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Grape Seed Extract Shows Blood Pressure Lowering Potential

A new extract made from grape seed proanthocyanidins may help lower blood pressure. A new study conducted by researchers from Gabriele D’Annunzio University Chieti-Pescara in Italy found that systolic blood pressure was reduced by an average of 37 mm HG and diastolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 9 mm Hg.

Participants in the study included 119 healthy adults who were mildly hypertensive. 37 of the participants took 300 mg of the grape seed extract daily while another 35 took 150 mg for a period of four weeks. The remaining 47 acted as a control group.

All three groups participated in a nondrug management plan consisting of diet changes such as reductions in salt, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. There were also lifestyle changes that included regular exercise, more sleep, more relaxation time, and less smoking.

At the conclusion of the study the supplement groups showed more improvements in blood pressure levels when compared with the control group. The high dosage group had the results mentioned above. The low dosage group had a decrease in systolic pressure of 27 mm Hg and 6 mm Hg in diastolic pressure. The control group had only a 12 mm Hg reduction in systolic pressure and a 2 mm Hg reduction in diastolic pressure.

Researchers from Gabriele D’Annunzio University Chieti-Pescara in Italy conducted the study. It was published in the September, 2013 issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Grape seed extract is high in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body that can lead to many common diseases. Previous studies have linked polyphenol intake with a variety of health benefits, including reducing the buildup of fat in blood vessels, reducing inflammation, reducing the risk of blood clots and helping with weight management.

Polyphenols can be found naturally in many foods, including honey, a variety of fruits and vegetables, red wine, chocolate, tea, certain oils and a many types of grain. A healthy and balanced diet can help ensure you consume an adequate amount of polyphenols.

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