Hypertension – high blood pressure – is commonly referred to as “the silent killer” because the condition can be symptom free for years before it claims a victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hypertension was responsible for the deaths of over half of a million Americans in 2017 alone.
Because the cardiovascular system must work harder to pump blood through inflamed and partially clogged blood vessels, this continuing strain over time creates even more damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
Fortunately, grape seed extract, one of the world’s most effective natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory natural medicines, may help. This review found that for younger or obese individuals, grape seed extract showed the most blood-pressure lowering benefits.
So in addition to sensible diet and exercise, adding a grape seed extract to your daily regimen may be one of the simplest ways to keep you blood pressure numbers healthy. But be aware that not all grape seed extract supplements are the same.
First, they need to have some verification that they really are grape seed extracts. Unfortunately, grape seed products often don’t stand up to scrutiny, and can be one of the most adulterated supplements on the market. Be selective, and choose one from a company that stands by its product.
Additionally, not all components in grape seed are necessarily valuable. Like any nutrient, grape seed compounds need to be absorbed before they can do any good. A grape seed extract supplement with tannin-free oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) is best. Tannins – which can also be considered OPCs – are large molecules that are difficult for the body to absorb effectively.
Zhang H, Liu S, Li L, et al. The impact of grape seed extract treatment on blood pressure changes: A meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(33):e4247.
Backgrounds and objective: Several clinical trials have shown that grape seed extract can reduce blood pressure, but the results are often irreproducible. We therefore sought to systematically evaluate the impact of grape seed extract treatment on the changes of systolic/diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP) by meta-analyzing available randomized controlled trials.
Methods: Trial selection and data extraction were completed independently by 2 investigators. Effect-size estimates were expressed as weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI).
Results: Twelve articles involving 16 clinical trials and 810 study subjects were analyzed. Overall analyses found significant reductions for SBP (WMD = -6.077; 95% CI: -10.736 to -1.419; P = 0.011) and DBP (WMD = -2.803; 95% CI: -4.417 to -1.189; P = 0.001) after grape seed extract treatment. In subgroup analyses, there were significant reductions in younger subjects (mean age < 50 years) for SBP (WMD = -6.049; 95% CI: -10.223 to -1.875; P = 0.005) and DBP (WMD = -3.116; 95% CI: -4.773 to -1.459; P < 0.001), in obese subjects (mean body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m) for SBP (WMD = -4.469; 95% CI: -6.628 to -2.310; P < 0.001), and in patients with metabolic syndrome for SBP (WMD = -8.487; 95% CI: -11.869 to -5.106; P < 0.001). Further meta-regression analyses showed that age, body mass index, and baseline blood pressure were negatively associated with the significant reductions of SBP and DBP after treatment. There was no indication of publication bias.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that grape seed extract exerted a beneficial impact on blood pressure, and this impact was more obvious in younger or obese subjects, as well as in patients with metabolic disorders. In view of the small sample size involved, we agree that confirmation of our findings in a large-scale, long-term, multiple-dose randomized controlled trial, especially among hypertensive patients is warranted.
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