OPCs (oligomeric procyanidins) are a class of polyphenols. They are generally found in grape seeds, berries and other plants. Many doctors and nutritionists say that polyphenols are one of the most important vital substances that the body needs.
Medical scientists continue to provide evidence that polyphenols, including OPC, are responsible for their antioxidant properties because they counteract free radical damage to the body's cells.
- Antioxidant effect
These polyphenols are believed to be effective in neutralizing singlet oxygen radicals that contribute to inflammation in the body. They also help to improve vitamin C activity and protect against bacteria, viruses and various chronic diseases.
- Reduced risk of arterial calcification
Although not all health organizations advocate this, the famous “French paradox” claims that French people are protected from heart disease by drinking wine.
However, the flavonoids (the most common group of polyphenols) in the grapes are the ingredients that have a positive effect on the body and not the alcohol content of the wine. Flavonoids are believed to lower bad cholesterol in the body.
- Control of blood pressure
There is increasing research into the medical properties of OPC, and scientists are using it to find ways to control high blood pressure. Studies have shown that the relatively high concentration of OPC (oligomeric procyanidins) relaxes the arteries and blood vessels and that this can be used to control blood pressure.
- Reduction of edema
OPC appears to help reduce swelling (edema) caused by injuries and surgery. Studies have shown that patients who took OPC after surgery showed very little evidence of swelling.
Scientists also found a link between OPC and the suppression of tumor growth.
- Help with other diseases
There are other advantages of the OPC. OPC is extremely effective in diabetes. It is said to help control blood sugar levels. It can also be helpful for hemorrhoids and other diseases.
- Improve the elasticity of the skin
Polyphenols are also known as an excellent binding agent for collagen fibers, which strengthens the connective tissue and generally helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin, and it also serves to strengthen the connective tissue, the joints, arteries and other tissue forms.
- Promote wound healing
The alpha hydroxy acid in the OPC improves the moisture barrier of the skin cells. This maintains moisture for a fresh and radiant look. Consequently, applying a skin cream with OPC ensures faster wound healing and smaller scars.
- Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties
The kernels also contain an active ingredient called resveratrol. Resveratrol is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, making OPC very helpful in reducing dermatitis, infections, cuts, and excessive exposure to sunlight. The kernels also have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Effect of OPC grape seed extract
The polyphenols in the OPC grape seed extract, especially proanthocyanidin, have been shown to have a number of health benefits. By increasing the level of antioxidants in the bloodstream and in the body, OPC helps to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals.
Proanthocyanidin is a very effective antioxidant that protects against free radicals as well as reactive oxygen species by protecting the body from free radical damage such as sun exposure, pollution and stress. Standardized OPC has also shown that there are positive effects in treating a range of health problems associated with free radical damage.
Research has shown that OPC has the following health benefits:
- Protects the heart tissue and the cardiovascular system
- Combats the harmful effects of diabetes
- Prevents bacterial and viral infections
- Reduces the development of various tumors
- Protects against harmful effects of UV radiation
- Reduces signs of aging by protecting collagen and elastin
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves cholesterol levels
- Accelerates fat metabolism
- Protects against tooth decay
- Protects the nerve cells
- Can be used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure)
Clinical studies show the effects of OPC
There are numerous clinical studies on the OPC with a wide range of study arrangements. The following are examples of the benefits shown in the following areas:
One study showed that OPC mitigates certain forms of heart damage in animals with diabetes. The study “could bring a new appreciation of natural medicine in the treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy.” In fact, OPC can benefit everyone by reducing oxidative damage to the entire cardiovascular system (especially those with high blood sugar levels).
Fat and cholesterol
OPC has been shown to help reduce stored fat (increase lipolysis) and food intake. A study showed that OPC was able to reduce food intake by four percent in overweight people.
The study leaders concluded that "grape seeds reduce the 24-hour food intake in normal to overweight people without diet restrictions and can therefore play a significant role in controlling body weight."
An animal study showed that procyanidins from grape seeds lowered plasma triglycerides, free fatty acids, apolipoprotein B (apoB), LDL cholesterol and other types of cholesterol while slightly increasing HDL cholesterol.
Another study also showed that "taking grape seed procyanidin extract orally drastically lowers the plasma levels of triglycerides and apolipoprotein B." Another study concluded that in people with high cholesterol, "a combination of chromium and OPC can significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL levels ”.
Another study was conducted with OPC to test the effect on inflammatory markers in rats on a high-fat diet.
The results showed that the procyanidins of grape seeds have a beneficial effect on low-inflammatory diseases by suppressing certain inflammation-promoting proteins and promoting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Another study also showed the anti-inflammatory properties of grape seed procyanidins and concluded that they have potential health benefits in certain inflammatory diseases.
OPC and cancer
- A cell study showed that OPC inhibits the proliferation of prostate cancer cells and causes the cancer cells to die.
- A study of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma showed that OPC destroyed the damaged DNA and selectively caused cell death in cancer cells.
- A study in rats found that OPC can protect against skin cancer caused by UV radiation (skin carcinoma).
- In a study with rats on breast cancer, OPC was able to reduce tumor spread by 50 percent. The reduction was dependent on the form of food in which the extract was administered.
- In mice with colon cancer, OPC reduced the tumor weight by 44 percent at a dose of 200 milligrams per kilo (dosage in humans: 1216 milligrams for a person with 75 kilos).
- OPC enhanced the effects of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. The immune response decreased by doxorubicin was reversed by the OPC.
- In rats with intestinal disorders due to chemotherapy (mucositis), OPC was able to reduce the histological damage, depending on the dosage, and normalize many of the negative markers to some extent.
OPC and the metabolic syndrome
- In rats that received high-fat food, OPC was able to lower blood lipid levels and fat accumulation, especially in white adipose tissue.
- In rats that received high-fat food, OPC was able to lower the increased triglycerides (dyslipidemia), probably by suppressing the production of fat in the liver.
- OPC has been able to inhibit lipase activity in test tubes and can therefore be useful to reduce free fatty acids and fat accumulation in adipose tissue.
OPC protects the male reproductive system
In rats given ammonium chloride, OPC inhibited degenerative changes in the testes.
Where does the OPC extract come from?
Although you are likely to buy seedless grapes, the seeds are indeed extremely popular in the beauty and health sectors. Why? OPC offers many effective health benefits. Therefore, it can be found in nutritional supplements as well as in skin care and beauty products.
What is so great about these tiny cores? One word is enough to explain - proanthocyanidins, a type of polyphenol with amazing antioxidant properties. OPC is full of it.
The seeds and skins of the grapes are a by-product of wine production and have so far been used primarily as fertilizer. Then it turned out that the grape seeds are very valuable for our health. Therefore, high-quality grape seeds are in great demand today to obtain OPC extracts.
Grapes, also known as “Vitis Vinifera” in Latin, are a fruit berry form of the vine. Like any type of vine (vine), grapevines have long, woody stems and are rooted in the ground. They have the amazing ability to fight their way up by clinging to everything they find just to get into sunlit areas.
The fruits are oval berries that darken as they ripen. Grapes can be white, green or red, and sometimes even black. Because they usually thrive in humid, temperate, or tropical climates, they are native to Asia and the Caspian Sea. With the popularity of wine, viticulture has expanded to many other parts of the world.
This fruit has been useful to humans since the Neolithic. Vines were grown due to the nutritious and medicinal properties of the grapes. In ancient Greece wine was made from the grapes, which was praised for its healing properties.
European healers took the juice from the vine to use to heal skin and eye infections. Hemorrhoids, pain and inflammation were treated with the leaves of the vine.
European healers also used the unripe grapes to heal a sore throat; Constipation and excessive thirst were treated with dried grapes (raisins) and water.
OPC side effects and dosage
Studies on OPC have shown the effectiveness of a wide range of doses.
OPC is usually taken in capsules or as tablets, which are available in dosages between 50 to 300 milligrams. They are used as a single extract or in combination with other ingredients, e.g. Vitamin C or other anti-aging ingredients are offered.
Human studies have shown no toxicity from OPC grape seed extract in a dose of 200-400mg daily.
People with a grape allergy should not take an OPC extract. Since proanthocyanidins can reduce platelet adhesion, OPC can act as a blood thinner (clotting time is prolonged). Although it has cardioprotective benefits, people taking blood thinners should consult their doctor about possible side effects.
Interactions between OPC and other nutritional supplements and medications have not been studied in detail.
The best OPC food supplement
To enjoy all the benefits of the OPC, follow these guidelines:
- If you buy OPC capsules, read the description carefully and make sure that it is a standardized, high quality OPC grape seed extract. It is crucial that the OPC extract is standardized to total polyphenols and oligomeric proanthocyanidins. This ensures that the OPC extract can actually work.
- Take OPC with vitamins or other nutritional supplements, as these mutually reinforce their effects. The situation is similar with vitamin E. Vitamin E is also healthy, and the benefits of looking better are enhanced by taking OPC, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
- The recommended daily dose of OPC for adults is 150 to 300 milligrams. Take this amount regularly so that your body can get used to the even intake.
OPC is 100 percent natural and risk-free. This is good news for its health and beauty benefits. Nowadays, where more and more people are looking for natural treatment and prevention methods, OPC is more popular than ever.
OPC Grape Seed Extract Summary
OPC grape seed extract contains health-promoting agents called polyphenols, including an extremely effective antioxidant called proanthocyanidin. To date, research has shown a number of advantages of the OPC, some of which can be attributed to its powerful antioxidant properties.
In particular, the results show that OPC is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of many different diseases. These include areas for protecting the heart, reducing inflammation, preventing sun damage and aging of the skin, fat metabolism and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Ongoing research will undoubtedly reveal further health benefits of OPC grape seed extract.