Grape Seed Extract for People with Diabetes, Part 2 – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 75
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
This is Episode 2 of our Grape Seed Extract for People with Diabetes! If you missed Part 1, click here to listen now. In today’s episode, we will be discussing the number of things Grape Seed Extract can do for you if you have diabetes, including studies that show it to be beneficial for blood pressure and for vision health.
In part 1, we discussed a study from The University of Alberta, published in the Journal Phytotherapy Research – a review of 50 human clinical trials. It is a meta-analysis of 50 studies. Grape seed extract was shown to have a significant impact; improving fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, reduced bad cholesterol, reduce triglycerides. and reduced inflammation in the heart in people with Metabolic Syndrome.
Blood Pressure Studies
Published in The British Journal of Nutrition (a center for nutrition research) from researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of California Davis, studied participants that had Metabolic Syndrome (a cluster of issues including, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, obesity, high triglycerides and more). Grape seed extract was shown to improve their blood pressure. But it also improved measures of blood sugar control within just six weeks. This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, human clinical trial. Some participants took Grape seed extract – 600mg per day – while other took placebo. Results showed the extract improved systolic blood pressure within 5-6% and reduced diastolic blood pressure 4-7%. This is a real winner!
Systolic blood pressure is when the heart is actively pumping out blood. It does that a little over 100,000 times per day. Diastolic blood pressure is when the heart is getting a little rest in between beats and the heart is refilling with blood. Now, mind you, the heart is pumping every three quarters of a second. So, if that bottom figure is elevated, it puts a terrible load on the heart; it inflames the heart, puts it under a lot of stress, increases the risk of a heart attack and builds up plaque in the arteries, damaging your blood vessel walls. So lowing that bottom figure is extremely important and this has been shown in a number of studies. In one study, four weeks after stopping Grape Seed extract, participants blood sugar went back to being elevated. The Grape Seed extract was shown to also improve their fasting insulin and insulin sensitivity within just six weeks.
At Invite Health, we use Indena Grape Seed Extract from a French-Italian Consortium. It is from the pip of the white grape, which has more OPCs in the correct form. When researchers from Gabriel Dianunsa University in Italy performed a study at the San Valentino Vascular Screening Project, participants were given Grape seed extract. Within four months, 93% of the participants saw their blood pressure restored back to normal – just using Grape seed extract.
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Vision Benefits with Grape Seed Extract
Diabetes is a leading cause of damage to the eyes and overall vision. One of the things that occurs in Diabetics, is Diabetic Baby Cataracts (sorbitol cataracts) and Grape seed extract has been studied in the reduction of the risk of that. More importantly, it helps with something called Diabetic Retinopathy.
Diabetic Retinopathy causes vision loss, as it damages the blood vessels in retina. About 80% of people with Diabetes at the 10 years mark (10 years after being diagnosed) develop some level of Diabetic Retinopathy. So it is rather common, especially since so many Americans have Diabetes today. The retina is where you see, where you distingush color, and the difference between light and dark. Behind that are these numerous, tiny little blood vessels, called capillaries. They are so narrow, they are only the width of one red blood cell. In Diabetic Retinopathy, these blood vessels become fragile, break, scar and can lead to vision loss. But you also develop something called Hard Exudates. These are a build up of fatty deposits in the eye.
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In the Journal Medicine, a randomized multi-center trial was published reviewing 124 patients with Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) between the ages of 40 and 78. Participants were prescribed a drug Calcium Dobesilate (the number one drug prescribed for DR). They were given either Grape Seed extract (150mg a day) or Calcium Dobesilate (500mg three times a day). All of the patients had retinal damage, thickening of the retina and Hard Exudates. Grape Seed extract was actually superior than the Calcium Dobesilate in this study. It reduced the total macular volume, the swelling in the eyes was decreasing, it significantly improved the number of Hard Exudates and its severity, it helped the permeability and the fragility of the capillaries, and it was extremely safe.
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