Novel grape seed extract found beneficial in pancreatitis case studies





Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Grape Seed Extract
Professional Data: Grape Seed Extract


The flavanoid-rich active compound in grape seed is claimed to be one of the most important natural products to be discovered in the last several years. These flavanoids are currently being touted as some of the most potent free radical scavengers. By some estimates, they are more powerful than vitamin E and vitamin C and in addition, may enhance absorption of and work in concert with vitamin C.

Patients suffering with acute or chronic pancreatitis have tissue damage from oxygen-derived free radicals. Treating these patients with low levels of natural antioxidants such as selenium, beta-carotene and vitamins C and E have been somewhat effective in helping to improve symptoms of chronic pancreatitis. While a successful therapy, the patient must take many supplements each day in order to get the benefit required. This is not only impractical, but patients are less likely to take them regularly because of the number of pills that must be taken.

In a study recently reported in the journal Digestion, physicians at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri tested a specific type of grape seed extract known as IH636 on three patients with chronic pancreatitis. These patients had been receiving therapy in the form of narcotic analgesics and pancreatic enzymes. Neither of these two therapies had shown success in relieving the symptoms. After the clinicians added the novel grape seed extract to the therapy, the patients indicated a relief in their symptoms. Of the three patients in this small case study, all three had a reduction in the frequency and level of intensity of their pain and one of the three experienced a cessation of vomiting.1

While only a small study, these three cases support the data available on the anti-oxidative properties of grape seed extract. Further studies would be required to fully understand the mechanism by which these patients’ symptoms were relieved and to determine if grape seed would be a beneficial complementary therapy in pancreatitis.


1. Beneficial effects of a novel IH636 grape seed proanthocyanidin extract in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis. Digestion. 2001;63(3):203-6.