble, nonhydrolyzable tannins, oenin, oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, oligostilbenes, oligomères procyanidoliques (French), oligomeric proanthocyanidins, OPCs, Panace-Vid 2000®, Parellada grape, pecmez, peomidin, peonidin-3-O-glucoside, peonidin-3-coumaryl-5-diglucoside, petite sirah, petunidin, petunidin-3-O-glucoside, phenylpropanoids, p-hydroxybenzoic acids, piceatannol, piceids, pine bark extract, polyphenol-based grape extract, polyphenolic grape extract, polyphenolic oligomers, polyphenols, Portuguese red grape skins, proanthocyanidin dimers, proanthocyanidins, procyanidin dimers, procyanidins, procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs), Pycnogenol®, quercetin, quercetin-3-arabinose, quercetin-3-rhamnose, raisins, red globe, red grape juice, red grape polyphenol extract, red grapes, red malaga, red muscadine grape, red wine polyphenols, Regrapex-R(R), resveratrol, resveratrol 3,4'-O-beta-diglucosides, resveratrol triacetate, Rkatsiteli grape oil, Rkatsiteli grapes, rutin, sauvignon blanc, serotonin, Shiraz grape berries, Shiraz red grape cultivar, sitosterols, sterols, stilbene, stilbenoid, strawberry grape, sultanas, Supreme, syringetin, syringetin 3-O-acetylglucoside, syringetin 3-O-glucoside, table grapes, tannins, tetrahydro-beta-carbolines, Thompson seedless, tocopherols, Traconol®, triterpenoid acids, Victoria grape, vineatrol, Vitaceae (family), Vitis amurensis, Vitis coignetiae, Vitis coignetiae Pulliat, vitis hybrid Bailey Alicant A, Vitis labrusca, Vitis × labruscana cv. Isabella, Vitis rotundifolia Michx., Vitis trifolia, Vitis vinifera L. cv. Grenache, Vitis vinifera L., Vitis vinifera L. cv. Chardonnay, Vitis vinifera L. cv. País, Vitis vinifera ssp. sativa, Vitis vinifera var. Nerello Mascalese, Vitis vinifera vars. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, vitisin A, vitisin B, white grape extract, wine grapes, (Z)-resveratrol 3,5-O-beta-diglucoside, (Z)-resveratrol 3,5,4'-O-beta-triglucoside.
Combination product examples: Cellasene (grape seed oil, Gingko biloba, sweet clover, seaweed, lecithin, and evening primrose oil); Imedeen Time Perfection (a mixture of BioMarine Complex, grape seed extract, tomato extract, and vitamin C); Seresis (carotenoids (beta-carotene and lycopene), vitamins C and E, selenium, and proanthocyanidins).
Note: Pycnogenol® is a patented nutrient supplement extracted from the bark of the European coastal pine Pinus maritima. Pycnogenol® consists of flavonoids, catechins, procyanidins, and phenolic acids, which are the same constituents found in grape seed, but not the same supplement. For more information on Pycnogenol®, see the individual monograph.
Wine is a fermented grape product and is discussed in more detail in a separate monograph.
The focus of this monograph is all parts of the plant Vitis vinifera, and other species of grape are not specifically discussed. However, in many cases, the species of grape is unclear.
The focus of this monograph is all parts of the plant Vitis vinifera. Specific information on resveratrol may be found in a separate bottom line.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Chronic venous insufficiency (damaged vein valves) (Grade: A)
High-quality research reports that that grape seed OPCs may reduce the symptoms of poor circulation in leg veins. Furthermore, red leaf vine extract may be effective for preventing and managing chronic venous insufficiency.
Edema (swelling) (Grade: A)
Research shows that grape seed ingredients may speed the reduction of swelling after injury, including surgery. Larger, high quality studies are needed to confirm these results.
Diabetic retinopathy (eye problems) (Grade: B)
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the small blood vessels in the eye's retina. Early research using OPCs and the brand name product Endotelon® has shown beneficial effects in stopping disease progression. Additional research is needed in this area.
Vascular fragility (Grade: B)
Early research suggests that ingredients from grape seed may make small blood vessels less fragile. Additional research is needed in this area.
Agitation in dementia (Grade: C)
Grape seed oil is a popular carrier oil used in aromatherapy. There is mixed evidence as to whether aromatherapy may benefit agitation in dementia. Additional research is needed in this area.
Antioxidant (Grade: C)
Studies have found grape and grape products to contain antioxidants. Antioxidants may protect against heart disease. Additional research is needed in this area.
Athletic performance (Grade: C)
Early research suggests grape extract may increase power in athletes. Additional research is needed in this area.
Chemotherapy side effects (Grade: C)
Grape lacks supportive evidence for improving nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Additional research is needed in this area.
Coronary artery disease (Grade: C)
Early research suggests grape juice may benefit blood flow. More high-quality studies are needed to draw a conclusion.
Heart disease prevention (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that grape may benefit blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood flow. Additional research is needed in this area.
High blood pressure (Grade: C)
Grape extract may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and heart rate. Additional research is needed in this area.
High cholesterol (Grade: C)
Early research suggests OPCs may reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Grape may also possess antioxidant properties and reduce clogged arteries. Additional research is needed in this area.
Immune function (Grade: C)
Grape juice may increase the number of immune system cells. Additional research is needed in this area.
Liver disease (Grade: C)
Grape seed extract may improve some symptoms of liver disease. Additional research is needed in this area.
Melasma (dark skin spots) (Grade: C)
Melasma is a skin discoloration that may occur due to hormonal imbalances. Antioxidants are thought to improve skin color, and grape seed extract is thought to have antioxidant activity. Additional research is needed in this area.
Memory (Grade: C)
Grape juice may benefit verbal learning and memory in the elderly. Additional research is needed in this area.
Pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas) (Grade: C)
Grape seed may reduce stomach pain associated with an inflamed pancreas. Additional research is needed in this area.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (Grade: C)
Early research shows positive results on grape seed for PMS symptoms. Additional research is needed in this area.
Radiation injuries (Grade: C)
Grape seed contains OPCs, which may have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have potential radioprotective properties. Although initial results show a lack of benefit, larger studies are needed.
Skin aging (Grade: C)
Epicatechin is an antioxidant component of grape seed extract, which has become increasingly popular in skin products. Combination products that include grape seed extract have shown promising effects. Additional research is needed in this area.
Vision problems (Grade: C)
Grape may improve sensitivity to light and glare. Additional research is needed in this area.
Weight loss (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that grape juice may reduce waist circumference. Additional research is needed in this area.
Allergies (Grade: D)
Grape seed has been used to treat immune system disorders due to its antioxidant effects. However, research on grape seed's effect on allergies shows mixed results. Additional research is needed in this area.