Not all that you find in nature are healthy. And not all are harmful either. This means something can either be healthy, or not. Right?Well, we have exceptions. One of them is grape seed oil. And let me tell you – this exception is beyond fascinating. Which is why you need to know about benefits of grapeseed oil or bad effects. Right. Now.
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What Is GrapeSeed Oil?
As the name obviously suggests, the 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. As per certain sources, the Europeans had used the oil to treat diseases related to the eye and skin. And since the turn of the 20th century, grapeseed oil started garnering attention from scientists and the like.
What makes anything what it is are its contents – and here, we take a look at the nutritional profile of grapeseed oil.
What Are Grapeseed Oil Nutrition Facts?
Now, we get to the real topic. A sizzling debate, if you ask. Some say the oil works wonders. And a certain lot feels otherwise. Where does the truth lie? Keep your eyes rolling.
This question primarily boils down to one factor – omega-6 fatty acids. Grapeseed oil contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. But the former is present in larger amounts.
And that can cause a problem.
Grapeseed oil has the highest levels of omega-6 fatty acids – as compared to other vegetable oils. Though omega-6s are not bad by themselves, they can cause complications when consumed in excess. Certain potential conditions include increased inflammation, elevated risk of obesity, and increased cholesterol levels.
Also, after all, it is an oil. Which is why one must consume it sparingly as it contains fat. For women, the dosage is 5 to 6 teaspoons per day, and in the case of men, it is 6 to 7 teaspoons. This dosage is for any oil.
Another important factor to consider is the processing. Most types of commercially available grapeseed oil are processed – they are made using chemical solvents like hexane, which is considered a neurotoxin. We don’t know what chemical solvents like this can do to humans – irrespective of the amounts in which they are consumed.
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 (1).
But we can’t come to a conclusion yet. Not until we have seen the grapeseed oil benefits and side effects.
What are the Benefits of Grapeseed Oil?
Here are few ways to use this natural beauty wonder.
1. Anti-inflammatory And General Health
As per an Iranian study, grapeseed oil can improve inflammatory and insulin resistance in overweight women (2).
And as we have seen, the oil has a higher percentage of omega-6 fatty acids. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, omega-6s can have beneficial effects towards allergies, arthritis, ADHD, and breast cancer (3). The oil also contains linoleic acid, which is converted into gamma-linoleic acid in the body – and that has a protective role in the body.
It is rich in vitamin E that 4).
Also, the oil contains no trans fat. One doesn’t have to specifically talk about the dangers of trans fat or hydrogenated fats – and the oil contains none of those. This could also help promote heart health.
2. Cooking With Grapeseed Oil
How beneficial is using grapeseed oil for cooking? Well, when it comes to cooking, oils with high smoke points have an edge. Such oils are good for stir-frying and high-heat frying. Grapeseed oil has a moderately high smoke point (400o F), and it is a good option for sautéing over medium heat (6).
3. Grapeseed Oil For Skin Health
There are benefits of grapeseed oil for face and skin as well. Most cosmetic products prefer grapeseed oil as their base. The oil, in its ideal thickness, is also help in reducing wrinkles and scars. It helps in tightening the skin. The polyphenols and antioxidants in the oil help treat acne as well. The oil also acts as an able moisturizer – balancing both the dry and oily patches on the skin. As a toner, the oil can penetrate pores and cleanse the skin – thereby curing breakouts.
Vitamins C and E and the fatty acids make the oil a wonderful emollient. aid in eczema treatment.
One can use the oil for massage therapy too as it gets easily absorbed by the skin. Want to know how to use grapeseed oil for skin? Well, pour a few drops of this on your hands and rub your palms together. Massage in the upward direction till it gets absorbed completely into your now super-smooth skin.
4. Grapeseed Oil For Hair Health
Talking about hair, given the oil is lighter than olive or coconut oils, The vitamin E content in the oil helps build the hair tissue, and the linoleic acid in the oil promotes hair growth.
[ Read: Home Remedies For Hair Growth ]
5. Grapeseed Oil For Sexual Health
Grapeseed oil can act as a wonderful lubricant as well.
Grapeseed capsules have benefits too. The capsules are standardized to contain about 80% of proanthocyanidins, which are known to improve sexual health.
What are The Other Uses of GrapeSeed Oil? (Insufficient Information)
It is claimed that there are numerous other grapeseed oil benefits. Though these were found to be true in certain studies and personal testimonies, further research is required.
– In some cases, the oil has been found to offer 8).
– Grapeseed oil can help reduce your dark circles. Its powerful antioxidant properties can help in this aspect. All you need to do is apply some of the oil under your eyes before you sleep.
– The oil also combats hair allergies – it is hypoallergenic, and suits even sensitive scalp.
That’s the benefits of grapeseed oil. But you can’t know everything about something unless you peer into its dark side.
How Can Grapeseed Oil Be Unhealthy?
So, what are grape seed oil skin side effects? Herbs, like grape seed and its oil, might contain components that could interact with other medications and supplements. Certain common side effects include nausea, itching, stomach upset, headache, and sore throat (9).
Other severe allergic reactions to the oil include rashes, hives, 10).
We sure did discuss that not all omega-6s cause inflammation. Yes – but grapeseed oil might also contain those omega-6s that do. As we have already discussed in the beginning, a diet extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation, cholesterol, and obesity.
According to one Brazilian study, the beneficial effects of grapeseed oil discovered in studies happened in small control groups and not in large scale research. This throws a skeptic light on the much-acclaimed benefits of the oil (11).
As per another report, though there might be significant grapeseed oil extract benefits, there is no direct evidence substantiating the oil’s desirable effects (12). And coming to calories, grapeseed oil could be a little on the higher end. One tablespoon of the oil contains about 120 calories.
Keeping the lack of evidence aside, grapeseed oil is very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). But what we must also know is that there are various kinds of PUFAS – omega-3s, omega-6s, and omega-9s. Where things get scary is that an excess of omega-6s in the diet in comparison to other PUFAs can cause problems. There must be a balance.
More importantly, grapeseed oil has more omega-6 fatty acids than other vegetable oils. For your better understanding –
– Grapeseed oil contains 70% omega-6 fatty acids
– Sunflower oil, it’s 68%
– Corn oil, it’s 54%
– Soybean oil, it’s 51%
– Canola oil, it’s 19%
It is vital to understand that omega-6s by themselves are not bad. They are required for overall health. But when they are consumed in excess, harm occurs. The omega-3s and omega-6s we get from our diets compete with each other as they undergo chemical reactions in the body. Both these types of PUFAs are important for brain functioning and metabolism, etc.
And like we said, when the concentration of omega-6s in our body is higher when compared to omega-3s, problems arise.
Some of those problems include –
Increased heart disease risk – According to the American Heart Association, consuming anywhere between 5 to 10 percent of the total calorie intake of omega-6s, is safe (13). Which is the amount most people already eat (and which is why grape seed oil could do harm, since it’s higher in omega-6s). When this exceeds, your heart is in danger.
Obesity – Excess intake of omega-6s causes inflammation, and this impairs the body’s ability to balance hormones. This ultimately affects metabolism, leading to weight gain, and in the long run, obesity. The imbalance in hormones might even hamper the working of your thyroid gland – and this can result in obesity as well.
If grape seed oil is giving you jitters already, 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.
Talking about dosage, there is no specified amount. Certain studies have prescribed 100 to 300 milligrams of the oil a day, but otherwise, no one knows the upper limit (14).
What Are The Best Types Of GrapeSeed Oil?
Before we figure out what the best type of grapeseed oil is, let’s take a brief look at how the oil is made.
The oil, obviously, is made from grapes. But how it is made is of importance. It 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 oils can happen in multiple ways. One is cold-pressing the oil. The seeds are pressed with a modern steel press. Cold-pressed oils retain their aroma, flavor, and nutrition. They also retain their wonderful benefits.
Another way is introducing chemical solvents (like hexane, as we saw before) and then following a lengthy process to draw the oils out of the seeds. Most modern industrial machines even heat the oil to extremely high temperatures – and we don’t want this as the oil is completely destroyed in the process.
This is why how a particular grape seed oil is prepared is of major importance. The oil contains fat, and heating it (which is what most usually is done) can 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.
And we have a bonus for you – if you are looking for organic grape seed oil, here you go.
So what now?
We know that omega-3s are the best. And omega-6s are not as healthy. And since grapeseed oil is high in the latter, it may not be the ideal choice most of the time (and for most people).
You can use other healthy oils (like olive oil) for cooking, and make use of grape seed oil for its skin and hair benefits. In cooking, maybe once a while. That’s all.
Tell us how this post on benefits of grapeseed oil has helped you. Do share your comments about other grape seed oil uses by leaving a comment in the box below.
- “Grapeseed Oil”. University of Washington.