Grape Seed for Lung Infections?

While grape seed is often used as a cardio support supplement and is increasingly studied for tumor reduction, research shows that it may also prevent inflammation associated with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections.

RSV is not an uncommon lung condition, but it can be dangerous for children and older individuals. This study examined the anti-inflammatory effects of grape seed extract on lung cells infected with RSV.

Cells that were pretreated with grape seed extract showed lower levels of inflammatory cytokines, which researchers believe could actually help prevent the disease.

Before supplementing with grape seed extract for its many benefits, remember that one of the most important aspects of any nutrient is that it is well absorbed. Standard grape seed extracts may pose a challenge in that regard. If a supplement is comprised mostly of tannin oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), it may not be as useful. However, there are tannin-free grape seed extracts available that provide completely absorbable OPCs so you can be assured they are working to protect you from inflammation, DNA damage, and cardiovascular risks.


Kim SJ, Lee JW, Eun YG, Lee KH, Yeo SG, Kim SW. Pretreatment with a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract downregulates proinflammatory cytokine expression in airway epithelial cells infected with respiratory syncytial virus. Mol Med Rep. 2019 Apr;19(4):3330-3336.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Inflammation is mediated by cytokine secretion from RSV‑infected airway epithelial cells. Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) exhibits potent antioxidant capacity, as well as anti‑bacterial, anti‑viral, anti‑carcinogenic, anti‑inflammatory and anti‑allergic actions. However, few studies have explored the anti‑inflammatory effects of GSPE on airway epithelial cells infected with RSV. Airway epithelial A549 cells were pretreated with GSPE and its effects on cytokine production during RSV infection were investigated. A549 cells were infected with RSV, with or without GSPE pretreatment, and cultured for 24, 48 and 72 h. The expression of interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑6 and IL‑8, were measured by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction, ELISA and western blotting. RSV infection induced significant increases in proinflammatory cytokine expression. However, GSPE pretreatment decreased the mRNA and protein expression levels of IL‑1ß, IL‑6 and IL‑8. GSPE regulated the immune response by reducing the RSV‑induced transcription of proinflammatory cytokines in airway epithelial cells, suggesting that GSPE helps to prevent RSV‑induced airway disease.

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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