OPCXtra – The Benefits of Super Antioxidants
Antioxidants are revered to be the key to unlock good health and well-being. Plenty of research data suggests that if you eat a diet that is full of antioxidant-rich foods, it lowers the risk of many degenerative health conditions.
The term ”antioxidant” envelops a wide range of micronutrients that include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and pigment compounds that can work via different mechanisms. For instance, some antioxidants work to prevent cells from damage, while some antioxidants deal with free radicals directly by donating them an electron. This is why it is recommended to consume from a variety of foods to receive the spectrum of benefits each antioxidant has to offer.
Nature’s powerful antioxidants
It is clear each antioxidant performs a unique function to prevent the damaging effects of free radicals – some are free radical quenchers, while some are chain breaking antioxidants. While there are many hundreds of antioxidants, some specific antioxidants stand out due to their potency. Here are some of nature’s best antioxidants.
Grape seed extract: Grape seed extracts are identified to be among the most powerful antioxidants and are especially beneficial in conditions of heart disease. One 2008 study showed that grape seed antioxidants can reduce the severity of skin cancer and was useful in the weakening of the adverse UV-induced health effects in human skin (1). Grape seeds are rich in proanthocyanidins, a class of potent antioxidants, and they are shown to be more effective than ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or vitamin E (2).
Red wine extract: Red wine extracts contain a host of antioxidant flavonoids, catechin, quercetin, proanthocyanidins, condensed tannins, and anthocyanins. Studies show that red wine antioxidants are absorbed efficiently in humans and bind to the LDL (bad cholesterol). This property helps them to prevent the oxidation of LDL and the subsequent formation of plaques (3,4,5).
Pine bark extract: Pine bark extract contains powerful oligomeric proanthocyanidin compounds (OPC’s) which accounts for their efficient antioxidant effects. A 2013 study found that pine bark extract was helpful in improving health risk factors in subjects with metabolic syndrome (6).
Green tea extract: Green tea extracts are rich in a special group of flavonols called catechins. Epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate are the type of catechins found in high concentrations in green tea with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show that green tea extracts are efficient in protecting the blood vessels, prevent blood clots and demonstrate powerful anti-inflammatory effects (7). Several studies indicate that consuming catechins from green tea extracts show a significant protection from heart diseases as well as help in weight management in individuals with obesity (8).
Bilberry extract: The anthoycanin compounds in bilberry extracts are found to be powerful intracellular antioxidants (9). Intracellular antioxidants are effective in scavenging free radical species and helping degrade superoxide and hydroperoxides. Bilberry anthocyanins are also known to improve vision, promote heart health, and promote healthy blood pressure (10).
Citrus Bioflavonoids: Citrus bioflavonoids are plant pigments from the citrus family (lemon, grapefruit, etc.) that show a variety of benefits such as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects in addition to being powerful antioxidants. Research documents citrus bioflavonoids’ favorable effects in promoting heart health, improving circulation, and also in skin health. Some of the most potent of citrus flavonoids (also known as vitamin P) include diosmetin, diosmin, hesperidin, naringin, quercetin, rutin, and tangeritin. They are also essential for the proper absorption of Vitamin C, as well as enhancing their action.
OPCXtra is a super antioxidant drink mix that is formulated with the best combination of six major sources of bioflavonoids. This includes the OPC sources – Grape Seed Extract, Red Wine Extract, Pine Bark Extract and Green Tea Extract along with bilberry and citrus bioflavonoids to offer the best antioxidant effect.
To ensure you’re consuming enough OPCs in your daily diet, take a look at OPCXtra. OPCXtra is our super antioxidant drink mix in an isotonic formula made from a combination of six major sources of bioflavonoids. Four of the sources – Grape Seed Extract, Red Wine Extract, Pine Bark Extract, and Green Tea Extract – supply a group of powerful antioxidant bioflavonoids called Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC). Follow this link to learn more about OPCXtra!
Katiyar S. Grape seed proanthocyanidines and skin cancer prevention: Inhibition of oxidative stress and protection of immune system. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2008 Jun; 52(Suppl 1): S71–S76.
Bagchi D, Garg A, Krohn RL, Bagchi M, Tran MX, Stohs SJ. Oxygen free radical scavenging abilities of vitamins C and E, and a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract in vitro. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 1997;95:179–189
Fuhrman B, Aviram M. Flavonoids protect LDL from oxidation and attenuate atherosclerosis. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2001;12:41–8.
Nigdikar SV, Williams NR, Griffin BA, Howard AN. Consumption of red wine polyphenols reduces the susceptibility of low-density lipoproteins to oxidation in vivo. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;68:258–65.
Fuhrman B, Lavy A, Aviram M. Consumption of red wine with meals reduces the susceptibility of human plasma and low-density lipoprotein to lipid peroxidation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;61:549–54.
Belcaro G et.al. Pycnogenol® supplementation improves health risk factors in subjects with metabolic syndrome. Phytother Res. 2013 Oct;27(10):1572-8.
Stangl V, Lorenz M, Stangl K. The role of tea and tea flavonoids in cardiovascular health. Mol Nutr Food Res 2006;50:218-28
Nagao, T. et.al. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. Am J Clin Nutr January 2005, Vol 81, 122- 129
Bornsek SM et.al., Bilberry and blueberry anthocyanins act as powerful intracellular antioxidants in mammalian cells. Food Chem. 2012 Oct 15;134(4):1878-84.
Wing-kwan Chu, Sabrina C. M. Cheung, Roxanna A. W. Lau, and Iris F. F. Benzie. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.