why exactly GSE works so well in some people

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Catseye, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    In all my studying about mitochondria and energy, something kept coming up: grape seed extract. I just thought maybe some people might like to know what exactly it does that is so helpful in CFS.

    When mitochondria make ATP, our energy, they give off waste. One of these wastes is superoxide. If it combines with nitric oxide, then the very deadly free radical peroxynitrite is formed. This happens when you don't have the enzymes in sufficient amounts to react with the superoxide so it doesn't build up. Gee, we're missing some enzymes because our bodies are broken, what a surprise!

    This molecule, peroxynitrite, is so bad, it will damage everything it comes in contact with. Bad cholesterol is cholesterol that has come in contact with free radicals, BTW, just for an example. That's why the statin drugs are full of crap. You need to figure out why you're having an excess of free radicals, not just going and lowering your cholesterol. That can only make matters much worse.

    The body knows this free radical, peroxynitrite, is deadly and will even halt production of ATP to avoid more production of it. This is one reason we can crash and burn - the body is trying to protect us from this free radical by stopping all aerobic energy production. If you don't have the enzymes in place to scavenge this free radical, the body can't let you go on producing it. So it makes you sit or lie down, or collapse, whatever it takes for you to be still and not cause any more to be made. If the body has to, it will resort to anaerobic energy production to avoid producing superoxide but this is very slow and ineffecient.

    "Grape seed extracts have compounds called procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs). Other sources of PCOs are berries, green and black teas, and red wine.
    PCOs are powerful antioxidants, perhaps much greater than vitamins C and E. They also inhibit a number of enzymes that degrade connective tissue such as elastase, collagenase, and hyaluronidase."

    So GSE can help with scavenging the harmful free radicals if we're deficient in the enzymes the mitos need to clean up waste.

    If you have energy problems and have tried GSE and didn't notice anything from taking it, I wouldn't suggest stopping it. I would look at what you may have missed. Are you deficient in your diet (good diet and good multivitamin is critical), is digestion working, do the mitochondria have the other substances they need to produce energy (coq10, carnitine, ribose, magnesium, etc.), is your liver congested, are you lacking in the waste cleanup enzymes like superoxide dismutase (among others), are your glands producing proper hormone levels, how deficient is your glutathione? These can all hold you back and they're very common in CFSers.

    GSE, pine bark extract and a chemical in green tea are the most powerful antioxidants outside the body's own that I have found in my search for mitochondria protection and repair. More mito facts to be continued in a few days, particularly about PEM.

  2. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    Great info as always.

    I just have a couple of questions. Will grapeseed oil do the same for you as GSE ? One Tbsp has 46% of your RDA for vit E. Actually, I wonder if this isn't a better method of transportation ??? Our bodies need EFAs/lipids.

    And isn't there a purpose for antioxidants ? I thought I heard Dr. Oz say the other day that we don't want to get rid of all of them. I could be mistaken ...

    Oh and Jam if you read this, please continue to post about GSE, etc. Those of us with cognitive problems need to hear things over and over again ... I appreciate your threads and those of others who try to help.


  3. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I couldn't help myself, we keep hearing about antioxidants and how bad they are, but nobody knows anything precise about them. Now I know how they can mess up your energy because they are produced right there where the energy is produced. And one thing I guess I didn't make clear that I should have, is that the peroxynitrite in particular, is beginning its existence right at the site of the mitochondria. That means the mitochondria are going to be damaged right away. A damaged mitochondria cannot produce energy and have access to the enzymes it needs to function properly, including reacting with the energy wastes to dispose of them.

    Did you know the heart muscle has the highest concentration of mitochondria - much more than anywhere else in the body? That's a good thing,too, or we'd all die of heart attacks the minute we came down with CFS. So the body makes sure the heart will have enough energy even if the mitos start getting damaged. But damage them enough, and you will get heart problems.

    I could go on and on about what free radicals cause, but we're all living proof of that. I think it all started with a liver problem (from bad diet and toxins and the only way you would know it is if you get CFS down the line), then glutathione production plummeted, then everything else went bad afterwards, including excess free radical production, which is how the liver got bad in the first place from bad diet and toxins.

    Here's some random trivia about free radicals I found interesting:

    Why are free radicals bad for you? The answer lies in the oxygen we inhale as part of the process of burning food for energy.

    When one burns wood or coal to produce heat, toxins are released in the form of smoke. The same happens when your body "burns" food for energy. This process is called metabolism and the toxic molecules produced as a result are called free radicals. This happens during ATP production in the mitochondria.

    They are extremely destructive and damage cells if you are exposed to high levels over a long period of time. They also weaken the immune system, making you vulnerable to diseases and infections.

    They can cause damage to your skin, brain, lungs, digestive track, arteries and your DNA: the genetic code that controls cellular behaviour. The reason is that they are constantly attacking body proteins, carbohydrates, fats and DNA. Scientists have estimated that every cell in the body suffers 10 000 free radical hits each day.

    Research proved that excess free radicals over a prolonged period of time could trigger chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.

    For instance, a high-fat diet can increase free radical production considerably. Research has shown that the breakdown of fats in the body produces more free radicals than does the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins.

    Free radicals can accumulate in cell membranes, causing them to break and the cell content to leak, rendering them useless. If they damage cells' DNA, they can become confused and start behaving abnormally, such as suddenly starting to grow uncontrollably. This happens in many types of cancer. If they attack your pancreas, they can cause diabetes, in blood and blood vessels they can cause cardiovascular diseases.

    Brain cells are vulnerable
    Brain cells are especially vulnerable to free radical attacks since the brain generates more free radicals per gram of tissue than any other organ. The reasons are that it receives a large percentage of the body?s available oxygen from the blood supply and is active day and night.

    Recent studies have established a connection between free radical damage and brain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Even clinical depression and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are linked to excessive free radicals.

    You know what else, though? You actually need some in your body. It should be noted that not all free radicals are potentially dangerous. For example, the immune system creates valuable free radicals to control and destroy virus and bacteria. Other free radicals produce vital hormones. Indeed, we need free radicals in our everyday bodily functions.

    However, when the presence of free radicals increases to an abnormal level the danger begins. The danger exists in the potential for genetic material in the form of code structure to be altered in a manner that is destructive to the related cell. For example, changes in proteins structure can occur as a result of proteins synthesis errors that can occur as a result of free radicals. And most of the protein synthesis of the body takes place in the liver. So we're back to that and how we went bad in the first place.

    Lots of people with lyme and hep c and cancer don't end up with CFS, but we did. And a bad diet which ultimately created excess free radicals certainly had a hand in it.

    They should be putting GSE in school lunches, in my view.

    And I think we need to pay a great deal more attention to the role of free radicals in our illness. Not just the beginning of it, but what's happening now to cause our problems, particularly PEM.

  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Hi xchocoholic,

    Yes, we need some free radicals. I wrote the above post while you were doing yours! It's in there.

    The grapeseed oil does contain the proanthocyanidins, which is what we're after, but not in any sufficient amounts. And they will be destroyed by cooking so it would be best used on salads. Out of all the pages I've read about these antioxidants in relation to mitochondria (probably at least a hundred), not one of them mentioned the oil, only the extracts of the grape seed. It's a good source of vitamin E but not OPCs.

    Jam is right to praise this stuff, whether we get sick of hearing about it or not. It should definitely be part of any protocol for cfs, particularly for mitochondrial healing, which is where you are most likely to see its immediate effects.

  5. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Jam's probably more of the expert on dosing since I haven't been so involved with amounts rather than the substance itself, but anywhere from 50-200 mg per day is what I've seen suggested. I guess I'd start with 50 mg 2x per day and maybe increase if you think it may help.

    thanks rainbow and jam338, I'm happy to report jaminhealth has good reason to harp on this stuff.


    about brands, just do some homework and pick one from a trusted site, like PH - they sell this here in their store. And I wouldn't buy any supplement at Wal Mart without checking the manufacturer and importer out thoroughly, no matter how much you think they couldn't possibly screw it up, it's not worth the risk. They are known mostly for poor quality stuff. Sure, it's nice to get cheap coq10, but you have no idea if it even has any in it. The well-known brands have been tested and people keep going back to them because they work. People go back to Wal Mart because of price.[This Message was Edited on 01/17/2008]
  6. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Hi joeynoel, this is what I've found about them:

    Both grape seed extract and pine bark are rich sources of the plant flavonoids PROANTHOCYANIDINS (OPCs). Grape seed extract typically contains 92-95% OPCs while the pine bark extracts vary from 80-85%. And grape seed may be more potent than pine bark as only grape seed contains the potent gallic esters of the OPCs, the most active free radical fighting OPCs, and it's more readily available and, therefore, cheaper. But pycnogenol contains organic acids and catechins so it's not too shabby, either. Some clinical data have shown that procyanidin oligomers from grape seeds are 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E as antioxidant.

    Resveratrol seems to be an antioxidant with a couple more properties like anti platelet effects and it is a phytoestrogen. For this reason, research it and use caution if you have a history of breast cancer or are taking hormone replacement therapy. I have no idea how strong the phytoestrogen effect is. And the phytoestrogen effect is believed to be part of the reason for the beneficial cardiovascular effects of red wine.

    I'm taking GSE, pine bark extract and I have green tea extract on the way.

    For the money and the effects, you can't beat the GSE, though.

  7. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    thanks, rainbow

    I have been lucky enough to be able to spend all day on my laptop, endlessly searching for magic bullets that fix things that are wrong. So far, I've found 90% of the ones I need. And they just all happen to be supplements (except for hydrocortisone and Armour thyroid), available at online health food stores. I've found searching for supplements has been working faster than trying to "think" myself well, though!

    I do find the quantum stuff endlessly fascinating. I think existence and consciousness are far more complicated than anybody can imagine from what they see at face value. For instance, you can't trust your mind to interpret and perceive reality for you because it doesn't even know how it's own "body" works! If regular waking consciousness doesn't know what's going on in the body, how is it supposed to have any idea what's going on outside of it? And after all, it's just an assistant to a life support system for a bunch of cells!

    Here's a thought for the day: We are the universe looking at and playing with itself.

  8. berrytired

    berrytired New Member

    So your actually taking both? GSE and Pine Bark? is it necessary to take both..I'm just learning all this and just picked up the pine bark..wondering if I should just stick to Grape as it all adds up financially with everything else!! lol little worried about the phytoestrogen...though Breast cancer doesn't run in the family...
  9. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I don't think there's too much difference. Plus since I've written this, I see the real reason we're needing extra antioxidants anyway: gut dysbiosis. So take the GSE for now, but go after the gut dysbiosis, too, or you will be perpetually sick. See my stool analysis thread for details.

  10. JenniferAnn539

    JenniferAnn539 New Member


    Thank you so much for this information. I did not know this. This is something that I will look into and consider taking.

  11. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle New Member

    Thank you for the information karen, I am going to look into taking this.
  12. spacee

    spacee Member

    I think I can tell when I don't take it but Jam338 asked the question I was wondering....so taking more should be a good thing for me.

  13. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    was the topic of another thread today. (Thank you whomever posted it!) I googled it and found info about grape skins and seeds which sent me in search of grape seed extract which, in a blinding flash, made me see that I should have listened to Jaminhealth and Barrowinovations a long, long time ago!

    Duh me!

    I finally get it!