Power Up Your Heart With Grape Seed Extract, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 641
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POWER UP YOUR HEART WITH GRAPE SEED EXTRACT, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 641
Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH
InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer at, invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started. † [00:00:34]
Amanda Williams MD, MPH: [00:00:40] Heart health is a big topic for so many individuals, and we know that there are many different nutrients that we need to have in our system to help regulate heart rhythm, blood pressure and overall cardiac function, which includes cerebrovascular function. So, for brain blood flow as well. And we know that there’s very powerful research out there that indicates that the use of different antioxidants can certainly be incredibly beneficial, and that’s what I want to zero in on today. I am Dr. Amanda Williams, scientific director at Invite Health. Let’s talk a bit about grape seed extract. We know that grape seeds themselves are a very rich source of proanthocyanins. We understand that the power of those OPCs, they call them Oligomeric Proanthocyanins, they can possess upwards of 50 times the antioxidant power of that of, say, just vitamin C alone. So, this is why when you look at having the ability to fend off a lot of the oxidative damage that can occur within the cardiovascular system, so much research has gone into looking at the OPCs, those powerful antioxidants derived from the grape seed itself. Now it’s working on a few different mechanisms. One of the things that we know is when we think about oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, so, I was just talking about arterial stiffness with the study out of University of Georgia and pediatric population. But we know that if we have oxidative stress that creates this endothelial dysfunction, this can impede the proper release of nitric oxide. And we know that we have to have nitric oxide in order to have vascular dilation, so the more dilated, the better blood flow that we have going through. Remember, if we have more vasoconstriction, the blood is forcefully trying to push its way through, which can create a damaging effect to the lining of that vessel. So, when we’re looking at how it is that grape seed extract itself can actually help to enhance nitric oxide release. And the way it’s doing this is via through enzyme or enzymatic activation of nitric oxide synthase. So, if we can activate nitric oxide synthase, we hence then get a release of nitric oxide and we get better vasodilation. So, this is one component that we know just from looking at the science of grape seed extract, why it is that it’s such a benefit when it comes to the circulatory system. † [00:03:35]
[00:03:36] Now, we also recognize that the grape seed extract does a really lovely job because of the power of its antioxidants to target superoxide radicals. So, the more we can hit those free radicals and those reactive oxygen species, the better off we are. Now thinking about ways in which oxidation creates havoc in the cardiovascular system is looking at the rate in which LDL, your low-density lipoprotein levels, the way that those are oxidized. So oxidized LDL creates a problem as well, because the more that those cholesterol particles have oxidation to them, the more detrimental they are to our health. And you can actually even assess your rate of oxidized LDL by having your serum blood level tested. So, it’s actually a test called oxidized LDL. And if you have high oxidized LDL levels, then, you know, that’s a big problem. They did a study a long time ago that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, finding that those who had a high intake of just grape juice had a lower rate of LDL oxidation. Now, we’re looking at this in a much more powerful scope because we’re looking at just pulling out the extracted form. We’re looking at just the pieces themselves and how much of an impact that can actually make. So, the Journal of Medicine in 2016, they looked at that impact of grape seed extract when it came to the treatment of blood pressure. So, they did a meta-analysis looking at 16 different randomized placebo-controlled trials that were assessing the efficacy of grape seed extract when it came to maintaining blood pressure. Now, what they found through this meta-analysis of these over 16 years from these 16 trials was that there was a significant reduction in the systolic, as well as diastolic blood pressure. So, what does that mean? That means the top number and the bottom number, they said our findings from looking at the data from these 16 different studies demonstrate that grapeseed extract exerts a very beneficial impact on blood pressure. And this impact was even more pronounced in young and obese subjects. Now, isn’t that interesting? I just talked about the study out of University of Georgia where there, you know, sending up the alarms here for pediatric cardiovascular disease. And yet in this study here published in the Medicine Journal in 2016, they’re saying, hey, grape seed extract does a really great job with lowering blood pressure, in particular when it comes to younger and obese subjects. Very impressive. Now they go on and they say it would be very advantageous to do a randomized controlled trial, especially in hypertensive, younger patient populations. Yeah, very, very impressive. † [00:07:23]
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[00:07:24] So just this year, the Nutrients Journal, they were looking at how grape seed extract positively modulates blood pressure as well as perceived stress. Now, this is interesting because remember, whenever we’re looking at a particular nutrient, sometimes we get very hyper focused on one aspect of it and understanding, okay, we know that, you know, grape seed extract, cardiovascular system, kind of think about resveratrol and anti-aging. So, when we think about grape seed extract, many times we get stuck in that scope of solely thinking about our circulatory system and the heart. But we know that grape seed extract certainly has been studied in numerous different ways. So, let’s look at this particular finding. And they were saying it’s very well-established that maintaining healthy blood pressure is fundamental to avoid disease of the heart and the blood vessels. So, they said in addition to pharmacological therapy of taking prescription medications, the use of natural substances has been proven to be extremely helpful, in hypertensive subjects. So, their focus of the study was to look at the effect of grape seed extract and those polyphenols, those oligomeric proanthocyanidins, to see how much this could have a shift when it came to vascular inflammation as well as the ability for that vasodilation. Remember, it’s helping to activate nitric oxide synthase or kicking out more nitric oxide, more vasodilation so that they knew. So, they said that there was a significant reduction in these cellular adhesion molecules as well as endothelium and understanding how it is that the grapeseed extract is working across multiple different enzymatic and biochemical pathways, is what potentially it’s all of its true benefit. The interesting finding from this study was, not only was it supporting blood pressure reduction, but they actually found that it had this really positive impact when it came to mood and stress. So, for those who were feeling more anxious, maybe their anxiety was driving up their blood pressure. Once they were taking grapeseed extract, they were finding this modulation or normalization when it came to perceived stress as well as just general mood. So, they go on and they say, the fact that we could show that, yes, we proved once again, it helps to support the lining of the blood vessels. It is helping to regulate blood pressure, but at the same time, it showed this really promising effect when it came to mood. † [00:10:45]
[00:10:47] So, there’s so many interesting bits of science out there, and when you see the research, sometimes it’s just it’s so incredibly impressive. Like when it comes to cancer research, that’s an area that’s really taken off probably in the last two decades when it comes to grape seed extract. And part of, and this is in a completely different vein in terms of the way that they’re seeing that the grape seed extract is working. It’s not only the antioxidant properties, but they were also looking at how the proanthocyanins from the grape seed extract actually helped to inhibit something known as vascular endothelial growth factor. We know that the VEGF is a driving factor for tumor growth. So, a lot of very interesting science on cancer research utilizing grape seed extract. Now when it comes to enhancing cognitive function, we have certainly seen the science behind that as well. So, the power of nutrients coming from nature really is very advanced and it’s just an area that I think that many times we take for granted and we forget about ‘Let food be thy medicine’ often and I, you know, I feel like I bring that up a lot with, you know, Hippocrates. But there is so much truth to that. And thinking about the natural constituents that we derive from our foods. I mean, think about melatonin is, you know, naturally found in grapes. And so, when you think about grape seed extract and what all you’re getting from that, the different vitamins, minerals, the power of those antioxidants, it really is quite impressive overall. And when it comes to high blood pressure, I mean, clearly, we know that this is a major problem. Not just here in this country, but throughout the world. And for many people, you know, they don’t make the actual dietary or lifestyle changes. They just get put on a medication, and then that medication ends up creating, you know, nutrient depletion. Usually, it’s magnesium and then blood pressure continues to go up and then they just put them on another medication, and it becomes this series of unfortunate events where we’re never correcting the issue. We are trying to manage it, but we’re never actually addressing some of those underlying components. If we know that we can be utilizing things like grape seed extract to help to enhance the release of nitric oxide and to, you know, fend off oxidation within our cholesterol particles and to enhance the cellular functionality within the cardiovascular system, then yes, we should definitely be doing this and we should be doing this. The foods that you eat matter when it comes to maintaining healthy blood pressure. A lot of times people focus just on sodium. Well, clearly, we know, you know, the added sodium into so many of the foods, the processed foods that people are eating. Yes, it creates a cellular imbalance, and this is what drives up that vasoconstriction. So, we know that diet and lifestyle changes is the very first step when it comes to controlling and managing blood pressure. But we cannot overlook the power of food-based nutrients, the extracted forms looking at things such as grape seed extract, understanding how it is that those oligomeric proanthocyanins are actually working and just what an impact they can actually make overall, it’s a lot of research out there showing that. † [00:15:03]
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[00:15:05] There was, I’ll talk about one, this is a bit older, this was from all the way back in 2009. They were looking at the impact of grape seed extract on blood pressure, but in particular in people who have metabolic syndrome. So, remember, with metabolic syndrome, we already have elevated triglycerides, we’ve got insulin resistance and we have high blood pressure occurring. So, in the study they wanted to see if grape seed extract would make a difference into, in terms of their cholesterol as far as their blood pressure and understanding the way that the grapeseed had this impact in terms of this modification when it came to patients who had metabolic syndrome. So, there’s a lot of ways that supplementation can actually attenuate not just the blood pressure, but we’re looking at that full spectrum of cardiovascular implications. When you look and you can assess the different cardiovascular risk markers, looking at C-reactive protein, looking at different interleukin levels and recognizing that grape seed extract really helps to push down that inflammation and at the same time heightens up our ability to fend off that oxidative stress, which is certainly important. So, when it comes to the health of your heart and beyond, check out the grape seed extract, very, very powerful formulation that we offer. You can go to invitehealth.com and you can see that product along with so many of the other products that we have that are geared toward supporting the health of your heart. And I want to thank you so much for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting, invitehealth.com/podcast. Do make sure that you subscribe, and you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. † [00:15:05]