Learning about the many types of nutrients could easily be a full-time job unto itself. But if you don’t have the time and simply want to know what makes a vitamin, mineral, botanical, or other nutrient valuable to your health, you’ve come to the right place.
Grapes Contain a Treasure of Amazing Nutrients
Scientists, medical researchers, and ordinary people alike have long known that grapes provide a wealth of health benefits. Just look at the wine-friendly French diet as a case in point, with its high intake of anthocyanin compounds from the skins and fruits of grapes. But the truth is, incredible nutrient riches are found in the seeds of grapes, too. And the most important of these are oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs).
Why Grape Seeds?
The study of grape seed OPCs developed in a roundabout way. A French professor, Jacques Masquelier, was fascinated by the history of explorer Jacques Cartier’s crew’s making a tea of pine bark that saved them from scurvy. And pine bark and grape seeds have one thing in common; both contain OPCs. So, using a locally available source while working in the wine-rich region of Bourdeaux, Masquellier pioneered a method of extracting OPCs from grape seeds.
Research Reveals a Wealth of Benefits
The antioxidant compounds in OPCs have been shown to be better free-radical scavengers and inhibitors of oxidative tissue damage than vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta carotene. Additionally, grape seed OPCs have anti-inflammatory properties, can help preserve healthy arteries and blood vessels, can keep blood sugar levels in check, and may support the structure of joints in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. As a well-known cardio-supportive botanical, grape seed extract has shown remarkable benefits. In one clinical study, a 300 mg daily dosage normalized blood pressure in 93 percent of participants with pre- or mild hypertension.
Overall, the OPCs from grape seed deliver a multitude of physiological benefits that can lower the risk of a variety of illnesses—even cancer. In fact, it is in experimental cancer research that a specific French grape seed extract has shown great promise and may one day be used alongside conventional treatment.
One of the biggest barriers to patient recovery is that cancer cells become resistant to chemotherapy drugs. Fortunately, a leading-edge laboratory study found that the OPCs from a French grape seed extract inhibited the growth of resistant cancer cells and the proteins that help them thrive.
Additional research discovered that using this same extract shrank tumor size by as much as 65 percent in just 13 days. Even more impressive, the French grape seed extract had the ability to search out and stop cancer stem cells—the “seeds” of cancer that can remain after chemotherapy and cause tumors to reappear.
What makes this particular extract so beneficial is that it is composed of only tannin-free OPCs. Tannins are large molecules, and although they are technically OPCs, they are not well absorbed by the body. By concentrating on high polyphenol and OPC content, the French extract is able to deliver its health-promoting power where other grape seed extracts simply can’t follow.
Choose Your Grape Seed Supplement Carefully
If you add grape seed to your regimen, look for a French grape seed extract that provides tannin-free OPCs and 99 percent polyphenols. Also, make sure that the supplement you choose is guaranteed to be unadulterated, so that you’re getting the full potential of this powerful botanical.