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 body:

1. free radical scavenging

2. collagen binding

3. inhibition of inflammatory enzymes

4. inhibition of histamine formation

 

Benefits

  • 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).
  • Strengthens 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 pressure
  • Prevents and reduces atherosclerosis
  • Reduces risk of phlebitis
  • Reduces varicose veins
  • Reduces edema and swelling of the legs
  • Helps restless-leg syndrome
  • Reduces diabetic retinopathy
  • Improves visual acuity
  • Improves sluggish memory and senility (able to cross the blood-brain barrier)
  • Reduces the effects of stress
  • Improves joint flexibility
  • 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 the stomach
  • 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.

Dosage

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.

 

References

  1. Health & Healing, Dr. Julian Whitaker, September 1995
  2. Tree Bark & Grape Seeds, Bio/Tech News, 1995:2
  3. OPC in Practice, Schwitters, B., 1995, Alfa Omega Editrice, Rome, Italy
  4. Procyanidolic Oligomers (leucoanthocyanidins), J. Masquelier
  5. Nutrition Almanac, 3rd Edition, Lavon J. Dunne, 1990

 

 

Bilberry Extract (Vaccinium myrtillus)

 

Bilberry extracts may help the following conditions:

  • Atherocsclerosis

  • Bruising

  • Cataracts

  • Circulation

  • Diabetes

  • Macular degeneration

  • Night Blindness

  • Retinopathy

  • Varicose veins

 

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.

 

Pharmacologyical & clinical effects

 

1.  Collagen-stabilizing 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 fibrils.

  • stimulates enzymes in the retina of the eye

 

2.  Normalization of capillary permeability

  • 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 platelets

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 effect

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 antioxidant.

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 radical damages.

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).

 

8.  Cataracts:

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 cataracts.

 

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 macular degeneration.

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 diabetic retinopathy.

 

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 permeability.

Bilberry anthocyanosides also exert a protective effect on capillary fragility in diabetics and reduce serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in primary dyslipidemia.

 

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).

 

Dosage

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

 

Toxicity

Extensive toxicological 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.

 

References

  1. Murray, Michael T., The Healing Power of Herbs: the enlightened person's guide to the wonders of medical plants. Prima Publishing, 1992

  2. Mowrey, Daniel B., Guaranteed Potency Herbs: next generation herbal medicine. Cormorant, 1990

 

 

Cranberry Concentrate

 

Fact Sheet

Since 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.

 

URINARY TRACT

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 effectThey conclude that a compound in cranberries of an “unknown nature” prevents certain E. coli from adhering to the bladder’s lining.

March 9, 1994 – Journal of the American Medical Association
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 cranberry juice.

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 Urology
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 Cord
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.

 

ORAL CAVITY

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.

 

CANCER

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 Foods
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.

 

HEART

April 2000 – University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
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, Germany
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 Foods
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 Medicinal Foods
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.

 

STOMACH

September 15 , 2000 – International Conference and Exhibit on Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods
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.