Can you say Oligomeric Proanthocyanadin:
How about grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract is an extremely powerful natural antioxidant; some say at least 50 times more effective than vitamin E.  What can be said about resveratrol goes double for the extract of red grape seeds since resveratrol is contained in the grape seeds.  

The secret of grape seed extract's power is oligomeric proanthocyanadin (OPC), a strong antioxidant nutrient of the flavonoid family of catechins (think green tea).

Red grapes are grown for wine, grape juice, jams, jellies and other grape based products but the seeds don't usually end up in the food or drink.  

Once the grapes are harvested, the pulp, skin and seeds are separated. The seeds are then cleaned and dried in preparation for harvesting the oils from the seed.

The area of interest here is what grape seed derivatives can do for our health and wellness.  

As one of the more potent antioxidants, it has been shown in numerous research studies to promote cardiovascular health and provide protection to the brain from inflammation.  That would indicate positive implications for stroke and cognitive impairment.  

It has also been shown to promote skin and eye health, plus exhibits both antiviral and antibacterial properties.

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The National Center for Alternate and Complementary Medicine itemizes the following areas where the grape seed polyphenols may be effective based on actual research results:

  • Relieving symptoms of insufficient blood flow from legs back to the heart (venous insufficiency)
  • Reduction of swelling after injury or surgery (edema)
  • Diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes induced eye condition
  • weak small blood vessels
  • prevention of oxidative stress
  • prevention of hardening of breast tissue following radiation therapy
  • Future research is being funded to examine grape seed as a preventative for breast cancer in postmenopausal women and prostate cancer.  Other studies will focus on colon cancer and brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders.

    With grape seed polyphenol supplements, we most definitely get what we pay for.  Manufacturing practices are crucial to a high quality supplement.  The oil must be collected through a cold pressing process, no heat, no solvents.  It must be standardized and contain no impurities.

    Herbspro offers numerous grape extract products that seem to meet all the requirements listed above.  Click on the banner link shown to explore their huge variety of products.  

    When ordering any dietary supplement product, it is advisable to go directly to the manufacturers website and read up on their production processes, ingredients and quality control descriptions.  Also look for their Good Manufacturing Practices. 

    Capsules and tablet supplements usually contain 50mg or 100mg per serving and are also available as an oil for adding drops to water or other liquids.

    For additional reading, WebMD has a very good coverage of the extract at their Lifestyle and Supplements Lifestyle Guide.

    There are several low cost paperbacks about grape seeds and their benefits available from  Several text links are given below for a few of the more promising titles.

    The Flavonoid Revolution: Grape Seed Extract and Other Flavonoids Against Disease

    All About Grape Seed Extract

    Sunburst Superfoods

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