OPC stands for Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins and is a colorless bitter substance. These belong to the group of polyphenols and are mainly found in grape seeds and the skin of red grapes. Almost every plant contains small amounts of OPC and protects them from oxidation. The more mature the plant is harvested, the higher the OPC content. OPC was developed by the French Prof. Dr. Masquelier was discovered by accident in red peanut shells in 1947 when he was looking for fattening feed and protein sources for the post-war generation. It is distributed throughout the body within minutes and reaches its highest concentration about ¾ hour after ingestion and is consumed within ~72 hours. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the following list in August 2004, which shows the OPC content (in mg) per 100 g of the respective food:
- Red wine: 45.63
- Forest blueberries: 44.23
- Apples: 41.56
- Strawberries: 42.01
- Sweet cherries: 17.26
- Grape juice: 14.14
- Apple juice (unsweetened): 12.12
- Cocoa beans: 5.68
- Bananas: 3.37
- Beer: 2.03
However, it should be noted that these quantities are based on freshly harvested goods. Due to the long storage and transport routes, these values are usually significantly lower when they reach the consumer (with the exception of red wine and beer, of course).
When comparing with other products, it should be noted that many suppliers do not report the OPC content, but only the total polyphenol content and thus come to values of approx. 90%, which do not correspond to the pure OPC content!
Highlights of OPC
- OPC is a particularly strong antioxidant ("radical scavenger") and is about 20 times more effective than vitamin C in terms of neutralizing free radicals and has about 50 times the effect of vitamin E. For the grape seed extract OPC 40, for example, a so-called "ORAC" value, which indicates the ability to absorb oxygen radicals, is given as 20,000. Free radicals damage cells and contribute to both the aging process and numerous chronic diseases.
- While vitamin C is considered to be the strongest hydrophilic (water-soluble) antioxidant, OPC acts as both a hydrophilic and a lipophilic antioxidant and can therefore basically protect all cell types from free radicals.
- Many users also use OPC for inflammation in the organism.
- Research suggests that OPC prolongs and multiplies the effectiveness of vitamins A, C and E. In animal experiments, for example, OPC increased the effect of vitamin C many times over because it can regenerate used vitamin C up to 10 times. This regeneration takes place by means of a redox reaction (reduction-oxidation reaction).
- The bioavailability of OPC is 100%.
- Unlike many other substances, OPC can pass both the blood-brain and the spinal cord barrier due to its size and thus exert its effect very directly in these areas of the body.
- Since OPC, unlike vitamin C, for example, can bind directly to proteins (especially collagen and elastin), OPC is said to contribute to strengthening the vascular walls as well as skin and bones.
- You can download a free e-book on grape seed extract / OPC here: Free e-book
Legal information for consumers: German and European case law aims to protect consumers from supposedly misleading claims. The statements made here refer to the original Ayurvedic and TCM texts.This knowledge, which has been handed down for thousands of years, is based on experiences that have been passed on from generation to generation. It is not to be claimed that the products described here have an effect in the sense of western medicine. All products are dietary supplements; they are not medicines and have no medicinal effect. If you are ill and need medical care, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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