An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation reactions in cells can produce harmful free radicals which in turn can start chain reactions that can cause damage or death to a cell. Antioxidants are widely used in dietary supplements. However, not all antioxidants are created equal. People understand antioxidants do something for them, and that they should eat more foods rich in vitamins A, C and E.
The most commonly used antioxidants-vitamins C and E-are important for a number of health reasons. Vitamin C is integral in supporting a healthy immune system, promoting cardiovascular health, helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels and providing antioxidant defense. Vitamin E’s benefits come from its immune boosting antioxidant activity, supporting normal healing, promoting cardiovascular health and protecting cell membranes from free radical damage.
The work of these crucial vitamins can be complemented by the power of a group of closely related compounds, OPCs. OPCs, known scientifically as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes are a group of compounds found in food sources such as cranberries, blueberries, green and black teas, and grape seed extracts.
The bark of the French maritime pine tree grown exclusively in Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France is a rich source of a particular OPC compound known a Pycnogenol. Studies have shown the OPC-Pycnogenol type to be 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E.
OPC-Pycnogenol has been shown to impact specific areas of health compared to their vitamin counterparts. OPC-Pycnogenol has been shown to help treat a variety of health issues including chronic venous insufficiency(varicose veins), attention deficit disorder, arthritis, asthma and allergies, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol levels. It’s a powerful antioxidant and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, it helps generate collagen and hyaluronic acid for healthy looking skin, and aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide which helps dilate blood vessels.
I have found Nutrametrix isotonic OPC-3 to be the most bioavailable and potent OPC product on the market. Containing a combination of bilberry, grape seed, red wine and pine bark extracts, Isotonix OPC-3 contains the only isotonic form of Pycnogenol in the world.
Isotonic, which means “same pressure”, bears the same chemical resemblance as the body’s blood, plasma and tears. Isotonix OPC is delivered in an isotonic solution. This means the body has less work to do in obtaining maximal obsorption. The isotonic state of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream in high concentrations and much more efficiently than a pill.
OPC-3 is available for purchase in my office or go to my Nutrametrix web portal