Grape seed for rheumatoid arthritis could well be an alternative or complementary remedy to help you manage the painful and often life-altering symptoms of this autoimmune disease. What does grape seed extract have to offer?
What is grape seed?
Extracts of grape seed contain high concentrations of potent antioxidants called oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) as well as flavonoids, linoleic acid, and vitamin E. Although grapes themselves also offer these factors, the concentrations are higher in grape seeds.
Another components found in grapes and grape seeds is resveratrol, which has gained much popularity as an antioxidant that may help with cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other ailments. Grape seed, however, is not a great source of this antioxidant.
Grape seed for rheumatoid arthritis
Most of the research on grape seed extract and arthritis has looked at its effect on osteoarthritis, which is a more common form of arthritis. However, studies of grape seed for rheumatoid arthritis have also yielded some promising results.
For example, an article in PLoS ONE reported on the impact of grape seed extract on two characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation and bone damage. The study, which was done in mice with the disease and also used cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, showed that grape seed extract
- Stopped the breakdown of bone cells in the samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis
- Provided relief from symptoms associated with damage to bone and cartilage in the mice
Investigators in another new study, also in PLoS ONE, found that use of grape seed extract not only inhibited weight gain and improved cholesterol levels, it also had a positive impact on the population of cells that are involved in inflammation and the autoimmune process associated with rheumatoid arthritis. This research was conducted in obese mice with rheumatoid arthritis.
Will taking grape seed for rheumatoid arthritis provide you with relief? Some evidence exists to suggest that it may, but the real answer can only be found if you try it. No daily dose has been established for grape seed extract, but typically people take 100 to 300 milligrams daily. Look for products that are standardized to 40 to 80 percent proanthocyanidins or have an OPC content of at least 95 percent.
Always discuss your use of natural supplements with your healthcare provider before you begin taking them. You should not take grape seed extract if you are allergic to grapes or if you have high blood pressure or a bleeding disorder. Side effects are not common but may include dizziness, itchy scalp, nausea, and headache. For more information on treating arthritis naturally, see The Complete Guide to Healing Arthritis.