OPC: Take it to Heart

Common Name

Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complexes
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complexes
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A powerful new antioxidant, OPC, is an astoundingly effective free radical antagonist, and can be the key to a "healthspan" that matches our extending lifespan...

Nutritional science has turned a corner in the past decade, with scientific researchers and physicians alike now touting the preventive benefits of antioxidant nutrients, and acknowledging oxidation as a primary cause of heart disease and bodily deterioration. Amidst the panoply of antioxidant agents which seem to be sprouting up like blades of grass on a golf course, OPC rises above the rest in terms of antioxidant capacity and specific benefits to heart health.

Alternatively known as pycnogenol, OPC is a complex antioxidant compound found in small quantities in many fruits and vegetables. OPC is highly biologically active, and is one of the most beneficial antioxidants known.

OPC occurs in abundance in grape seeds, from which it is commercially extracted. But do not confuse OPC with "grape seed extract," which is an undefined material. OPC has undergone extensive clinical testing since 1947, while most "grape seed extracts" have only emerged since 1995.

As a free radical fighter, OPC comes to the aid of the body more quickly than other antioxidants, thereby reducing the potential for free radical damage to cells and the ravages of aging. As a free radical scavenger, OPC is like an antioxidant prize fighter that can successfully take on all challengers, big or small.

OPC prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol by scavenging oxidative free radicals. As a result, OPC helps to prevent the build-up of oxidized cholesterol on artery walls. Acting in this way, OPC goes after the root cause of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, OPC reduces platelet adhesion by altering the prostaglandin pathway to increase amounts of anti-adhesion factors. In simpler terms, OPC modifies the activity of hormone-like factors which prevent platelets from clumping together and forming a dangerous clot.

But that isn't all OPC does to help keep the cardiovascular system healthy. OPC actually strengthens collagen in vascular walls. This makes vessels stronger and more elastic. Thus in addition to preventing the root causes of vessel occlusion, OPC strengthens vessels, thereby reducing the risk of a rupture or hemorrhage. In this way OPC helps to prevent and relieve conditions of vascular fragility including hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and spider veins.

Studies of OPC show high biological activity without toxicity. Toxic effects have not been observed, despite decades of use and intensive research into the minutest aspects of OPC's activities in the body. It can be said with assuredness that OPC is a safe, beneficial agent with great value in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of health conditions.

For general health and well-being, an average daily dose of 100 - 200 milligrams of OPC is appropriate. For specific therapeutic purposes, dosages of 300 milligrams or more may be required. If you are dealing with a particular health problem, you are best advised to consult a physician who is receptive to credible nutritional therapies, and who can help monitor your progress. For while self health care is a sane and sensible practice, medical specialists can help to ensure that you are serving your health interest well.