Free radical damage has been strongly associated with virtually every chronic degenerative disease, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis and cancer. Clearly, due to the potent antioxidant activity of grapeseed, its therapeutic potential is quite broad. Most clinical studies have been conducted in Europe using a commercial product known as Endotelon®. Due to the poor bioavailability of high-molecular-weight PCs, it is advised that products containing chiefly low-molecular-weight PCs be used in practice.
FLUID RETENTION, PERIPHERAL VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY AND CAPILLARY RESISTANCE
Several clinical studies have investigated the use of GSE in fluid retention, capillary resistance or venous insufficiency, producing positive results (Amsellem etal 1987, Delacroix 1981, Constantini et al 1999, Henriet 1993, Lagrue et al 1981).
Hormone replacement therapy and fluctuations in hormone levels can produce symptoms of venous insufficiency in some women. One large study involving 4729 subjects with peripheral venous insufficiency due to HRT showed that GSE decreased the sensation of heaviness in the legs in just over half the subjects by day 45 whereas 89.4% of subjects experienced an improvement by day 90 (Henriet 1993). According to an open multicentre study of women aged 18-50 years with oedema due to premenstrual syndrome, GSE (Endotelon'®) administered from day 14 to 28 improved various symptoms of fluid retention such as abdominal swelling, weight gain and pelvic pain and also venous insufficiency (Amsellem et al 1987). The treatment was taken for four cycles, with most women (60.8%) responding after two cycles and 78.8% responding after four cycles.
An open study involving 24 patients with non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency found that over 80% of subjects receiving OPCs (100 mg/day) reported lessened or absent symptoms after 10 days. Symptoms of itching and pain responded best, completely disappearing during the course of treatment in 80% and 53% of the patients respectively (Costantini et al 1999). A double-blind study of 50 patients with symptoms of venous insufficiency found that GSE (Endotelon® 150 mg daily) improved both subjective and objective markers of peripheral venous insufficiency such as pain (Delacroix 1981).
In some pathological conditions, such as inflammation or diabetes, vascular permeability can be abnormally increased (Robert et al 1990). Two studies investigated the effects of GSE on capillary resistance in hypertensive and diabetic patients under both open and double-blind, placebo controlled conditions with treatment producing significant improvements in both groups (Lagrue et al 1981). The studies used a daily dose of 1 50 mg (Endotelon'®).
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