You've heard of anti-oxidants. You know about how antioxidants fight free radicals in your body and help maintain your health from the inside out. Now we are faced with a new compound—Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins, or OPCs. These compounds are also classified as Pholyphenols.
Discovered by Jacques Masquelier in 1948, OPCs are found in many plants including apples, cocoa beans, cinnamon, teas and most notably in pine bark, bilberry and grape seeds. Masquelier went on to patent techniques for the extraction of OPCs from pine needles, bark and grape seeds.
OPCs work by suppressing a protein known as endothelin-1, which constricts blood vessels. It is believed that OPCs decrease coronary disease and mortality despite a high fat diet.
As more research starts to spring up, we will get a much clearer picture. For now, we know that OPCs contain a large number of antioxidants and may be more powerful than the popular Vitamin C and E.
We know that OPCs have a preventative action on diseases such as gastric ulcer, large bowel cancer, cataracts, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. They have also been shown to help support cardiovascular health.
Keep your eyes and ears open for upcoming research and studies surrounding OPCs and its major sources: grape seeds, bilberries and the French maritime pine tree.
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