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Grape Seed Extract for Dogs and Cats

Safe to use as a dietary supplement, alternative medicine
for most dogs and cats.
In this article…

1. Grape Seed Extract
2. Health Benefits
3. Cautions
4. Side Effects
5. Drug Interactions
6. Selecting a Good Product
7. Administration and Dosage

1.0 Grape Seed Extract (extract of Vitis vinifera)
What is safe/beneficial and what is dangerous…

Dangerous…

The fruit of the grape vine – the grape, is toxic and health threatening to dogs and cats;
  • The actual flesh of the grape contains substances that can cause renal failure in dogs and cats;
  • While some dogs and cats are able to remain unaffected by ingesting the flesh of the grape other dogs and cats can and do suffer from a very serious adverse reaction – renal failure;
  • Never give your dog or cat grapes or dried grapes (raisins).
Safe and Beneficial…
  • The extract and the oil of grapes is not toxic to dogs and cats;
  • The extract and the oil offer health benefits to both cats and dogs.  
  • The oil of grapes  is a good source Omega-6 fatty acids for dogs – when derived from organic grapes.
History of Grape Seed Extract
Since ancient times various parts of the grape plant (fruit, leaves, stem), however extract from the grape seed was not used until the 1970s, when a French biochemist, Professor Masquelier isolated the substance oligomeric proanthocyandin (OPCs) from the seed.
The professor first alerted to the possibility extract after studying the mission logs of the famous explorer Jacques Cartier. Cartier, his men and his ship had become ice bound during a particularly cold Canadian Winter – during that time his men had fallen victim to scurvy (caused by insufficient intake of vitamin C). During that ice-bound season Cartier had the good fortune to meet a helpful Indigenous person who taught Cartier how to make tea from pine bark. The resulting tea produced an immediate improvement in the ailing crew’s health.
The professor surmised that pine bark must contain high levels of vitamin C, he proceeded to investigate. His investigations revealed that pine bark contained substances other than vitamin C – in particular OPCs and procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs). In 1952 the professor patented his method of extracting PCO from pine bark. The trade name that he assigned to the extracted PCO was Pycnogenol.  In 1970 he successfully extracted PCO from grape seeds. PCO is one of many plant flavonoids. In 1986, the professor went on to discover more about grape seed extract and proved that the OPC strength of Pine Bark extract ranges between 80-85%. While grape seed extract has more efficacy as its OPC range is between 90-95%. Grape seed extract also contains high concentrations of Vitamin E and Linoleic Acid.
Grape seed extract is a by product of the wine manufacturing industry. The extract is made from the crushed seeds of the grape.
Grape seed extract contains active ingredients that are:
  • Anti-allergen;
  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Antioxident;
  • Antimutagenic.

 

2.0 Health Benefits – a partial list…
Ingested Uses

  • Anti-allergen…
    • Asthma (an inflammatory disease)
    • Food allergies;
    • Skin Allergies (use grape seed extract and good quality fish oil as a dual dietary supplement);
      • Eczema;
      • Psoriasis;
    • Environmental allergies (hay fever).
  • Anti-Inflammatory;
    • Grape seed extract contains natural Cox-2;
  • Atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries, (an inflammatory disease);
  • Arthritis;
  • Brain Health;
    • The active ingredients in grape seed extract can cross the blood-brain barrier;
    • Thus allowing the antioxidant properties to aid in the prevention of oxidative stress to the brain, eyes and nerves…providing protection from:
    • Canine Dementia;
    • Cataracts;
    • Macular degeneration, and;
    • Neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Cardiovascular Disease (an Inflammatory disease);
    • Grape seed extract increase the production of nitric oxide which dilates arteries and increases blood flow.
  • Cancer prevention and cancer fighting (an inflammatory disease), for example…
    • Grape seed extract has been proven to halt the growth and survival of colorectal cancer cells and kills the cancer cells in large numbers without harming healthy cells;
    • In contrast to chemotherapy to which cancer cells may become resistant, the many bioactive compounds in grape seed extract are able to target multiple mutations – with efficacy actually increasing in stage IV cells;
    • Grape seed extract has been shown to trigger the destruction of leukemia cells by turning on a protein called JNK that regulates the cancer killing pathway;
    • Decreases risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer;
    • When combined with Ubiquinol, grape seed extract becomes an even more potent anti-carcinogen.
  • Cholesterol lowering;
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome;
  • Chronic venous insufficiency;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • Dental care, gingivitis;
  • Diabetes complications such as:
    • Blood Vessel damage;
    • Macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Diarrhea;
  • Fur growth after loss or damage due to skin conditions;
  • Insulin sensitivity ;
    • Grape seed extract improves insulin sensitivity;
    • Insulin sensitivity can lead to the development of metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes).
  • Liver damage/disorders;
  • Lower Blood pressure;
  • Muscle fatigue;
  • Swelling caused by injury, sudden trauma;
  • Pain control;
  • Ulcerative colitis.
3.0 Cautions…
  • For pregnant or lactating dogs and cats use only when absolutely require and not for an extended period of time.

 

4.0 Side Effects…
  • Allergic reaction to grape seed extract is very rare – symptoms include the following:
    • Itching/swelling (particularly face, tongue, throat);
    • Diarrhea;
    • Nausea;
    • Rash;
    • Severe dizziness;
    • Sore throat;
    • Trouble breathing.
  • If allergic reaction occurs cease use.

 

5.0 Drug Interactions…
  • Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet drugs;
  • Medications changed or broken down by the liver;
  • May interact with NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory)

 

6.0 Selecting a Good Product…
  • Grape seed extract is available as a:
    • Gel/capsule;
    • Liquid;
    • Powder.
  • Make sure that the grape seed extract does not contain:
    • Alcohol;
    • Fillers;
    • Sweetners.
  • Organic is best as non-organic grape seed extract can be very high in pesticide residue;
  • Look for a product that contains 90 to 95% oligomeric proanthocyandin (OPCs).

 

7.0 Administration and Dosage…
Administration
  • Provide with food – just add the grape seed extract drops, capsule or powder to food twice a day.
Dosage:
  • ·        Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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