Grape Skin
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Grape Skin GRAPE SKIN  
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Botanical: Vitis vinifera
Family: Vitaceae (grape)
Other common names:  Red Wine Grape, European Grape

Grape Skin supplement is an easy way to enjoy the many health benefits provided by nutritious grapes.  Packed with vitamins and minerals, Grape Skin's proanthocynidins are the phytonutrients that are thought to provide a high degree of antioxidant capacity that helps to fight free radical damage in the body.  The resveratrol in Grape Skin is said to help fight carcinogens, lower cholesterol, combat cardiovascular disease and diminish damage caused by stroke.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

History:
Grapes appear to have originated in the Mediterannean regions of southern Europe and Middle East, thriving in deep, moist, humus-rich, neutral-to-alkaline soil in sun and warm climates; and the grape's hardiness varies according to the cultivar. Going back thousands of years, the Grape was a wild vine.  If untended, it grows like a tree and wraps around anything in its way, like ivy on walls, and different sub-species were created through natural selection, resulting in mutations of the vine.  Cultivation of the Grape occurred in pre-historic or early historic times in southwest Asia or southern Transcaucasia (Armenia and Georgia), and cultivation of the domesticated grape, Vitis vinifera, spread to other parts of the Old World over the years.  Wine is the fermented juice of Grapes, and it has been used in various cultures for at least 4,500 years, originating most likely in the Middle East.  Egyptian records, dating from 2500 B.C., refer to wines, and there are frequent references to wine in the Old Testament.  Wine was also used by early Minoan, Greek and Etruscan civilizations, and we can thank the Roman army for introducing the rootstocks and winemaking throughout Europe as they created an expanding Roman Empire.  Centuries later, the role of wine for sacramental use in Christian churches helped to maintain the industry after the fall of the Roman Empire.  Modern science has now confirmed the health benefits included in the juice, skin and seeds of the Red Grape; and Grape Skin and Red Wine extracts possess high concentrations of proanthocyanidins that confer high antioxidant and free radical benefits, as well as enzymes (sirutins), phenolic and polyphenolic compounds (including catechin, quercetin, the all-important Resveratrol, et al) that combat platelet aggregation (clotting) in the blood.  (Grape Skins are a good source of anthocyanin pigments, notably the 3-glucosides of malvidin and cyanidin, tartaric esters of hydroxycinnamic acids, monomeric and dimeric flavanols).  Grape Skin contains both fructose and glucose, but in lesser levels than the full fruit and juice.  It is interesting to remember the "French Paradox."  French diets include more than thirty percent more fat than the diets of Americans, but the French people suffer forty percent fewer heart attacks, and this is said to be due to their consumption of Red Wine.  Researchers in France have compiled a guide, or textbook, that outlines the various treatments derived from Grape Seeds, Grape Skins, Red Wine and their respective benefits.  The new trend has been dubbed "Vinotherapy," and spas throughout the world are beginning to explore the benefits of Red Wine Grapes as detoxifiers, strong antioxidants and cell regenerators.  Grape Skin supplements provide a convenient way to enjoy this simple fruit's many healthy benefits.

Beneficial Uses:
Grape Skin contains high concentrations of the substance, trans-resveratrol, and health industry researchers have found that this substance may be the key to its source as an antioxidant that may help in the prevention of serious infection.  According to Northwestern University, the significant amounts of resveratrol naturally present in Grape Skin has demonstrated potentially beneficial properties, including antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogen effects.  Recent research shows that trans-resveratrol may interfere with the development of malignant disease by blocking the actions of carcinogens, inhibiting the initiation and proliferation of diseased cells and causing pre-cancerous cells to revert to normal.  Grape Skin contains proanthocyanidins, the phytonutrients that provide a high degree of antioxidant capacity that fights free radical damage in the body.  These compounds allow the body's cells to absorb vitamin C, which are thought to be helpful in protecting cells from the free radicals that can bind to and destroy cellular compounds.  These qualities may be helpful in building the immune system and fighting serious malignant disease and other infections.

With regard to good coronary health, Grape Skin may be very helpful in reducing platelet aggregation (clotting) in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis, stroke and heart attacks.  Researchers at Northwestern University Medical School have found that a chemical in red wine is a form of a hormone called resveratrol (highly concentrated in the skin of grapes), and it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  (Resveratrol has a molecular structure similar to that of diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen.)  The resveratrol in Grape Skin is said to raise the levels of high-density lipoproteins (increase HDLs or "good" cholesterol) in the blood, while lowering low-density lipoproteins (decrease LDLs, or "bad" cholesterol) and thereby possibly helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes.  It is also said to prevent fat in the bloodstream from sticking together and clogging the arteries, which is thought to promote better circulation of blood throughout the body, especially to the heart.  Resveratrol increases nitric oxide levels, which helps relax artery walls, thus also helping to maintain good blood flow and improved circulation.  In 2010, Harvard University researchers suggested that the resveratrol in Red Grape Skin may even counter the negative effects of a high-calorie, high-fat diet.

Grape Skin is believed to significantly improve blood circulation, which benefits both cardiac and cerebral function.  Because resveratrol increases nitric oxide levels, it helps to relax artery walls, allowing blood to flow more freely to the heart and  the brain. The body naturally produces nitric oxide from a common dietary amino acid, L-arginine, but if levels are insufficient, resveratrol is said to boost nitric oxide levels and thus dilate artery walls to promote better circulation and blood flow to the brain.  Research (2008) from UCLA and Mt. Sinai Schools of Medicine have indicated that resveratrol can be protective in cases of Alzheimer's disease.  In animal models, the neurology team studied beta amyloid, the proteins that build up in Alzheimer's affected brains, and found that the polyphenols (resveratrol) from Red Grape Skin, Grapeseed or Red Wine extract blocked precursor proteins from sticking together to form the toxic beta amyloid protein, as well decreased the ability of the beta amyloid protein to damage neurons.  This worked when treating the neurons prior to toxic damage and suggested that administration of the compound to Alzheimer's patients might block the development of these toxic aggregates, prevent disease development and also ameliorate existing Alzheimer's disease. 

Grape Skin may help to minimize brain damage from strokes.  Research has discovered that resveratrol can absorb free radicals, stopping them from doing any more damage to the brain.  Researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that resveratrol reduces oxidative stress in nerve cells and may protect against age-related nerve changes.

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, the resveratrol content and a class of enzymes known as sirtuins in Grape Skins have been shown to enhance cell survival during times of stress, delay cell death and extend life.  It may be a way to boost the principal "anti-ageing" enzyme in living cells.  The researchers claim that resveratrol, which has already been credited with Red Wine’s ability to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, may be the most potent anti-ageing booster ever discovered.

According to recent research (2008) from Peninsula Medical School, England, Grape Skin can protect against cellular damage to blood vessels caused by high production of glucose in diabetes, claiming resveratrol's powerful antioxidant effects are well documented, but the new research establishes the link between high levels of glucose, its damaging effect on cell structure and the ability of resveratrol to protect against and mend that damage.  Moreover, resveratrol could be used to block the damaging effect of glucose, which in turn might fight the often life threatening complications that accompany diabetes.  It could well be the basis of effective diet-based therapies for the prevention of vascular damage caused by hyperglycemia in the future.

The phytonutrients that contribute to the Grape vine's resistance to viruses are thought to protect against some viral infections in humans as well.

Contraindications:
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Grape Skin Herbal Supplements; however, it is advisable that women with estrogen receptor-positive cancers should not take supplements with resveratrol without consulting a physician.  Speak with your physician if you are taking blood thinning, anticoagulant medication (aspirin, warfarin, etc.)

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