Sunday, April 5, 2009

The easy and affordable way to supplement antioxidants:eating red grapes and apples

Proanthocyanidin also known as procyanidin oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC), is a class of flavanols, which are natural polyphenols and antioxidants. OPCs can can be found in many plants, most notably apples, pine bark, cinnamon, grape seed, cocoa, grape skin, and red wines of Vitis vinifera (the common grape). Other plants such as bilberry, cranberry, black currant, green tea, and black tea also contain these flavonoids.

Antioxidants replace half of water with electronic rich aromatic rings, a good energy acceptor.

It has been found that grapes are particularly rich in bioactive flavonoids and the highest quantities are present in the seeds and skin; These flavonoids are predominantly OPCs, oligomers of catechin, epicatechin, and epicatechin-3-gallate, as well as the individual monomers; In the skin of red grapes, large amounts of anthocyanins and resveratrol are found.

So, please eat red grapes and apples if possible to intake more antioxidants!

Epidemiologic data showed an inverse correlation between wine consumption and cardiovascular disease (the “French Paradox”) and significant evidence has emerged on the health benefits of grape flavonoids such as reduced oxidative stress; decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and platelet activation inhibition; lowered plasma tumor necrosis factor-a (J Med Food. 2003; 6:291-299. FASEB J. 2003; 17:1975-1985. Eur Heart J. 2007; 28:1683-1693. J Nutr. 2005; 135:1911-1917).

A recent clinic study by Cesaronea et al (Angiology, Vol. 59, No. 4, 408-414 (2008)) about the Isotonic Bioflavonoid Formula OPC-3 demonstrated:

  • Plasma oxidative stress status was significantly lowered by 10.1% with OPC-3.

  • All major cardiovascular risk factors were improved with blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose lowered.

  • OPC-3 significantly improved endothelial function as evaluated by increased vasorelaxation in reactive hyperemia and enhanced diastolic carotid artery flow.

  • Skin microcirculation was enhanced, and better tissue perfusion led to significantly increased transcutaneous oxygen partial pressure and decreased pCO2.

  • A dramatic and significant plasma C-reactive protein decrease by 52.1% occurred.

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