Grapeseed oil is a by-product of the winemaking industry, and studies state its beneficial effects on human health. There has been numerous evidence suggesting the oil’s anticancer and cardioprotective benefits (1).
The actual constituents of the oil responsible for these effects are present only in smaller amounts, and one may be required to consume the oil in large amounts to avail the benefits (1).
In this post, we will explore what research says about the oil and its impact on health.
Table Of Contents
What Is Grapeseed Oil?
Grapeseed oil is pressed from the seeds of grapes. The oil is hence a by-product of winemaking.
The oil has been in existence for over 6,000 years. The Europeans used the oil to treat diseases related to skin and eye. Since the turn of the 20th century, grapeseed oil started garnering attention from scientists and researchers.
Though grapeseeds are rich in nutrients, certain studies state that it is not the case with the oil. Most antioxidants, including the proanthocyanidins from the grapeseeds, were not present in the oil (2).
Does taking grapeseed oil do you any good? Research has some interesting findings.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Grapeseed Oil?
There is some evidence that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids in grapeseed oil may promote heart health. The oil also has antioxidant properties that may help boost skin health.
1. May Fight Inflammation And Boost General Health
As per a study, consumption of grapeseed oil seems to improve inflammatory conditions and insulin resistance in overweight and obese women (3).
Grapeseed oil also contains omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. There is consistent evidence that higher levels of omega-6 in the blood or adipose tissue are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (4).
The phenolic compounds present in grapeseed oil and grapeseed extracts have antioxidant properties, which are associated with the removal of free radicals and chelation of metals. This activity influences cell signaling and the functioning of the immune system (1).
2. May Be Beneficial For Cooking
The use of grapeseed oil while cooking pork patties was found to reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines, which are potent carcinogens (5). These amines are usually formed when meat, poultry, or fish are cooked at high temperatures (including frying or barbecuing) (6).
However, more research is warranted to understand how safe or beneficial grapeseed oil could be for cooking.
3. May Boost Skin Health
Grapeseed oil contains antioxidant properties that may help minimize signs of skin aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. The oil is also light and can be used as a moisturizer without leaving the skin feeling too oily. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil may also aid acne treatment (7).
In rat studies, grapeseed oil could also help accelerate wound healing. However, the effect of direct topical application of grapeseed oil on human skin is not well investigated yet (8).
4. May Promote Hair Health
One small study states the potential ability of grapeseed oil in helping treat androgenetic alopecia. The oil was considered a possible alternative treatment for the condition as it could improve scalp blood flow (9).
In a rat study, the proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds exhibited hair growth-promoting activity. The compounds in the oil could have potential use as agents to induce hair growth (10).
5. May Help With Sexual Health
There is some research stating that the proanthocyanidins in grape seeds could enhance vaginal blood flow (11). However, more research is warranted in this regard.
The nutritional profile of the oil tells you more about what the oil consists of. This should give you a better idea of its benefits. We will explore in the following section.
What Is The Nutrition Profile Of Grapeseed Oil?
Serving Size 218g
|Amounts per serving|
|Calories 1927||Calories from Fat 1927|
|Total Fat||218 g||335%|
|Saturated Fat||20 g||100%|
|*Percentage daily value are based on a 2000 calorie diet.|
Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs
Values sourced from USDA, oil, grapeseed
Your daily values may be higher or lower, depending on your calorie needs.
Apart from what we discussed, grapeseed oil has other potential uses. However, these are not backed by sufficient evidence.
What Are The Other Uses Of Grapeseed Oil?
Grapeseeds (especially their extracts) were reported to have certain other benefits. These warrant further research. There also is little information if the benefits of the extracts can be extrapolated to the oil.
- Grapeseed extract was found to reduce postprandial blood glucose levels in healthy people. This could be a useful strategy to prevent diabetes development in a healthy population (12).
- Naturally occurring phytochemicals, as in the case of grapeseed extracts, could also be potentially used in cancer treatment. However, we need more studies to determine the safety, especially to establish any toxicity associated with long-term administration of grapeseed extract (13).
- In a clinical study, subjects who were supplemented orally with a formulation containing grape seed extract rich in flavonols showed better skin firmness and a reduction of dark circles, redness, and spots in women with dull complexion (14).
Despite these uses, we do not recommend grapeseed oil to everybody. The oil has certain contraindications.
What Are The Side Effects Of Grapeseed Oil?
Certain common side effects of grapeseed extract include nausea, itching, stomach upset, headache, dizziness, and sore throat (15). It can also cause reactions in those with known hypersensitivity (15).
The extract can also interact with medications potentially metabolized by the liver. It may interact with blood thinners, NSAID painkillers like aspirin, certain heart medications, and cancer treatments (15).
Due to a lack of evidence on safety, grape seed extract is not recommended for children, and pregnant and breastfeeding women (15).
Grapeseed oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids (4). It is vital to understand that omega-6s by themselves are not bad. They are required for overall health. The omega-3s and omega-6s we get from our diets compete with each other for their biosynthetic enzymes (16).
But a high omega-6 fatty acid intake and a high omega-6/omega-3 ratio have been associated with weight gain in both animal and human studies (16).
If you do not want to use grapeseed oil, you can substitute it with canola (rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that are good for the heart), coconut (rich in lauric acid that has immune-boosting effects), or sesame (rich in antioxidants that help lower blood pressure) oils.
But if you want to go ahead with grapeseed oil, do keep in mind the dosage. Though there is no specified amount, some anecdotal evidence suggests 100 to 300 milligrams of the oil a day. However, more research is warranted to establish a safe dosage.
What Are The Best Types Of Grapeseed Oil?
Grapeseed oil is a leftover by-product of the winemaking process. The wine is made by pressing the juice out of the fruit and leaving the seeds behind. These seeds are then crushed, and the oil is extracted from them.
This extraction of the oil can happen either by cold-pressing (the seeds are pressed with a modern steel press) or by introducing chemical solvents and heating it at extremely high temperatures.
The oil contains fat, and heating it may turn it into bad fat. The oil’s molecular composition changes. It turns rancid and has undesirable effects.
Hence, you need to choose that grape seed oil that is the least processed. Make sure you get an organic, cold-pressed, solvent-free brand. Look for the indication on the bottle.
Where To Buy Grapeseed Oil?
If you are looking for organic grape seed oil, you can buy it here.
Much of the research on grapeseed oil is not concrete yet, and more studies are warranted to establish clear benefits. Though it has some healthy fats, excess intake of omega-6 fatty acids may lead to weight gain in the long run.
You may go for grapeseed oil once in a while (ensure you are picking the cold-pressed variant). The oil may also interact with certain medications. Hence, if you are on any medication, please check with your doctor before ingesting the oil.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Can I deep-fry in grapeseed oil?
Yes, grapeseed oil is a good option for deep-frying as it has a high smoke point. But it may not be the best choice in terms of health benefits.
Do I need to refrigerate grapeseed oil?
You do not have to refrigerate it. Even if you do, it may not cloud-like the other oils.
What does grapeseed oil smell like?
The oil has a nutty aroma with a slight hint of sweetness.
- Grape Seed Oil Compounds: Biological and Chemical Actions for Health, Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Analysis of Proanthocyanidins in Grape Seed Extracts, Health Foods and Grape Seed Oils, Journal of Health Science.
- Does grape seed oil improve inflammation and insulin resistance in overweight or obese women?, International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids, NebGuide, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- Vegetable oil as fat replacer inhibits formation of heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in reduced fat pork patties, United States Department of Agriculture.
- Heterocyclic amines: Mutagens/carcinogens produced during cooking of meat and fish. Cancer Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Grape Seed Oil: From a winery waste to a value added cosmetic product, Academia.
- Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Procyanidin oligomers selectively and intensively promote proliferation of mouse hair epithelial cells in vitro and activate hair follicle growth in vivo, The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Methods for improving female sexual function, Google PATENTS.
- Postprandial blood glucose response to grape seed extract in healthy participants: A pilot study, Pharmacognosy Magazine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Anticancer and Cancer Chemopreventive Potential of Grape Seed Extract and Other Grape-Based Products, The Journal of Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Clinical effects of an oral supplement rich in antioxidants on skin radiance in women, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- GRAPE SEED EXTRACT- A THERAPEUTIC REVIEW, International Journal of Pharmacy.
- An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk for Obesity, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Optimization of mechanical extraction conditions for producing grape seed oil, United States Department of Agriculture.
- Hexane, PubChem, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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