There are a lot of ways that you can increase your testosterone levels. Many people jump to using things like steroids and prohormones – however, these are usually synthetic and generally not as safe as natural substances like grape seed extract. Grape seed extract benefits can be similar to those experienced by people using androgens.
The benefits of grape seed extract may not be as immediate or as intense as those you would experience by using a steroid, but the plant is much, much safer. In this article, we’re going to explain what grape seed extract is and why it can be beneficial for your health and testosterone levels.
Table of Contents
- What is grape seed extract?
- Does grape seed extract block estrogen?
- Does blocking estrogen increase testosterone?
- What are the benefits of increasing testosterone
- Improved libido
- More weight loss
- Better athletic performance
- Any grape seed extract side effects?
Grape seed extract is a source of antioxidants that can be difficult to obtain from other food sources. It has been used as a medicine and a supplement for many years, and grape seed extract provides antioxidants that are highly bioavailable and stay in your body for a long period of time.
There are a number of benefits that are commonly attributed to grape seed extract.
- It can be useful for helping to enhance blood flow throughout the body. Doses as low as 150 mg daily have been proven to be effective for this purpose.
- It can enhance the health of your blood vessels and protect them from disease.
- Certain people may experience a reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol when they use grape seed extract – for example, people who have high triglycerides have been proven to see improvement with the supplement. People with metabolic syndrome, on the other hand, saw no improvement.
- A rich source of antioxidants, it can prevent oxidative damage which can cause disease and chronic conditions.
- Some people have suggested that grape seed extract can reduce food intake in people who are wanting to lose weight, and at least one study confirmed this. However, the study didn’t actually observe any changes in the subjects’ mood or how satisfied they were after their meal, so it’s uncertain as to why exactly that might have happened.
Other people have reported that grape seed extract can be useful for boosting testosterone levels We will talk more about this later.
Grape seed extract is a simple substance – as you would gather, it’s extracted from the seeds that you find in grapes. Seeds are usually a rich source of nutrients – they contain enough nutrients for a new plant to be born!
One of the main components found in grape seed extract are proanthocyanidins, or PACs. If you don’t know what these are, don’t worry. If you have heard of catechins, a particular form of nutritional compound that are found in healthy things like green tea and dark chocolate, then you’ll understand about PACs. If you haven’t heard of them… well, now you have.
Catechins are a form of antioxidant that are primarily recognized for their ability to help improve blood flow. PACs are collections of catechins that are compiled together, providing a dense source of these valuable nutrients.
Grape seed extract is also rich in tannins, water-soluble nutritional compounds that are found in many foods. The PACs are generally considered to be more potent and effective than the tannins.
There are a number of reasons that people like to supplement with grape seed extract.
- It’s a cheap way to provide a relatively high concentration of antioxidants
- It’s readily available and can be found in grocery stores, pharmacies and health food stores
- It’s simple. Lots of antioxidant supplements contain a wide range of substances that can be difficult to understand; grape seed extract is mostly just PACs, tannins, and small amounts of other nutrients like resveratrol.
It might not be as potent as some antioxidant compounds, but it’s simple and effective. Many people find this worthwhile when choosing a supplement.
There is a lot of confusion as to whether or not grape seed extract increases testosterone. The reality is that it doesn’t boost testosterone levels directly – rather, it can help to prevent testosterone that you already have from being converted into estrogen.
In that sense, it doesn’t actually block estrogen either. Let me explain.
In the body, testosterone goes through a process known as aromatization. During this process, an enzyme known as aromatase converts the testosterone into estrogen, thus decreasing levels of free testosterone in the body and increasing the amount of available estrogen.
Grape seed extract contains a substance which is called procyanidin B2. This interesting compound is actually an aromatase inhibitor, meaning it prevents your body from producing aromatase.
As we discussed earlier, grape seed extract doesn’t actually block or prevent estrogen from being effective – it simply prevents the body from producing as much aromatase, meaning that you will hold on to the testosterone that you do have for longer.
This can be particularly appealing for athletes, bodybuilders, or anyone who wants to maximize their own testosterone levels. Whether they are using substances to boost testosterone levels or not, aromatase inhibitors like procyanidin B2 can be great for helping optimize your testosterone usage.
There’s a catch, though – while grape seed extract certainly contains a compound that is known to act as an aromatase inhibitor, most of the research done in it has been in vitro, meaning it’s done in a test tube.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an issue in the digestion or absorption of procyanidin B2. While the PACs are digested well and can provide catechins for the body, it seems that procyanidin B2 is not properly absorbed and thus grape seed extract has been shown to not actually have any effect on testosterone or estrogen.
Just because most of the studies are done in vitro doesn’t mean that these things won’t work whatsoever – perhaps the studies proving grape seed extract weren’t conclusive enough. Either way, whether you choose to use grape seed extract or another T-boosting supplement, there are a number of reasons to do so.
Testosterone is highly involved in our sexual function and ability – namely our libido. People who struggle with low testosterone have low libido, and as a result, may have trouble maintaining an erection or sexual desire at all. This can be difficult, especially for men trying to maintain a relationship.
Increasing the amount of testosterone available to the body can Increase your libido. This can lower the chances of having erectile dysfunction and can improve sexual performance and enjoyment.
More weight loss and muscle growth
Two of the most common reasons that people enjoy increasing testosterone levels is because it can help improve their physique – namely by helping them shed fat and grow muscle. These two things go hand-in-hand.
In regards to weight loss, benefits are more likely if you already have low testosterone levels. On its own, testosterone is not likely to cause you to shed weight unless you’re holding onto extra pounds in relation to a condition that prevents you from producing testosterone, such as hypogonadism.
That said, testosterone can certainly improve muscle growth. As your body gains more muscle, you will begin to burn more calories. If you continue to consume the same amount of calories while continually burning more of them, you will begin to lose weight.
Better athletic performance
Testosterone enhances energy, and this is especially apparent in people who struggle with low testosterone levels. Testosterone deficiency can lead to chronic sleepiness, fatigue, lethargy, and a lack of motivation, all of which can inhibit your athletic performance.
Conversely, restoring testosterone levels to a healthy amount can provide you with energy and reduce fatigue. This means that you’ll be able to work out for longer and will generally have higher energy throughout the day.
Improved mental health
Another reason that testosterone can be helpful is by restoring people to an optimal level of mental health. Low testosterone levels can lead to mood instability, depression, anxiety, and brain fog – all of which can get in the way of your general well-being.
Fortunately, testosterone supplementation can help to restore your mental health. Be careful, though – men who already have healthy testosterone levels may experience a negative side effect as a result of having too much testosterone. Excessive hair growth, aggression, and health problems can occur if you use too much T.
If there’s one thing the studies on grape seed extract have been consistent regarding, it’s the fact that grape seed extract doesn’t cause any side effects even at large doses.
Most of the studies we’ve reviewed today had people using doses of grape seed extract between 200 mg and 600 mg a day. None reported any adverse effects.
One study was even done to see how much grape seed extract could be used before producing a negative effect. The study increases dosages to up to 2,500 mg a day without seeing any negative effects emerge.
Grape seed extract is a supplement that’s been hyped up quite a bit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype.
Grape seed extract may contain some compounds that are useful for helping to prevent aromatization and lower estrogen levels, but unfortunately, these compounds don’t seem to absorb properly in the human body when consumed via grape seed oil.
Fortunately, the compound is still quite healthy. If you’re hoping to improve blood flow or fight oxidation, grape seed extract can be a great choice for you.