Grape Seed Extract and Cognition

Grapes are high in antioxidants and are known to have a number of health benefits in humans and animals. However, the antioxidants differ between different parts of the grapes and this may give them different properties. For example, scientists have investigated the effects of grape seed extracts on cognition in healthy young adults. Subjects were fed 400 mg of grape seed extract for 12 weeks and then asked to perform a number of cognitive tests. The benefits of the extract were marginal, and it was concluded that they were not effective at improving cognition. However, a number of studies have shown beneficial neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing effects for grapes and grape juice. These effects are also seen with wine. This difference may relate to the fact that while the grape seed extracts contain mainly proanthocyanidins, the whole grapes, particularly the skins, are rich in resveratrol. It may therefore be the resveratrol in grape skins that is beneficial to cognition, explaining the lack of effects seen in grape seed extracts.

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Bell, L., Whyte, A. R., Lamport, D. J., Spencer, J. P., Butler, L. T. and Williams, C. M. 2020. Grape seed polyphenol extract and cognitive function in healthy young adults: a randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-groups acute-on-chronic trial. Nutritional Neuroscience. 1-10
Restani, P., Fradera, U., Ruf, J. C., Stockley, C., Teissedre, P. L., Biella, S., Colombo, F. and Lorenzo, C. D. 2020. Grapes and their derivatives in modulation of cognitive decline: a critical review of epidemiological and randomized-controlled trials in humans. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 1-11

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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