encyclopedia

Grape Seed Oil

Natural Sources:     

Grape Seed Oil.     

Forms:     

Organic grapeseed oil expeller-pressed in the absence of light, heat and oxygen.     

Therapeutic Uses:     

– Alopecia areata (as a carrier oil)
– Aromatherapy (as a carrier oil)
– Bath Oil
– Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency
– Eczema
– Hair Loss Prevention
– Heart Health Maintenance
– High Cholesterol
– Nutritive
– Skin Cleansing
– Skin Conditions
– Vascular Disorders
– Wrinkles     

Overview:     

Grape seeds, Vitis vinifera L. [Fam. Vitaceae], are rich in fatty acids. Grapeseed oil is rich in heart-smart monosaturated fat (16%) and polyunsaturated fat (69%) and very low in saturated fat (9%). Grapeseed oil is particularly rich in linoleic acid (omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – polyunsaturates), oleic acid (omega-9s monosaturates) and Vitamin E. New studies show that grapeseed oil is excellent to use in creams and lotions for skin problems and in scalp oils to prevent hair loss. It is best combined with essential oils and other plant extracts for these purposes. Grapeseed oil is very low in omega-3 fatty acids known for their proneness to oxidization. Omega-3 fatty acids may be used safely when combined with other ingredients in a cream or lotion, but these fats are still less stable than omega-6 fats or more saturated fats. Low omega-3 content makes grapeseed oil a superior oil to use externally for the skin and scalp because it resists becoming oxidized on the skin or becoming rancid in the container. However, it is important to have the right balance of omega-6 and omega-3 EFAs in the diet for optimal health. Because grapeseed oil contains very little linolenic acid, or omega-3 EFAs (approximately 1%), it is often combined with flaxseed oil in the diet. Excess omega-6 EFAs in the diet in the absence of adequate omega-3 EFAs favors the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins associated with inflammation, joint pain and many other debilitating conditions. Studies indicate that a right fat diet, rich in both omega-6 and omega-3 EFAs and monounsaturates (oleic acid) and low in saturates, lowers serum cholesterol, promotes HDL lipid production and reduces the risk of vascular diseases. It is best to use certified organic, expeller-pressed grapeseed oil to avoid trans-fatty acids, which decrease beneficial HDL lipids in the body.     

Chemistry:     

Grapeseed oil (Nutrient Units Value per 100 grams of edible portion (Proximates): Total lipid (fat) 100.00g; Vitamin E (ATE) 29mg; Fatty acids, total saturated 9.6g; 16:0, 6.7g; 18:0, 2.7g; 14:0, 0.1g; Fatty acids, total monounsaturated (omega-9s) 16.1g; 16:1 undifferentiated 0.3g; 18:1 undifferentiated 15.8g; Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 69.9g; 18:2 (omega-6s) undifferentiated 69.6g; 18:3 (omega-3s) undifferentiated 0.1g; Phytosterols, 180mg; Cholesterol 0.00 mg. [USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16 (July 2003)].     

Suggested Amount:     

Take one to two tablespoons of oils rich in essential fatty acids per day. Grapeseed oil can be blended with flaxseed oil, rich in omega-3 EFAs, to make EFA-balanced oil for average diet (low in omega-3s). Grapeseed oil can be used to make pleasant tasting culinary oils for salad dressings and other foods.  Use grapeseed oil externally for the treatment of dry skin and other skin problems using creams and lotions or and the scalp to prevent hair loss using 80% grapeseed oil with mixtures of essential oils.     

Drug Interactions:     

None known.     

Contraindications:     

None known.     

Side Effects:     

Grapeseed oil, taken as a part of a well balanced diet, does not cause any side effects. However, researchers now understand that an excess of omega-6 EFA's in the diet increases the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and obesity. All of these diseases are associated with hyperinsulinemia (HI) and insulin resistance (IR) and are grouped together as the insulin resistance syndrome or syndrome X. There is also an increased cancer incidence and mortality rate, especially in women. Researchers conclude that, “high omega-6 linoleic acid consumption might aggravate HI and IR; such diets, rather than being beneficial, may have some long-term side effects within the cluster of hyperinsulinemia, atherosclerosis and tumorigenesis”. Excesses of omega-6 EFA's also promote high blood levels of estradiol. High circulating estrogen levels in the blood tend to increase insulin levels and this reduces blood sugar. Low blood sugar leads to irritability and this is one of the main problems with PMS. Thus, excess omega-6 EFA in the diet is linked to estrogen dominance, hyperinsulinemia, PMS and many other diseases.  For external use, it is important to note that oils are best combined with other ingredients in creams and lotions to prevent oxidation of the fatty acids. For example, rapeseed oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids is often used to lacquer wood because it is so prone to oxidation – it quickly hardens on surfaces exposed to air. All oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids have the potential to oxidize when exposed to air, although oils low in omega-3's are more stable than oils rich in these essential fats. Therefore, it is recommended to use oils mixed with antioxidants, essential oils and other stabilizing ingredients.     

References:     

Erasmus, U. 1993: Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. Published by Alive Books, Burnaby, B.C., Canada. pp. 1-456.
 
Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. 1998. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol. 1998 Nov;134(11):1349-52.
 
Makrides M, Neumann MA, Jeffrey B, Lien EL, Gibson RA. 2000. A randomized trial of different ratios of linoleic to alpha-linolenic acid in the diet of term infants: effects on visual function and growth. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jan; 71(1): 120-9.
 
Sebedio JL, Vermunt SH, Chardigny JM, Beaufrere B, Mensink RP, Armstrong RA, Christie WW, Niemela J, Henon G, Riemersma RA. 2000. The effect of dietary trans alpha-linolenic acid on plasma lipids and platelet fatty acid composition: the TransLinE study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb; 54(2): 104-13.
 
Yam, Eliraz and Berry 1996: Diet and disease–the Israeli paradox: possible dangers of a high omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid diet. Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 2(11): 1134-43.

Additional Information:     

Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. 1998. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol. 1998 Nov;134(11):1349-52.
 
Department of Dermatology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Scotland. ad.ormerod@abdn.ac.uk
 
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy of aromatherapy in the treatment of patients with alopecia areata. DESIGN: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of 7 months' duration, with follow-up at 3 and 7 months. SETTING: Dermatology outpatient department. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-six patients diagnosed as having alopecia areata. INTERVENTION: Eighty-six patients were randomized into 2 groups. The active group massaged essential oils (thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood) in a mixture of carrier oils (jojoba and grapeseed) into their scalp daily. The control group used only carrier oils for their massage, also daily. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Treatment success was evaluated on sequential photographs by 2 dermatologists (I.C.H. and A.D.O.) independently. Similarly, the degree of improvement was measured by 2 methods: a 6-point scale and computerized analysis of traced areas of alopecia. RESULTS: Nineteen (44%) of 43 patients in the active group showed improvement compared with 6 (15%) of 41 patients in the control group (P = .008). An alopecia scale was applied by blinded observers on sequential photographs and was shown to be reproducible with good interobserver agreement (kappa = 0.84). The degree of improvement on photographic assessment was significant (P = .05). Demographic analysis showed that the 2 groups were well matched for prognostic factors. CONCLUSIONS: The results show aromatherapy to be a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata. Treatment with these essential oils was significantly more effective than treatment with the carrier oil alone (P = .008 for the primary outcome measure). We also successfully applied an evidence-based method to an alternative therapy.
 
Contact Dermatitis. 1992 Mar;26(3):208.
 
 
Grapeseed oil as a safe and efficient hand cleansing agent.
 
Krogsrud NE, Larsen AI.
 
Department of Occupational Health, Novo Nordisk, Bagsvaerd, Denmark.
 
Lipids. 2000 Oct;35(10):1099-106.  
 

Cold acclimation or grapeseed oil feeding affects phospholipid composition and mitochondrial function in duckling skeletal muscle.
 
Chainier F, Roussel D, Georges B, Meister R, Rouanet JL, Duchamp C, Barre H.
 
Laboratoire de Physiologie des Regulations Energetiques, Cellulaires et Moleculaires (Unite Mixte de Recherches 5578 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – Universite Lyon 1), Villeurbanne, France.
 
The phospholipid fatty acid (FA) composition and functional properties of skeletal muscle and liver mitochondria were examined in cold-acclimated (CA, 4 degrees C) ducklings. Phospholipid FA of isolated muscle mitochondria from CA birds were longer and more unsaturated than those from thermoneutral (TN, 25 degrees C) reared ducklings. The rise in long-chain and polyunsaturated FA (PUFA, mainly 20:4n-6) was associated with a higher State 4 respiration rate and a lower respiratory control ratio (RCR). Hepatic mitochondria, by contrast, were much less affected by cold acclimation. The cold-induced changes in phospholipid FA profile and functional properties of muscle mitochondria were reproduced by giving TN ducklings a diet enriched in grapeseed oil (GO, rich in n-6 FA), suggesting a causal relationship between the membrane structure and mitochondrial functional parameters. However, hepatic mitochondria from ducklings fed the GO diet also showed an enrichment in long-chain PUFA but opposite changes in their biochemical characteristics (lower State 4, higher RCR). It is suggested that the differential modulation of mitochondrial functional properties by membrane lipid composition between skeletal muscle and liver may depend on muscle-specific factors possibly interacting with long-chain PUFA and affecting the proton leakiness of mitochondrial membranes.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):5825-31.  

Oil stability prediction by high-resolution (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
 
Hidalgo FJ, Gomez G, Navarro JL, Zamora R.
 
Instituto de la Grasa, CSIC, Avenida Padre Garcia Tejero 4, 41012 Seville, Spain.
 
(13)C NMR spectra of oil fractions obtained chromatographically from 66 vegetable oils were obtained and analyzed to evaluate the potential use of those fractions in predicting oil stabilities and to compare those results with oil stability prediction by using chemical determinations. The oils included the following: virgin olive oils from different cultivars and regions of Europe and north Africa; “lampante” olive, refined olive, refined olive pomace, low-erucic rapeseed, high-oleic sunflower, corn, grapeseed, soybean, and sunflower oils. Oils were analyzed for fatty acid and triacylglycerol composition, as well as for phenol and tocopherol contents. By using stepwise linear regression analysis (SLRA), the chemical determinations and the (13)C NMR data that better explained the oil stability determined by the Rancimat were selected. These selected variables were related to both the susceptibility of the oil to be oxidized and the content of minor components that most contributed to oil stability. Because (13)C NMR considered many more variables than those determined by chemical analysis, the predicted stabilities calculated by using NMR data were always better than those obtained by using chemical determinations. All these results suggest that (13)C NMR may be a powerful tool to predict oil stabilities when applied to chromatographically enriched oil fractions.
 
PMID: 12358445 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
 

Complement Ther Med. 2002 Dec;10(4):223-8.  

The effects of lavender (Lavendula angustifolium) baths on psychological well-being: two exploratory randomised control trials.
 
Morris N.
 
Psychology Division, School of Applied Science, University of Wolverhampton, Wulfuna Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1SB, UK. neilmorris1@aol.com
 
OBJECTIVE: Two important aspects of psychological well-being are positive mood state and a positive outlook with respect to the future. This study investigates the use of lavender baths to improve these aspects of psychological well-being. DESIGN: A single blind, randomised control trial. SETTING: The participants' home and interview rooms at the University of Wolverhampton. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty women not receiving treatment for psychological disorders who were staff or students at the University of Wolverhampton. Forty participated in Study 1 and 40 in Study 2. INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly allocated to use either grapeseed oil or 80% grapeseed oil and 20% lavender oil in their bath for 14 days. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: In Study 1, the UWIST mood adjective checklist. In Study 2, the MacLeod and Byrne Future Events procedure. RESULTS: In Study 1 psychologically positive mood changes were found after the bathing regimen for energetic arousal, tense arousal, hedonic tone and anger-frustration. Only anger-frustration showed a selective effect for lavender oil. In the second study negative responses about the future were selectively reduced after lavender oil baths. CONCLUSIONS: These results are encouraging and suggest further investigation using potential patients may result in the development of a useful procedure for improving psychological well-being.

Grape Seed Oil Boosts Good HDL Cholesterol

Here's the newest addition to foods that can boost all-important HDL cholesterol. Dr. David T. Nash, a cardiologist at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, tested grape seed oil on 23 men and women who had low HDLs – below 45. Every day for four weeks, they ate two tablespoons of grape seed oil in addition to their regular low-fat diet. Their HDLs went up an average 14 percent! “Some did not respond, says Dr. Nash, “but the HDLs did go up in more than half of them”. Generally, those who already had the highest HDLs were least likely to get further boosts from the grape seed oil. [Excerpt taken from Food Your Miracle Medicine (1993) by Jean Carper – Pp. 59].
 
Mironova AN, Kozlova VL, Volkova ZD, Filippova GI, Fedina NI, Alymova TB, Vologdina SP, Gorshkova EI. 1990. [Chemical and biological properties of grape seed oil]. [Article in Russian]. Vopr Pitan. 1990 Sep-Oct;(5):51-3.
 
Biological properties of grape seed oil, included into the ration of animals in the amount of 25% of calorie value during 11 weeks, were studied in growing male rats. It has been established that deodorized grape seed oil is close to sunflower oil by its chemical and biological properties. The possibility of using grape seed oil as full value food vegetable oil has been validated.
 
Maranesi M, Barzanti V, Tarozzi G, Turchetto E. 1988. Effect of n-6 and n-3 dietary fatty acids on phospholipid composition of plasma, platelets and aorta in the rat. Biochem Int. 1988 Feb;16(2):349-57.
 
Dipartimento di Biochimica, Universita di Bologna, Italy.
 
Female Wistar rats were fed with diets containing as dietary lipids 10% of hydrogenated coconut oil, grape-seed oil, olive oil, linseed oil and fish oil, respectively, for a period of 60 days. At the end of dietary treatment plasma, platelets and aorta phospholipids were extracted and fatty acid spectra determined. Plasma and platelet phospholipids showed the largest diet dependent changes. Anyway in aorta samples too, phospholipids showed marked increase in oleic (olive oil group) linoleic (grape-seed oil group) and alpha linoleic (linseed oil group) acids percentage. Conversely decreased amounts of arachidonic acid were detected in rats fed with diets containing linseed and fish oils. In these samples eicosapentenoic acid partly replaced arachidonic one.
 
Gouere P. 1963. [BIOCHEMICAL ASPECT AND DIETETIC ROLE OF GRAPE SEED OIL]. Aliment Vie. 1963; 51: 235-7. [Article in French]