A Magnificent blend of ....
Grape Seed Extract
Although the most widely recognized antioxidants are Vitamins A, C
and E, the bioflavonoids (vital components of the cells) also play a key role, blocking the detrimental actions of
free radicals on body proteins. Bioflavonoids are naturally-occurring plant substances which, as well as performing
other important functions, give fruits and vegetables their distinctive
colors. In its natural state, vitamin C
is almost always accompanied by bioflavonoids, which
assist in its absorption, and help it perform its many healthy
activities within the body.
Discovered by the explorer Jacques Cartier in the winter of
1534-1535 from the Canadian Indians, a tea made from pine bark was used to reverse the effects of scurvy on Cartier™s
crew. Four centuries later, Jacques Masquelier, PhD., a researcher at the University of Bordeaux in France, isolated from
the pine bark a new class of antioxidants called ogligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs).
Dr. Masquelier looked for a less expensive, more readily available
source of OPCs, and found it in red grape seeds. Most of the research on OPCs has been done with extracts of grape
seeds, which are plentiful in the wine-producing region of France. In addition, the grape seeds have more potent
concentrations of OPCs than pine bark.
Over the last 26 years it has been shown that OPCs are likely the
most powerful antioxidants known. They are 50 times more powerful than vitamin E, and 20 times more powerful than
vitamin C at preventing free radical formation or free radical scavenging. When taken together with vitamin C,
OPCs enhance its effectiveness.
As an effective antioxidant, OPCs help our body resist blood vessel
and skin damage, mental deterioration, inflammation and other damages caused by harmful free radicals. However,
their function is more than protection. They help repair by improving and stabilizing the skin protein collagen and
improving the condition of arteries and capillaries.
OPCs have four biochemical properties which are beneficial to our
1. free radical scavenging
2. collagen binding
3. inhibition of inflammatory enzymes
4. inhibition of histamine formation
Many studies and decades of clinical experiences demonstrate the
benefits of OPCs as follows:
- Improves skin
smoothness and elasticity
- Inhibits collagenase
and elastinase so to preserve collagen and elastin proteins which is
responsible for the well-being of our connective tissues (e.g. skin and joints).
capillaries, arteries and veins
- Improves circulation
and enhances cell vitality
- Reduces capillary
fragility and improves resistance to bruising and strokes
- Prevents heart disease
- Alleviates high blood
- Prevents and reduces
- Reduces risk of
- Reduces varicose veins
- Reduces edema and
swelling of the legs
- Helps restless-leg
- Reduces diabetic
- Improves visual acuity
- Improves sluggish
memory and senility (able to cross the blood-brain barrier)
- Reduces the effects of
- Improves joint
- Fights inflammation in
arthritis and sports injuries (tissue inflammation)
- Suppresses allergy
symptoms through its inhibiting effect on the enzyme responsible for
releasing histamine into the tissue
- Protects against ulcer
through the inhibition of histamine production in the mucous lining of
- Improves visual field,
including enhancement of night vision
- Prevents formation of
age-related and diabetic cataracts
One of the most powerful bioflavonoids that exists in Grape Seed
Extract but not in Pine Bark Extract is a substance called
leucoanthocyanin. Free radical damage encompasses a broad
range of actions including damage to the fatty compound of the body, disruption of the cell™s ability to absorb
necessary nutrients, fusing of body proteins and DNA, and damage of the cell™s Iysosomes - the enzymes which allow the
cell to perform its vital functions. The proanthocyanidin and leucoanthocyanin which usually occur in fruit skin, the
envelopes of grain, and seeds have the ability to quench the free radical damages.
However, most of the fruit skins, seeds and envelopes of grain when
eaten normally pass through the body intact. Now, grape seed extract provides a high source of OPCs in
absorbable form. One of the benefits of obtaining OPCs through grape seed extract is its esterification with garlic acid -
a natural plant substance. Esterification is a naturally occurring process involving the combination of an alcohol with an
acid, to increase its bioavailability.
In clinical trials, negative side-effects have been non-existent,
even after a consistently high dosage. For optimal protection, grape seed extract, like other water-soluble nutrients,
should be taken daily. It is recommended that people start with 100-150 mg of grape seed extract daily for one to
several weeks, then switch to a maintenance level of 50 mg per day.
Health & Healing, Dr.
Julian Whitaker, September 1995
- Tree Bark & Grape Seeds, Bio/Tech News, 1995:2
- OPC in Practice, Schwitters,
B., 1995, Alfa Omega Editrice, Rome, Italy
- Procyanidolic Oligomers (leucoanthocyanidins), J.
- Nutrition Almanac, 3rd
Edition, Lavon J. Dunne, 1990
Extract (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Bilberry extracts may help the
The dried berries and leaves of
bilberry have been recommended for a wide variety of conditions
including scurvy, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones . Modern
research of bilberry has also shown vision improvement.
The pharmacologically active
constituents of bilberry include flavonoid compounds known as
Anthocyanosides. An anthocyanoside consists of a backbone molecule known
as anthocyanidin bound to one of three sugars (arabinose, glucose, or
galactose). More than fifteen different anthocyanosides originate from
the five different anthocyanidins found in bilberry. These
anthocyanosides make the bilberry a powerful antioxidant, which prevents
cell membrane damage from free radicals.
The concentration of
anthocyanosides in the fresh fruit is approximately 0.1 to 0.25 percent,
whereas concentrated extracts of bilberry yield an anthocyanidin content
of 38%. Bilberry anthocyanosides increase the production of collagen,
the most common protein in the body. Collagen is the structural protein
of the skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilages, muscles, and other
connective tissues of the body.
They support normal formation of
connective tissue and strengthen capillaries in the body.
Anthocyanosides can also improve capillary and venous blood flow.
action by bilberry anthocyanosides
cross-link collagen fibers
resulting in reinforcement of collagen matrix of connective tissue
(ground substance, cartilage, tendon, etc.).
prevents free radicle damage.
inhibit enzymatic cleavage of
collagen by enzymes secreted by leukocytes during inflammation.
prevent the release and
synthesis of compounds that promote inflammation, such as histamine,
serine proteases, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes.
promote mucopolysaccharide and
collagen biosynthesis and stimulate reticulation of collagen
stimulates enzymes in the
retina of the eye
2. Normalization of
has extremely strong
"vitamin P" activity which increase intracellular vitamin
C levels and decrease capillary permeability and fragility.
decreases the permeability of
the blood-brain barrier (increase blood-brain permeability has been
linked to autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system,
schizophrenia, "cerebral allergies," and a variety of
other psychiatric disorders.
helps maintaining or restoring
the brain’s protection from drugs, pollutants, naturally occurring
degradation products, and other cerebral toxins by inhibiting both
enzymatic and nonenzymatic degradation of the basement membrane
collagen of brain capillaries.
3. Antiaggregation effect on
Anthocyanosides, like many other
flavonoids, have been shown to exert significant antiaggregation
effects on platelets. Excessive platelet aggregation is linked to
atherosclerosis and blood clot formation.
4. Blood sugar lowering
The anthocyanoside myrtillin is
the most active hypoglycemic component of bilberry. On injection,
myrtillin is somewhat weaker than insulin, but it is also less toxic,
even at 50 times the therapeutic dose of 1gram per day. It is of
interest to note that a single dose can produce beneficial effects
lasting for several weeks.
5. Anti-ulcer effects
Research shows that oral
administration of bilberry exerted a significant preventive and
curative antiulcer activity in various experimental models of gastric
ulcer, without affecting gastric secretion.
6. Eye Disorders
Bilberry extracts appear to
offer significant benefit to the eyes, presumably via an ability to
improve the delivery of oxygen and blood to the eye. The extracts also
exert other important pharmacological effects, including acting as an
The origin of many eye diseases
including cataract formation and macular degeneration is ultimately
related to damage caused by free radicals to the eyes. Bilberry
extracts ,as a powerful antioxidant, protect the eyes from these free
Bilberry extract may also play a
significant role in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma via its
effect on collagen structure of the eye. In the eye , collagen
provides tensile strength and integrity to the tissues.
7. Vision Improvement
Scientific studies showed that
the administration of bilberry extract to healthy subjects resulted in
improved nighttime visual acuity, quicker adjustment to darkness, and
faster restoration of visual acuity after exposure to glare. Further
studies confirmed these results. Results were most impressive in
individuals with retinitis pigmentosa and hemeralopia (day blindness -
an inability to see as distinctly in bright light as in dim light).
With their powerful antioxidant
effects, bilberry anthocyanosides may offer significant protection
against the formation and development of cataracts. In one human
study, bilberry extract plus vitamin E stopped progression of cataract
formation in 97 percent of fifty patients with senile cortical
9. Macular degeneration:
The macular is the portion of
the eye responsible for fine vision. Degeneration of the macula is the
leading cause of severe visual loss in the U.S. and Europe in persons
aged 55 years or older. The risk factors of macular degeneration
include aging, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure. Currently,
there is no current medical treatment for the most common form of
Bilberry anthocyanosides may
offer significant protection against the development of macular
degeneration. In one study, thirty-one patients with various types of
retinopathy (twenty with diabetic retinopathy, five with retinitis
pigmentosa, four with macular degeneration, and two with hemorrhagic
retinopathy due to anticoagulant therapy) were treated with bilberry
extract. A tendency toward reduced permeability and a tendency to
hemorrhage were observed in all patients, especially those with
10. Diabetes mellitus
Although bilberry may lower
blood glucose level, the most important benefits of the use of
anthocyanosides in the treatment of diabetes relate to their ability
to improve diabetic retinopathy , collagen integrity, and capillary
Bilberry anthocyanosides also
exert a protective effect on capillary fragility in diabetics and
reduce serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in primary
11. Vascular disorders
Clinical studies have
demonstrated the positive effect of bilberry extract in the treatment
of capillary fragility, blood purpuras, various circulation
disturbances of the brain (similar to Ginkgo Biloba), venous
insufficiency, varicose veins, and microscopic blood loss in the urine
caused by kidney capillary fragility (capillary leakage).
The standard dose for bilberry
should be based on its anthocyanoside content, as calculated by its
anthocyanidin percentage. Widely used pharmaceutical preparations in
Europe are standardized for anthocyanidin content (typically 25
percent). The following doses is recommended::
Bilberry Extract (25%
anthocyanidin content): 80-160 mg / day
investigation confirms that bilberry anthocyanoside extracts are
devoid of toxic effects. In recommended amounts, there are no known
side effects with bilberry extract, and excess levels were quickly
excreted through the urine and bile. Bilberry does not interact with
commonly prescribed drugs, and there are no known contraindications to
its use during pregnancy and lactation.
Murray, Michael T.,
The Healing Power of Herbs: the enlightened person's guide to
the wonders of medical plants. Prima Publishing, 1992
- Mowrey, Daniel B., Guaranteed
Potency Herbs: next generation herbal medicine. Cormorant,
1984, many studies have confirmed that cranberries have numerous
health benefits, the foremost being its “anti-adhesion” effect on
certain bacteria. Cranberry juice cocktail contains proanthocyanidins,
more commonly known as condensed tannins, which actually “disable”
certain harmful bacteria that cause infection in the body, so the
“bugs don’t stick.”
The first scientific findings on
cranberry were related to urinary tract health. Most recently,
emerging science suggests that cranberries may also be powerful
protectors of our health in other areas of the body. Cranberries may
inhibit certain bacteria in the stomach and oral cavity through the
same anti-adhesion mechanism that promotes urinary tract health.
While this research is still in the early stages, it is exciting to
consider the cranberry’s importance as a promising therapeutic tool to
help fight bacteria naturally.
May 1984 – Journal of Urology
While trying to account for cranberry juice’s unique urinary
tract health benefits, Youngstown State University researchers
demonstrate that the benefits may be related to the cranberry’s
ability to inhibit bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary
tract – thus reducing the risk of infection. The researchers found
that 15 ounces of cranberry juice cocktail significantly inhibited the
E. coli bacteria, which cause 80 to 90 percent of UTIs, from
adhering to the urinary tract.
May 30, 1991 – The New
England Journal of Medicine
Tel Aviv University researchers also describe the anti-E.
coli adherence property of cranberry juice and attempt to identify
the specific components in cranberries that cause this beneficial
effect. They conclude that a compound in cranberries of an
“unknown nature” prevents certain E. coli from adhering to the
March 9, 1994 – Journal of the American
Harvard Medical School researchers conduct the first well-controlled,
large-scale clinical trial to demonstrate that drinking cranberry
juice cocktail regularly significantly reduced bacteria from growing
in the urinary tract. The researchers found that the effect was not
because of more acidic urine (the urine of the cranberry juice
drinkers was no more acidic than those drinking a non-cranberry
placebo drink) and speculated that there was something specific in
cranberry that prevented bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
This research was conducted with 153 women, average age of 78, using
10 ounces of cranberry juice cocktail, which contains 27 percent
1997 – Journal of Family Practice
In a double-blind clinical trial, researchers from Weber State
University find that sexually active women between the ages of 18 and
45 who daily consume a cranberry dietary supplement (from spray-dried
cranberry juice) for six months had a significantly lower risk of UTIs
than women taking a placebo.
February 1998 – Journal of
Building on the anti-adhesion theory, Tulane University School of
Medicine researchers find that cranberry juice actually changes the
shape of E. coli. Examining the effects of cranberry juice on
the growth and development of E. coli in the laboratory, the
researchers found that the hair-like structures that E. coli
use to attach to cells in the bladder were inhibited from growing in
the presence of cranberry juice. This provided the first visual
observation of a change in structure of the bacteria that would
prevent them from attaching to cells in the urinary tract.
October 8, 1998 - The New
England Journal of Medicine - Proanthocyanidins Identified
Rutgers-led scientists identify the active components in
cranberries responsible for maintaining urinary tract health as
proanthocyanidins or condensed tannins. The researchers concluded
that the proanthocyanidins in a daily 10-ounce glass of cranberry
juice cocktail are responsible for promoting urinary tract health.
January 2001 – Spinal
Recurrent urinary tract infections frequently pose a serious problem
for hospitalized spinal cord-injured patients. A study was conducted
with patients comparing the effects of water and cranberry juice
cocktail consumption. The results indicate that the cranberry juice
cocktail significantly reduced bacteria from adhering to bladder cells
and the water intake had no effect on bacterial adhesion.
December 1998 - The Journal
of the American Dental Association
Research from Tel Aviv University suggests that compounds in
cranberries may certain bacteria found in the mouth from adhering to
teeth and to other bacteria, apparently through the same type of
anti-adhesion mechanism through which they maintain urinary tract
health. These bacteria have been associated with periodontal gum
disease. More research is needed to provide an optimal product to
deliver this benefit.
April 2000 – The University
of Western Ontario
Research from the University of Western Ontario studies the effect
of daily consumption of cranberry juice and other cranberry products
on human breast cancer cell growth in animals. This preliminary
research found that cranberry components inhibited the development of
tumors in mice injected with human breast cancer cells. More research
is needed to understand the benefits to human health.
September 15, 2000 –
International Conference and Exhibit on Nutraceuticals and Functional
Cranberry seeds are found to contain a higher level of tocotrienols,
powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, than in any other plant.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst researcher Dr. Wasef Nawar’s study
reveals that cranberry seed oil contains significant amounts of these
potent forms of Vitamin E without the palmitic acid found in other
plants containing tocotrienols.
April 2000 – University of
Early results from an in vitro study from the University of
Wisconsin-LaCrosse suggest cranberry juice might promote
cardiovascular health. In the study, cranberry juice proved to be an
effective antioxidant, preventing artery-clogging LDL cholesterol from
becoming oxidized and thus causing more damage.
September 10-15, 2000 –
International Conference on Polyphenols in Freising-Weinhenstephan,
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison test a series of
cranberry flavonoid fractions in vitro and find that some of
them prevent LDL oxidation. The cranberry proanthocyanidin fraction
was highly effective in protecting the LDL from oxidation.
September 17, 2000 –
International Conference and Exhibit on Nutraceuticals and Functional
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst discover that
cranberry seed oil contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and
tocotrienols, two compounds rarely found in plants, that are believed
to contribute to heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids, usually found in
unpleasant tasting fish oil, reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides,
and tocotrienols are believed to have implications in blood clotting.
October 2000 – Journal of
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse discover that
compounds found in cranberry extracts dilate blood vessels in rats,
thereby reducing their blood pressure. The researchers conclude that
the flavonoids and acanthocyanins in cranberry juice may provide the
heart benefits of red wine without the alcohol.
September 15 , 2000 –
International Conference and Exhibit on Nutraceuticals and Functional
Researchers at Tel Aviv University find preliminary evidence that
cranberry may have a similar anti-adhesion effect on H. pylori,
the bacteria that are a cause of stomach ulcers. The in vitro
study, using human gastric mucus cells and a cranberry fraction,
suggests that the cranberry’s anti-adhesion effect may prevent the
bacteria from attaching to the stomach lining and causing an ulcer.
The findings also showed that cranberry could also possibly reverse
the adhesion of these bacteria.