I've heard a lot of good things about grape seed extract. Yesterday, I finally bought some grape seed extract supplements, or rather, polyphenols from grape seed extract, called Grapenol, from Solaray, a brand Matt Kowal has often recommended to me.
Grape seed extract is a powerful source of anti-oxidants that have been proven effective in many serious conditions, like obesity, cancer, Alzheimers, heart disease, respiratory infections, and arthritis, to mention just a few. If you appreciate the health benefits of wine, but have to avoid alcohol, consider grape seed extract supplements.
It's one of the few antioxidants that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and help promote alertness and memory. It's 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E. And unlike may antioxidants, it actually stays in the body for 3 full days!
Reuters has a good article "Grape Seed Extract May Fight Alzheimers".
Rodents prone to developing Alzheimer's-like brain changes showed better cognitive function at 11 months of age -- when they would have been expected to already have some memory impairment -- if they were given the grape seed polyphenolic extract in their drinking water, Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and colleagues found.
Polyphenolic compounds are antioxidants naturally found in wine, tea, chocolate, and some fruits and vegetables. The mice in the study received levels of polyphenols equivalent to what a person would consume with a daily glass or two of red wine.
While the health benefits of moderate red wine consumption are fairly clear, Pasinetti noted in an interview, "moderate consumption of alcohol in the form of red wine might have potential complications for people with maybe metabolic disorders or cardiovascular disorders."
Here's an excerpt from the Oxford University journal "Carcinogenesis"
Procyanidins present in grape seeds are known to exert anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and anti-allergic activities, prevent skin aging, scavenge oxygen free radicals and inhibit UV radiation-induced peroxidation activity. Since most of these events are associated with the tumor promotion stage of carcinogenesis, these studies suggest that grape seed polyphenols and the procyanidins present therein could be anticarcinogenic and/or anti-tumor-promoting agents.
Therefore, we assessed the anti-tumor-promoting effect of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from grape seeds (GSP) employing the 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-initiated and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA)-promoted SENCAR mouse skin two-stage carcinogenesis protocol as a model system.
Taken together, for the first time these results show that grape seed polyphenols possess high anti-tumor-promoting activity due to the strong antioxidant effect of procyanidins present therein.
In summary, grape seed polyphenols in general, and procyanidin B5-3'-gallate in particular, should be studied in more detail to be developed as cancer chemo-preventive and/or anti-carcinogenic agents.
The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry says this: "Grape seed extract (GSE) has been reported to exert protective effects on various forms of cardiac disorders. The cardiovascular protective effects of GSE are believed to be ascribed to its antioxidative properties. A series of studies have demonstrated that polyphenols are instrumental for the antioxidative properties of GSE."