Some estimates have stated that up to 60 percent of Americans have prehypertension, that is, they are just on the cusp of having high blood pressure. Many people are unaware that they even have this condition, which can, over time, develop into actual hypertension.
High blood pressure is incredibly rough on the heart, blood vessels, and overall health. It’s called “the silent killer” because it often carries no observable symptoms. But if you’re aware that your blood pressure numbers are climbing, have been taking lifestyle measures to combat it, but aren’t ready for medications, grape seed extract may be an option.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study compared lower dosage (200 mg) and higher dosage (400 mg) grape seed extracts against a placebo for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, the high dosage grape seed extract appeared to be the winner: it reduced systolic blood pressure (the first number in blood pressure reading) by 13 mm/Hg and improved vascular elasticity.
Because grape seed extract supplements can vary greatly in quality and absorption, look for a tannin-free extract that features only absorbable oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). That way, at a 400 mg level, you can know that you’re getting the heart-friendly components you need to keep your blood pressure healthy and stable.
Odai T, Terauchi M, Kato K, Hirose A, Miyasaka N. Effects of Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract on Vascular Endothelial Function in Participants with Prehypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 20;11(12):2844. doi: 10.3390/nu11122844. PMID: 31757033; PMCID: PMC6950399.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) on blood pressure and vascular endothelial function in middle-aged Japanese adults with prehypertension. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 6 men and 24 women aged 40-64 years old. The participants were randomized to receive tablets containing either low-dose (200 mg/day) or high-dose (400 mg/day) GSPE, or placebo, for 12 weeks. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP, respectively), brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and other cardiovascular parameters were measured before and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of treatment. The mean SBP in the high-dose group significantly decreased by 13 mmHg after 12 weeks (P = 0.028), although FMD did not change. In an ad hoc analysis of non-smoking participants (n = 21), the mean SBP, DBP, stiffness parameter β, distensibility, incremental elastic modulus (Einc), and pulse wave velocity (PWV) also significantly improved in the high-dose group after 12 weeks. Changes in Einc and PWV from baseline to 12 weeks were significantly greater in the high-dose group than in the placebo group (Einc, P = 0.023; PWV, P = 0.03). GSPE consumption could help maintain vascular elasticity and normal blood pressure in this population.
Here is the link to the complete article: Effects of Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract on Vascular Endothelial Function in Participants with Prehypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study
Wang Y, Wang QJ. The Prevalence of Prehypertension and Hypertension Among US Adults According to the New Joint National Committee Guidelines: New Challenges of the Old Problem. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(19):2126–2134. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.19.2126
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