Grapeseed oil: health benefits and Side effects

Edited By: Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati


Grapeseed oil comes from the seeds of grapes (Vitis vinifera) belongs to the Vitaceae family. It was a by-product of winemaking used from ancient Greek and Roman civilizations for culinary, pharmaceutical and cosmetic uses. It was widely used as cooking oil and also in skincare applications as cosmetics.

Grapeseed contains 8%–20% of oil (dry basis), crude oil obtained by pressure was deep yellowish-green in color and possessed a decided, nutlike, slightly burnt odor and taste. After steam distillation for several hours, bleached and deodorized oil (refined oil) possessed a pale straw color and a bland, sweetish, nutlike taste, and was practically odorless (1).


Grapeseed oil mainly produced in Turkey, Portugal, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, and the United States, however, the demand for this oil has also increased in the rest of Europe (2).

Constituents of Grapeseed oil

The grapeseed oil contains linoleic acid is the major component comprising 53.6-69.6% of the total, followed by oleic (16.2-31.2%), palmitic (6.9-12.9%) and stearic (1.44-4.69%). The oil of the grape seed is also rich the antioxidant compound oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC), α-tocopherol, β-Tocopherol, γ-tocopherol and δ-tocopherol (3).

The Grapeseed oil (GSO) also contains high amounts of phenolic compounds, including gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin and procyanidins, resveratrol, minor amounts of hydroxytyrosol and melatonin. Further, a high level of the vitamin E (60–120 mg/100 g), other constituents like sugars and a considerable amount of macro and microelements such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese were found in GSO. It also contains 40% fiber, 16% oil, 11% proteins, and 7% complex phenols such as tannins (4).

Uses of Grapeseed oil

It is used for salad dressings, marinades, deep frying, flavored oils, baking, massage oil, sunburn repair lotion, hair products, body hygiene creams, lip balm, and hand creams. Moreover, grape seed oil may be used as a potential substitute for canola oil in the kitchen, or for cosmetic use on skin and hair.

Health benefit of Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil has been traditional treatment in Europe for thousands of years and used for the prevention and/or treatment of various degenerative pathologies as follows

1. Wound healing properties of Grapeseed oil

It contains a high amount of phytoconstituents, active leucoanthocyanins, resveratrol,  fatty acids, and other polyphenols. Which possess the ability to release endothelial growth factor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties results in the contraction and closure of the skin wound(5, 6).

2. The rich antioxidant in Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil possesses hydroxyl radical scavenging activity as it contains triterpenoids (β-amyrin, lanosterol), tocopherols (α, β, and γ tocopherols), and phytosterols (campesterol, avenasterol, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, β-sitostanol, cholesterol).

Moreover, this oil contains gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, procyanidins, and proanthocyanidins which possess high antioxidant capacity, Thus this oil protects against oxidative damage by modulating nitric oxide production and antioxidant activity (7).

3. Anti-inflammatory properties of Grapeseed oil

A rich source of polyphenols and proanthocyanidin able to inhibit inflammatory response and oxidation induces damages by preventing the release of arachidonic acid which induces inflammation (8). Thus consumption of grapeseed oil may prevent inflammation-related diseases (9).

4. Healthy liver and brain

Grapeseed oil due to polyphenols possesses the ability to scavenge free radicals, act as cellular preventive agents against DNA oxidative damage and apoptosis (10). Therefore, grape seed oil is very helpful for the treatment of acute liver and brain injury induced by carbon tetrachloride in γ-irradiation (11).

5. Reduce pain

Grapeseed oil plays an important role in reducing the pain and inflammation caused by a bone fracture because of anti oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Therefore grape seed oil in combination with honey and propolis oil show non-toxic behavior to red blood cells (RBC) and human fibroblast cells (HDF) cells indicating better blood compatibility and cell viability rates. Thus grape seed oil may be used to get relief from the pain at the fracture site (12). 

6. Treats obesity

Grapeseed oil contains a good amount of tocotrienols (α- and γ-tocotrienol) which is unsaturated forms of vitamin E and reduces adipogenesis and inflammation of human adipocytes. Thus grape seed oil may act as a natural source to attenuate obesity and its associated adipose inflammation (13).

7. Healthy skin

Grapeseed oil contains a high amount of polyphenols which is very beneficial for the development of stable cream emulsions destined to improve the skin appearance. This oil is rich in antioxidants and safe to use as natural skin whitening (i.e. decrease melanin content), moisturizer (i.e. increase skin moisture content) and as a potential anti-aging (i.e. increase skin elasticity) agent.  Thus this oil is also helpful to diminishing skin redness (e.g. due to acne treatment, allergies, radiotherapy effects, rosacea, couperosis, erythrosis, etc) and acne vulgaris, decrease erythema effects and skin sebum content, without causing any skin sensitivity (14).

8. Treat oral dyskinesia

Oral dyskinesia is unusual and abnormal oral movements however haloperidol is widely used antipsychotic drug contain severe motor side effects. Haloperidol-loaded nanocapsules containing grape seed oil (rich in n-6 and n-9 Fatty Acids) show a wonderful effect on prevention in ROS production and reduced cell death, and consequently fewer drug-related adverse side effects thus maintaining the functional integrity of the brain (15).

9. Healthy digestion

Unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants such as tocopherols, phytosterol, and α- and γ-tocotrienol found in grape seed oil is helpful to decrease oxidative stress and combated with inflammation. Thus enema application of grape seed oil is beneficial to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis (UC) (16).

10. Lower cholesterol levels

Presence of polyphenols and sterols in grapeseed oil is responsible to increase serum HDL-cholesterol levels (Good cholesterol) and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels (Bad cholesterol) in three weeks. Thus, the addition of grapeseed oil to broilers diet improves lipid profile and cholesterol content in obtained meat (17). Furthermore, grapeseed oil influences the fatty acid profile (n-6 fatty acids) of the meat and maybe promising additives which could improve the quality of broiler chicken meat (18).

11. Prevent skin damage

Proanthocyanidin found in grape seed oil is act as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavengers which inhibit skin tumor formation, decrease the size of skin tumors and prevent immune system suppression induce by UV radiation (19).

12. Treat cholsma or Melasma

Grapeseed oil contains proanthocyanidin which is effective in reducing the hyperpigmentation of women with chloasma in 6 months. Thus, this oil is safe and useful for improving chloasma and treats hypomelanosis (20).

13. Improve skin elasticity

Grapeseed oil contains pycnogenol which plays a key role in herbal moisturizer to improve skin elasticity, maintain humectants, hydrate and soothing effect on the skin (21).

14. Rich in nutrients

Grapeseed oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid which is higher than safflower oil, sunflower oil and corn oil followed by oleic acid and palmitic acid which is protected from various diseases. This oil also contains a considerable amount of macro and microelements such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium contents. Additionally, this oil is reputed to contain plentiful antioxidants (gallic acid, catechin and epicatechin, and a wide variety of procyanidins), as well as to lower cholesterol levels, vitamins (vitamin E, vitamin C, and b-carotene), and phenolic compounds (22).

15. Anticancer properties of Grapeseed oil

It is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds which possess chemopreventive activity. Helps in inhibiting the protein kinases thus prevent the growth of cancer cells (23).

16. Manage diabetes

The grape seed contains the greatest amount of tocotrienols and total phenolic compounds which inhibit intestinal α-glucosidases and α-pancreatic amylase. That may delay carbohydrate digestion and absorption, resulting in the suppression of postprandial glycemia (24). Moreover, high glucose causes β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis in diabetes however grape seed oil protect β-cells from high glucose-induced apoptosis and dysfunction. Thus grape seed oil supplementation improves inflammation and insulin resistance in overweight and/or obese women (25).

17. Treat cardiovascular disease

Proanthocyanidin, unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid and oleic acids) of grapeseed oil acts as anti-atherosclerotic agents. Therefore, reduces plaques and carotid plaque size further reducing the cardiovascular event significantly. which are beneficial to human cardiovascular health (26).

18. Reduce platelet aggregation

Grapeseed oil consumption (omega-6 fatty acid) reduced platelet aggregation, therefore, keep heart healthy (27).

19. Lower blood pressure

Grapeseed extract has a beneficial impact on blood pressure. This impact was more obvious in younger or obese subjects, as well as in patients with metabolic disorders (28).

The side effect of Grapeseed oil

A research study suggested that grapeseed is safe for those also who are allergic to the white grape. This may be due to both dilution and transient contact of the bath oil (29). However, if you feel nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and acute weakness after consumption should avoid grape seed oil (30).




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