Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are an integral part of the human diet and high concentrations can be found in many fruits, such as apples, pears and particularly in grapes. They are also abundant in chocolate, wine and tea. OPCs in natural dietary food supplements are now most commonly derived from grape seeds and maritime pine bark, with the latter being the most popular.
Potent Antioxidant Properties
The potent antioxidant properties of OPCs have been the subject of recent research and appear to demonstrate anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and vasodilatory properties that may make them a potentially valuable therapeutic tool for the alleviation of a variety of conditions. OPCs are also variously referred to as procyanidins, procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs), leucoanthocyanins or condensed tannins but OPCs is usually the accepted reference for dietary food supplement products.
Expedition Saved By OPCs
It was research by Jacques Masquelier of the University of Bordeaux into events following a near fatal expedition by Jacques Cartier in 1534 that sparked a wider interest in pine bark derived OPCs. The expedition up the St. Lawrence River became trapped in ice flows and eventually running short on fresh food, he and his crew were succumbing to the effects of malnutrition. With little hope of survival, they were found by a group of local Native people of Canada who gave them a tea brewed from the bark and needles of a particular native pine species. With the help of this concoction, Cartier and his crew all made a full recovery and they later learned that pine bark had been used for decades by the Native people to help maintain their health during the winter months when growing most foods was not possible.
Today the beneficial qualities of OPCs are widely accepted and those contained in maritime pine bark extract are considered to be the most effective with a recommended daily intake of 150mg or 300mg at a potency of about 95% concentration.
Tonvara PBE:95 is an effective 95% OPCs Maritime Pine Bark extract that is produced to the highest ISO standards, with 150mg per capsule.