OBJECTIVE: Since grape-seed extract has been shown to stimulate lipolysis in vitro and reduce food intake in rats, we assessed the efficacy of grape-seed extract with respect to energy intake (EI) and satiety. DESIGN: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study, 51 subjects (age 18-65 y, body mass index 22-30 kg/m2) ate an ad libitum lunch and dinner twice in the University Restaurant for 3 days. Standard breakfasts and snacks were provided. Supplements were taken 30-60 min prior to each meal. RESULTS: In the total study population, no difference in 24 h EI was found between the grape-seed extract and placebo. However, in the subgroup of subjects (n=23) with an energy requirement > or =the median of 7.5 MJ/day, EI was reduced by 4% (DeltaEI 352.1 kJ/24 h, P=0.05) after grape-seed extract compared to placebo treatment. Meanwhile, there were no significant differences in macronutrient composition, attitude towards eating, satiety, mood or tolerance. CONCLUSIONS: Grape seed reduced 24 h EI, with on average 4% in subjects who had an energy requirement > or =7.5 MJ/day, without further effects on satiety, mood or tolerance. These findings suggest that grape seed could be effective in reducing 24 h EI in normal to overweight dietary unrestrained subjects, and could, therefore, play a significant role in body-weight management.