© 2018 Steven Foster

A grape seed monograph for the home

Latin Name: Vitis vinifera

Common Names: grape seed extract, grape seed

This fact sheet provides basic information about grape seed extract—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information.


Grape Seed Basics

  • Since ancient Greece people have used grapes, grape leaves, and sap for health purposes. Grape seed extract was developed in the 1970s.
  • Today, grape seed extract is used as a dietary supplement for various conditions, including for venous insufficiency (when veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart), to promote wound healing, and to reduce inflammation.
  • Grape seed extract contains the antioxidant compound oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC), which has been studied for a variety of health conditions.
  • OPCs are found in extracts of grape skin and seeds, which are by-products of the wine industry. Grape seed extract is available in capsules and tablets and as a liquid.

Grape Seed in Health Research

  • There are a few well-controlled studies of people using grape seed extract for health conditions.

Grape Seed Research Summary

  • Some studies suggest that compounds in grape seed extract may reduce edema (swelling) and help with symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, but the evidence isn’t strong.
  • Grape seed extract may have some heart benefits, including lowering systolic blood pressure and heart rate. The lower heart rate may cause the decrease in systolic blood pressure. The extract had no effect on lipid levels such as cholesterol or C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation in your arteries.
  • The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is supporting preliminary research on grape seed extract for Alzheimer’s disease and also for hereditary hemochromatosis, when the body’s iron levels are too high. The National Cancer Institute is supporting preliminary studies on grape seed extract for preventing prostate, lung, and colon cancer.

Grape Seed Safety

  • Grape seed extract is generally well tolerated when taken in moderate amounts. It has been tested safely for up to 14 weeks in studies of people. It’s possibly unsafe if you have a bleeding disorder or are going to have surgery or if you take anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as warfarin or aspirin.

Grape Seed References

PubMed Articles About Vitis vinifera

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)[Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; [1988] – [cited 2018 Apr 5]. Available from:

Search query:(Vitis vinifera AND diabetes AND (( Clinical Trial[ptyp] OR systematic[sb] ) AND Humans[Mesh]))

Derosa, G., D'Angelo, A., Preti, PS., Maffioli, P., (2022) Evaluation of the Effect on Sexual Performance of a Nutraceutical Combination Containing Alpha Lipoic Acid, L. and , Compared to Placebo, Avanafil or a Combination of Nutraceutical Plus Avanafil in Males With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus With Erectile Dysfunction.

To evaluate if therapy with a nutraceutical combination of alpha lipoic acid, Vitis vinifera L. and Ginkgo biloba (Blunorm forte) can be helpful and be synergic with Avanafil.

Pazos-Tomas, CC., García-Montalvo, IA., (2021) Consumption of Vegetable Oils of Persea americana L., and Vitis vinifera L., as Part of Nutritional Support in Non-Communicable Diseases in the Population of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico: Pretest-Postest Intervention Study without Control.

Lifestyle plays an important role in the development of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity, in addition to a poor diet loaded with simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. This was a trial with a randomized, analytical, longitudinal, and prospective quasi-experimental design, which was divided into 2 phases: the first with healthy subjects with an age range between 18 to 30 y and normal BMI (18.5-24.9). The second phase was subjected with familial hypercholesterolemia aged between 18 to 45 y and overweight (25-29.9). For those subjects who frequently consumed vegetable oil of both Vitis vinifera L., or Persea americana L. (10 mL), they presented a significant reduction in anthropometric measures and in biochemical variables such as capillary glucose and increased HDLc. The vegetable oils of Persea americana L., and Vitis vinifera L., can act as adjuvants for the treatment of noncommunicable diseases.

Moodi, V., Abedi, S., Esmaeilpour, M., Asbaghi, O., Izadi, F., Shirinbakhshmasoleh, M., Behrouzian, M., Shahriari, A., Ghaedi, E., Miraghajani, M., (2021) The effect of grapes/grape products on glycemic response: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to examine the effect of grapes/grape products supplementation on glycemic indices in adults. Our systematic search to find relevant RCTs was performed up to February 2020 using PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar. Based on the heterogeneity between included studies, a random effects or a fixed model was applied in the meta-analysis, and results were expressed as weighted mean differences (WMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Twenty-nine clinical trials (1,297 participants) fulfilled the eligibility criteria of the present meta-analysis. Overall, the grapes/grape products supplementation significantly reduced homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (WMD: -0.54, 95% CI: -0.91, -0.17, p = . 004) but did not affect fasting insulin levels (WMD: -0.90 μIU/ml, 95% CI: -1.04, 2.84, p = .362) and hemoglobin A1C (Hb1Ac) percentage (WMD: 0.00%, 95% CI: -0.10, 0.11, p = . 916) in the main analyses. In addition, changes to fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels were in favor of the control group (WMD: 1.19 mg/dl, 95% CI: 0.05, 2.34, p = .041). We found that giving grapes/grape products to adults might have beneficial effects on the HOMA-IR. Further, large-scale RCTs with longer duration are required to confirm these results.

Woerdeman, J., Del Rio, D., Calani, L., Eringa, EC., Smulders, YM., Serné, EH., (2018) Red wine polyphenols do not improve obesity-associated insulin resistance: A randomized controlled trial.

Preclinical studies have suggested that polyphenols extracted from red wine (RWPs) favourably affect insulin sensitivity, but there is controversy over whether RWPs exert similar effects in humans. The aim of the present study was to determine whether RWPs improve insulin sensitivity in obese volunteers. Obese (body mass index >30 kg/m ) volunteers were randomly allocated to RWPs 600 mg/d (n = 14) or matched placebo (n = 15) in a double-blind parallel-arm study for 8 weeks. The participants were investigated at baseline and at the end of the study. Insulin sensitivity was determined using a hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp (M-value), a mixed-meal test (Matsuda index), and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). RWPs elicited no significant changes in M-value (RWP group: median [interquartile range; IQR] baseline 3.0 [2.4; 3.6]; end of study 3.3 [2.4; 4.8] vs placebo group: median [IQR] baseline 3.4 [2.8; 4.4]; end of study 2.9 [2.8; 5.9] mg/kg/min; P = .65), in Matsuda index (RWP group: median [IQR] baseline 3.3 [2.2; 4.8]; end of study 3.6 [2.4; 4.8] vs placebo group: median [IQR] baseline 4.0 [3.0; 6.0]; end of study 4.0 [3.0; 5.2]; P = .88), or in HOMA-IR. This study showed that 8 weeks of RWP supplementation did not improve insulin sensitivity in 29 obese volunteers. Our findings were not consistent with the hypothesis that RWPs ameliorate insulin resistance in human obesity.

Costabile, G., Vitale, M., Luongo, D., Naviglio, D., Vetrani, C., Ciciola, P., Tura, A., Castello, F., Mena, P., Del Rio, D., Capaldo, B., Rivellese, AA., Riccardi, G., Giacco, R., (2020) Grape pomace polyphenols improve insulin response to a standard meal in healthy individuals: A pilot study.

Dietary polyphenols have beneficial effects on glucose/lipid metabolism in subjects at high risk to develop type 2 diabetes; however, the underlying mechanisms are not clear. We aimed to evaluate: 1) the acute effects of the consumption of a drink rich in polyphenols from red grape pomace (RGPD) on glucose/insulin and triglyceride responses to a standard meal in healthy individuals, and, 2) the relationship between plasma levels of phenolic metabolites and metabolic parameters.