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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.