Grape Seed Oil: Benefits And Side Effects

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The health benefits of grape seed oil include its ability to aid in skincare and hair care and protect the heart, balance cholesterol levels, boost the immune system, prevent cancer, stimulate cognitive activity, and prevent chronic diseases. These benefits occur mainly because of the presence of unsaturated fats (PUFAs) like omega- 6 and omega- 3 fatty acids, and vitamin E in the oil.

What is Grapeseed Oil?

Grapeseed oil, also known as grape oil, is an edible oil extracted from the seeds of grapes. After the wine is produced by pressing grapes, the seeds are used for extracting this oil and thus it is a by-product of winemaking. This oil has received a lot of attention in recent years due to its high levels of polyunsaturated fats and its versatility in both culinary applications and natural medicinal practices.

Grapeseed Oil Nutrition Facts

Grapeseed oil is a rich source of healthy fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, and alpha-linolenic acids, as well as stearic, palmitic, and palmitoleic acids. There are also significant levels of natural plant compounds like oligomeric proanthocyanidins complex (OPC), and other nutrients like vitamin E, sterols, and steroids in this oil. The omega- 6 and omega- 3 fatty acids are a major reason behind all the benefits of grapeseed oil.

Benefits of Grape Seed Oil

Many people turn to grapeseed oil when they are struggling with arthritis, inflammatory conditions, dandruff, diabetes, eczema, dementia, split ends, a weak immune system, and high blood pressure, as well as those at high risk for cancer and chronic diseases. Its benefits are further explained in detail below.

Skin Care

Grape seed oil is great for your skin because of its antioxidant properties. Applying it to your skin with a carrier oil helps lock in moisture. This keeps your skin looking fresh and supple. The astringent nature of the oil tightens your skin, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and increasing elasticity. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant aspects help eliminate symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and even allergic reactions and rashes, while simultaneously stimulating the growth of new cells and protecting the skin from infections. Grapeseed oil is also used to remove makeup as it has a relaxing effect on the skin.

Reduces Hair Loss

Grapeseed oil, because of its high vitamin E content and healthy acids, is an excellent moisturizer for your hair. It decreases the dryness and frizziness of the hair and promotes healthy hair growth. This helps in eliminating split ends and dandruff while strengthening the hair at the root, in the follicle, and preventing hair loss.

Boosts Immunity

Grapeseed oil contains a higher amount of vitamin E as compared to olive oil. Vitamin E helps boost the immune system and prevents cell damage, thereby keeping you healthy.

Speeds Wound Healing

Grapeseed oil displays a healing property by helping to kill bacteria present around the wound. Research says that the topical application of grapeseed extract on the injured parts can stimulate healing and show results from day one.

Balances Cholesterol Levels

The healthy fatty acids, like linoleic acid, in grapeseed oil, are able to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol levels and protect your heart. These PUFAs are able to reduce your risk of coronary heart diseases, thereby ensuring a healthy body.

Improves Sexual Health

Grapeseed oil is helpful in stimulating libido, which can spice up your life in the bedroom. The supplemental capsules made from grapeseed oil contain about 80% proanthocyanidins and are known to improve sexual health.

Relieves Stress

Grapeseed oil is an all-rounder as it is used in all possible applications from massages to skincare. It has a sedative effect that relieves stress and anxiety, which is why it is used in aromatherapy.

Prevents Dementia

Grapeseed oil can slow or prevent the onset of dementia, while also boosting memory, concentration, and cognitive dexterity. A number of studies have linked the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of polyunsaturated fats to a reduction in plaque deposition and inflammation in neural pathways and capillaries that feed the brain.

Lowers Hypertension

Using grapeseed oil as an alternative to other vegetable oils, especially canola oil, can help boost your cardiovascular health in a major way. The polyunsaturated fats in it help balance your cholesterol levels and reduce plaque buildup in the arteries. This oil is also linked to decreasing hypertension, which further lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.

Reduces Inflammation

Many people suffer from the pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Studies have connected the compounds in grapeseed oil to a decrease in swelling, inflamed tissue, and allergic responses. It reduces strain on your immune system and eases the pain of the joints and muscles.

Anticancer Potential

The broad range of fatty acids found in grapeseed oil, combined with various antioxidant vitamins and active compounds, has the potential to work as an effective antioxidant shield for the body’s systems and cells. Free radicals are able to attack healthy cells and cause them to mutate, often into cancerous growths. Powerful antioxidants, like those found in this alternative vegetable oil, may neutralize these free radicals and prevent tumor growth (Manjinder Kaur et al., 2009). Studies have shown this oil to have a potentially positive effect on colon, prostate, breast, and lung cancer as well.

Controls Diabetes

Regular use of this oil can help stop the spikes in blood sugar that can be dangerous for diabetics. Research has shown that linoleic acid, which makes up roughly 70% of the fatty acids in grapeseed oil, is able to increase insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism in the body, which is excellent news for people with diabetes or is at high risk. Furthermore, a 2017 research study in the Diabetes & Obesity Journal shows that grape seed extract helps not only in concentrated symptoms of diabetes, but provides complete healthcare to all the symptoms.

Grapeseed Oil Smoke Point

Grapeseed oil has a moderately high smoke point of approx. 216 degrees C. Therefore, it is often used as a salad dressing, rather than cooking oil, to ensure that all of the nutrients are retained. It is also used in baking and is particularly used in the preparation of pancakes and waffles.

How to Select Grapeseed oil?

Always look for the cold-pressed oil as it retains maximum nutrients and delivers amazing benefits. Pure grapeseed oil is a good option as it is produced with the least amount of chemicals in it. Excess heat while extraction makes the oil go rancid and harmful and causes a loss of nutrients from it.

Side Effects of Grape Seed Oil

Regular use of grape seed oil is believed to be safe, but taking large, medicinal quantities for more than a few months can result in these common side effects:

  • Allergies
  • Headaches
  • Mild indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Blood pressure fluctuation
  • Itchy scalp

Risks

There can be complications with your health and ongoing medications, given how potent and effective this oil is for certain health conditions.

  • Heart Diseases: The high levels of PUFAs in this oil can clog your arteries and lead to heart diseases if the oil is not consumed in moderation.
  • Drug Interactions: Grapeseed oil helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But if taken along with other blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and anticoagulants such as warfarin, it increases your risk of heart diseases. If you are on any medications for cardiovascular issues, speak with your doctor before adding this oil to your health regimen.
  • Obesity: The omega- 6 fatty acids in grapeseed oil can affect your metabolism if consumed in excess. This can lead to weight gain and obesity in the long run.
  • Dry Skin: Many people use this oil to control dandruff but depending on the sensitivity of their skin, it could cause additional dryness, particularly on the scalp. Apply a small amount of this oil on a patch of skin or on your scalp, and wait 5-6 hours to see how your skin reacts before using it on a larger area.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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