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The role of OPC (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) supplements in health and wellness is a topic of ongoing research and discussion. OPC’s come mainly from grape seeds, pine bark, and various fruits. OPCs are a type of polyphenol that have been studied for their potential benefits in areas such as heart health, antioxidant support, and even ADHD management.
If you decide that an OPC supplement is right for you, this article will show you the best place to buy OPC supplements online. Supplement-Sciences has partnered with Fullscript’s professional-grade supplement formulary to provide a 20% discount on every order, so you always have access to the highest quality supplements. This article delves into the science behind OPC supplements, helping you understand their possible advantages and limitations.
What Are OPCs (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins)?
OPC stands for Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins, a type of polyphenol found in certain plant products like grape seeds, pine bark, and various fruits. These natural compounds have antioxidant properties that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Researchers are studying OPC supplements for a range of health benefits, including heart health, skin improvement, immune system enhancement, and ADHD support. Available in various forms such as capsules, tablets, and powders, OPC supplements are becoming a popular choice for people interested in natural wellness solutions.
What are the Health Benefits of OPCs?
- Heart Health: OPCs may support cardiovascular health by improving blood circulation and reducing plaque buildup in arteries. One review found that grape seed extract appears to significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate. [PMID: 21802563]. Studies have also found that pycnogenol from pine bark improves vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease by reducing oxidative stress. [PMID: 22240497]
- Skin Improvement: OPCs are thought to improve skin elasticity and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles. [PMID: 22270036]
- Immune System Enhancement: Some studies suggest that OPCs can boost the immune system, helping the body fight off infections more effectively. [PMC6412808]
- ADHD Support: Preliminary research indicates that OPCs may have a positive impact on attention and focus, offering support for those with ADHD. [PMID: 16699814]
- Antioxidant Support: The antioxidant properties of OPCs help neutralize free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to aging. [PMC10215713]
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: OPCs may reduce inflammation, offering relief for conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. [PMC10215713]
What Are Food Sources of OPCs?
|Amount of OPCs (mg per serving)
|Grape Seeds (1 tbsp)
|Cranberries (1 cup)
|Blueberries (1 cup)
|Hazelnuts (1 oz)
|Black Currants (1 cup)
|Dark Chocolate (1 oz)
|Green Tea (1 cup)
|Apples (1 medium)
|Red Wine (5 oz glass)
Are OPCs Safe?
When it comes to safety, OPC supplements are considered quite safe for most people. They are natural compounds derived from plants and have been studied for their health benefits without showing major side effects.
What Medications Interact with OPCs?
- Blood Thinners: Medications like warfarin can interact with OPCs, as both have blood-thinning effects.
- High Blood Pressure Drugs: OPCs may interact with medications designed to lower blood pressure.
- Chemotherapy Drugs: There is some concern that antioxidants like OPCs could interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
- Diabetes Medications: OPCs may lower blood sugar levels, which could affect the dosage needs for insulin or other diabetes medications.
- Liver Medications: As OPCs are metabolized by the liver, they may interact with medications that also affect liver function.
Supplement Interactions with OPCs
- Vitamin K: Since both Vitamin K and OPCs can affect blood clotting, they might interact.
- Ginkgo Biloba: This herb also has blood-thinning properties, so combining it with OPCs could amplify this effect.
- Garlic: Known for its blood-thinning attributes, garlic could interact with OPCs.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These could potentiate the blood-thinning effects of OPCs.
- St. John’s Wort: This herb may interfere with the metabolism of OPCs, potentially affecting their efficacy.
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Pycnogenol OPC Complex 300mg by Patient One MediNutritionals
Manufacturer Description: Patient One Pycnogenol OPC Complex 300mg is a potent super antioxidant formula comprised of multiple OPCs (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins)— powerful bioflavonoids that act as free radical scavengers in the human body and promote antioxidant activity and overall healthy aging. This highly absorbable formula features a network of clinically proven antioxidant compounds with a diverse spectrum of demonstrated health and wellness support functions: promoting heart health, normalizing blood vessel diameter, protecting retinal capillaries, promoting clear respiration, encouraging healthy inflammatory response, supporting youthful and healthy skin, and more.
Take 1 vegetarian capsule daily as a dietary supplement, preferably between meals, or as directed by a qualified health care professional.
Amount Per 1 Capsule Serving:
Pycnogenol … 100mg (French Maritime Pine Bark Extract)
Grapeseed extract … 50mg(Vitis vinifera) (inner core of fruit)
(Stadardized for 95% proanthocyanidins (47.5mg))
Red wine extract … 50mg(Vitis vinifera) (skin)
(Standardized for 25% polyphenols (12.5mg))
Mirtoselect Bilberry fruit … 50mg(Vaccinium myrtillus L.) (Standardized ethanolic extract 36% of anthocyanins (18mg))
Citrus bioflavonoid complex … 50mg(50% total bioflavonoids (25 mg))
Typical profile: (to equal 50% total bioflavonoids)
- Flavanone (Hesperidin) 35% (mg)
- Flavonones (Naringin, Naringenin 7-B-Rutinoside and others) 14% (mg))
Clinical OPC® – 400mg French Grape Seed Extract VX1® by EuroMedica
Manufacturer Description: Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are the clinically proven health promoting nutrients in grape seed extract. Other grape seed extracts may contain tannins, which are large, poorly absorbed molecules counted as OPCs. Clinical OPC® is tannin-free. Suggested Use: Take 1 softgel daily. May take up to 3 times a day for enhanced benefits, or as recommended by your healthcare professional.
Amount Per 1 Softgel Serving
French Grape Seed Extract … 400 mg
(Vitis vinifera)(VX1®) standardized to contain > 99% polyphenols and > 80% OPCs (Tannin Free)
Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.
Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.
To Sum It Up
OPC supplements offer a range of health benefits worth considering. These natural compounds support heart health, improve skin condition, and even help regulate blood sugar levels. They have also shown promise in boosting immune function and reducing inflammation. With numerous studies backing these benefits, OPCs make a compelling option for those looking to enhance their overall well-being.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.