Health Benefits of Muscadine Grape Seed


 

Health Benefits of Muscadine Grape SeedMuscadine grapes were discovered in 1810 in North Carolina, growing in the wild. These grapes are native to the southeast United States and are particularly well-adapted to the hot humid growing conditions of that region. Some research studies have shown potential health-boosting properties of muscadine grape seeds. Muscadine grapes are primarily found fresh in warm or southern climates, such as the southeastern United States or California. Their seeds need to be chewed for their health benefits, but if you aren't fond of munching on grape seeds you may want to take a muscadine grape supplement. Check with your doctor before using muscadine grape seeds to treat a medical condition, especially if you are on medication.

Anti-Cancer


Four varieties of muscadine grapes showed significant anti-cancer properties in a study published in the March 2007 issue of "Journal of Medicinal Food." In the test-tube study, scientists tested grape pomace, the solids left over after juice is extracted for wine production against a known carcinogenic substance. Antioxidant activity and inhibition of tissue degrading enzymes were evaluated and found to be high in all four samples. However, two samples showed poor ability to protect against cellular mutations when exposed to another mutation-causing molecule. Researchers concluded there was a good potential for the use of muscadine grape extract at preventing cancer.


Cardiovascular


Researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, North Carolina, found that polyphenol antioxidants in muscadine grape seeds had a relaxing and dilating effect on arteries. In the study, participants with coronary artery disease took 1,300 milligrams per day of muscadine grape seed extract for four weeks. There was no evidence of improved blood flow, reduced inflammation or increased antioxidant activity. However, diameter of certain arteries increased, implying potential blood pressure-lowering effects. Researchers called for further research to determine whether these results indicate important health benefits of muscadine grape seeds. The study was published in the October 2010 issue of the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition." If you are currently on medication for blood pressure, speak with your doctor before supplementing with muscadine grape seed.

Antioxidant


In a study published in the April 2010 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry," muscadine grape seeds showed the highest antioxidant levels in the grape, followed by the skin and pulp. The seeds contained 87 percent phenolic antioxidant compounds, skins contained 11.3 percent and pulp contained 1.6 percent. The researchers identified a total of 88 different antioxidant compounds in muscadine grapes, 43 of which occurred in the seeds. Seventeen of the compounds were unique to muscadine grapes.

Preservative


Health Benefits of Muscadine Grape SeedMuscadine grape seed extract may offer antibacterial and food preservative benefits, according to a study was published in the July 2008 issue of the "Journal of Food Protection."

In the study, two varieties of muscadines, one purple and one bronze-colored, were tested against three strains of E. coli bacteria, which is associated with food-borne intestinal illnesses. The purple variety showed higher acidity and higher antioxidant levels than the bronze variety, though heating the seed extracts from the bronze grapes increased activity of one antioxidant compound by 83 percent. Researchers concluded good potential for the use of muscadine grape seed extract as a preservative for juices and other beverages.

Fights Obesity


Muscadines, a variety of grape grown in the South, contains a form of vitamin E that may fight obesity. Scientists at the University of Florida found that muscadine grape seed oil contains an unsaturated from of vitamin E called tocotrienol that may reduce the formation of new fat cells.

There are eight forms of vitamin E —four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta), and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). Previous research published in the Journal of Nutrition found that tocotrienols can keep baby fat cells from turning into adult fat cells that store fat.

Until now, tocotrienols have been found in high concentrations in palm oil and rice bran oil. But the new research found that muscadine seeds also have high concentrations of the nutrient.

For the study, researchers extracted oil from muscadine seeds. They found the oil contained 85 to 90 percent unsaturated fatty acids of the total fatty acids. Consuming foods made with muscadine grape seed oil could curtail weight gain by reducing obesity," said Marty Marshall, a UF professor of food science and human nutrition.
 

Muscadine groups are grown in the South and used to make wine and juice. The seeds are often discarded as waste, although some are used for oil that is sold in specialty stores. To be useful in foods in order to combat obesity and other diseases, however, scientists must help farmers figure out how to grow large amounts of the fruit.

Most research has concentrated on the tocopherols contained in vitamin E, especially the alpha form, and its use in fighting cardiovascular disease and cancer. But a study published last year in Stroke found that tocotrienols. like those in muscadines, slowed the formation of white matter lesions in the brain, which are connected to the development of neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer's, and an increased risk of stroke.

Grapes along with their leaves and sap have been traditional treatments in Europe for thousands of years. Grape seed extract is derived from the ground-up seeds of red wine grapes. Although fairly new to the U.S., grape seed extract is now used to treat a number of diseases.

Health Benefits of Muscadine Grape SeedThere’s strong evidence that grape seed extract is beneficial for a number of cardiovascular conditions. Grape seed extract may help with a type of poor circulation (chronic venous insufficiency) and high cholesterol. Grape seed extract also reduces swelling caused by injury and helps with eye disease related to diabetes.

Many people are interested in grape seed extract because it contains antioxidants. These are substances that protect cells from damage and may help prevent many diseases. However, it’s still too early to say whether the antioxidant properties of grape seed extract really benefit people. Researchers are studying grape seed extract to see if it might lower the risks of some cancers. For now, the evidence is not clear.

Grape seed extract has been studied for use in many other conditions -- ranging from PMS to skin damage to wound healing -- but the results have been inconclusive. There is no firmly established dose of grape seed extract. Doses of between 100-300 milligrams/day have been used in studies and are prescribed in some European countries. No one knows what the highest safe dose is.Grape seed extract comes from grapes. There are no other food sources.
 

Grape seed extract is generally considered safe. Side effects may include headache, itchy scalp, dizziness, and nausea. Risks. People allergic to grapes should not use grape seed extract. If you have a bleeding disorder or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before you start using grape seed extract.

 

Videos







 

Dated 02 July 2015

 

Listen to the Podcast (what's this)