Grapeseed oil is a type of vegetable oil produced from the crushing of grape seeds.
It is often obtained as a by-product from the wine-making process and used in many different types of cosmetics and cooking additives.
In addition, there are purported health benefits from ingesting of grapeseed oil, as it has been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and subsequently raise good cholesterol (HDL).
As with many fats and oils, grapeseed oil is composed mainly of triglycerides, which is chemically represented as three fatty-acids and a glycerol ester. There are several different types of these fatty-acid chains that contribute to the composition of grapeseed oil.
Linoleic acid accounts for approximately 72 percent of the fatty acids found in grapeseed oil. It is one of the two main essential fatty acids that contribute to optimal cholesterol health and may also reduce complications seen in a variety of medical conditions including dermatitis and diabetes.
Oleic acid composes approximately 16 percent of the fatty acid profile of grapeseed oil and is also the main fatty acid found in olive oil.
Like linoleic acid, oleic acid has reported health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. In addition, a study published in the “Oxford Journal: Annals of Oncology” by investigators at Northwestern found that oleic acid may reduce breast cancer risk by promoting apoptosis of cancer cells and inhibiting oncogene amplification.
Grape seed oil comes from cold-pressed grape seeds, usually after the grapes have been used for wine. Because of its fresh, light flavor and healthy reputation, grape seed oil can be used in place of olive oil in recipes and for dipping.
Like olive oil, grape seed oil is rich in antioxidants, substances that destroy free radicals, which damage DNA and kill cells, so grape seed oil has a wealth of health benefits as well as culinary uses.
Because grape seed extract contains high levels of antioxidants, grape seed extract may help treat or prevent a variety of diseases, although scientific evidence of this is still somewhat limited.
While studies show that grape seed extract can treat heart disease and diabetes in animals, and it may prevent growth of cancer cells in test tubes, there isn’t enough evidence to prove that grape seed extract can treat these disorders in humans.
There is evidence, however, showing that antioxidants protect blood vessels from damage, improve circulatory health and decrease swelling caused by injury or surgery.
Consuming grape seed oil can also promote healthy, younger-looking skin. Since the antioxidants found in grape seed oil can protect collagen fibers in skin, consuming it can keep skin firm and smooth.
The anti-inflammatory properties of grape seed oil also prevent skin damage. In addition, grape seed oil may help prevent varicose and spider veins because grape seed extract promotes good circulatory health.
You don’t need to consume grape seed oil to reap its skin benefits, though, because grape seed oil can also be applied topically. When used as massage oil, grape seed oil moisturizes skin and may offer regenerative and restructuring qualities.
The oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid that’s beneficial for skin and cell membranes.
Grapeseed oil is made from the seeds of grapes after the fruit is pressed into wine. France and Italy supply most of the commercially available grapeseed oil.
With its high smoking point, richness in antioxidants, omegas 3, 6 and 9 and a high amount of vitamins E and C, grapeseed oil is healthy culinary choice and has many topical and oral application possibilities.