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Wine and Health Research - The Power of Procyanidins - The Real French Paradox

Imagine that procyanidin pills in the future are recommended just like aspirin today. This is the healthy nature of procyanidin, this is a possibility. Procyanidins have been identified as high performance, low toxicity and highly bio-available. Some red wines have been identified to contain very high concentrations in these strong heart healthy compounds.

Robust animal and in vitro research with epidemiological and human studies demonstrates many health benefits. Chief among the benefits is antioxidant protection against heart disease and some types of cancer.

Consider these Imperatives

  • Procyanidins have been identified as high performance, low toxicity and highly bio-available.

  • Procyanidins, found in some red wines, 70% dark chocolate dark chocolate and other foods, are a healthy compound in the highest doses and are part of the natural diet - NO extra doses (like other compounds) are not proven to be safe throughout long term and may not be fully absorbed as some supplements have noted.

  • Research has shown that after two weeks of daily daily procyanidin rich red wine positive support for cardiovascular health is observed, including reduced blood pressure. This is good news for protection against heart disease and stroke.

  • Health statistics are important and important - Almost half of us die from Heart Disease - the World Health Organization, and 50% of STROKES are due to high blood pressure.

  • "Everywhere in the world where populations are given medication to manage their cardiovascular health, they have reached a low rate of death from heart disease, as in Gers (French) where they drank this wine"Professor Giovanni de Gaetano, M.D., Ph.D.,

  • In northwestern France where they produce and consume high amounts of wine in procyanidins, census data indicate that there is twice as many 90-year-olds as the national average.

  • In the region wine is up to 10 times more rich in procyanidin than the modern, sweet, soft, red wine commonly used today.

  • In New Zealand, consumers who have started a one-day strategy of southwestern French wines are seeing increased blood pressure consistent with research. This happens without any change in lifestyle, diet, exercise or medication.

  • Procyanidins provide the same benefits, naturally, as can be achieved with the "polypill". Polypill is a mixture of drugs that have been used to prevent heart attacks and stroke. Governments and drug companies internationally seek to develop such drugs, taken daily, aimed at protecting the elderly population from heart disease. In procyanidins it already exists in its natural form.

  • It may mean for our health that with the prevalence of processed and refined foods today, our consumption of procyanidin is much lower than we might grow!

This report is the lighting of a large number of international studies that have been conducted on the health benefits of procyanidins.

What is Procyanidin

Procyanidins are a mixture of antioxidant molecules, variously called -

  • procyanidins

  • proanthocyanidins,

  • oligomeric procyanthocyanidins (OPC)

  • proanthocyanidolic oligomers (PCO)

  • leukocyanidins

Procyanidin, a polyphenolic compound with strong bioactivity and pharmacological activity, is present in grape seeds, hawthorn, pine bark and other food and plants. A number of potential mechanisms for procyanidin have emerged. These include, act as antioxidants in vivo, lower blood pressure, reduce cancer risk, prevent bacteria, and so on. In recent years, the health and long-term effects of procyanidin on the human body have been widely studied internationally.

Research has shown that procyanidin has many anticancer effects, especially to be toxic to cancer cells, in cancers such as cancerous carcinoma, oral carcinoma, breast carcinoma, bronchial carcinoma, liver carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, gastric carcinoma, with growth. promotes the effect on normal cells.

Generally referred to as OPC among scientists, procyanidin specializes in treating vascular diseases as it actually improves the strength of the weak blood vessel structure, maintaining its permeability and elasticity. This is because OPC helps to neutralize the chemical causes (oxidation of living cells with free radicals) that promote many diseases.

OPC is one of the most powerful antioxidants - 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 times more vitamin C, according to some tests.

Grapes and pine bark are two of the richest OPC sources. Procyanidins have also been identified as a large number of walnut husks, cranberries, certain types of apples, pomegranates, horse chestnuts, hazelnut leaves, hawthorn, rhubarb and barley (also made from barley). However, tests have shown that significant variations in procyanidin content can exist in these foods.


In 2002, the safety evaluation of OPC grape seeds was widely used to determine the toxicology of proanthocyanidins, especially in oral administration when used in a variety of foods. Grape seed extract (GSE) was examined for both acute and sub oral toxicity and for mutagenic potential. The test was performed using mice and rats. No evidence of acute oral toxicity and no evidence of mutagenicity was found. The results show a lack of toxicity and support the use of proanthocyanidin rich extracts from grape seeds for various foods.

Cardiovascular disease

Roger Corder, Professor of Experimental Therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute in London, confirms that procyanidin in some red wines is responsible for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and decreasing the overall death rate, moderate users of red wine.

On November 30, 2006 a research article was published in Nature magazine on Procyanidins and the health benefits of some red wines. Nature is one of the world's leading science journals.

Epidemiological studies reveal that two populations in Europe have remarkable longevity. People in the Nuoro region of Sardinia and those in the Gers department in southwestern France, especially men, have a much older age than the national average. These people do NOT eat the "Mediterranean Diet". Corder tests the wines and identifies that in this region wine is up to 10 times more rich in procyanidin than the modern, sweet, soft, quaffing wine commonly made today. This is the top of the "healthy" pyramid of red wine.

Corder and his team looked at their population and lifestyle and determined that there was something about wine in the region and then started a study of the components and compounds of the wine. They plan their learning so they don't know which compound works best until the end of the trial. Researchers breed endothelial cells and then added a small amount of red wine. The team isolates and measures the biological activity of each polyphenol in red wine. In hundreds of experiments, using wines from around the world, procyanidin has proven to be the best in controlling endothelin-1 production to the best possible degree. Procyanidins suppresses production efficiency by 50 percent.

Other compounds, such as resveratrol (non-flavanoid polyphenols) and quercetin, have been found to have no relevant effects.

Researchers have found that red wine from both regions is very high in procyanidins. This is because most of the wines used to produce local wines in this area are flavanoid-rich Tannates. In addition, traditional wine-making techniques in southwestern France, where grapes and grapes remain in contact with the juice for long periods of fermentation and absorption, increase the concentration of procyanidin in red wine.

Breakthrough studies by Professor Roger Corder and colleagues stated that:

1. Procyanidins lower blood pressure by suppressing endothelin-1,

peptides that have unwanted vasoconstriction effects. They also increase nitric oxide in the blood causing vasodilation and increased blood flow

2. Procyanidins reduce platelet aggregation,

thus preventing the formation of arterial blockage and blockage

3. Procyanidins inhibit LDL-cholesterol oxidation.

High blood cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease because LDL-cholesterol accumulates in the artery wall where after oxidation it causes inflammation and plaque formation. When LDL-cholesterol is protected from oxidation, it is unlikely to cause atherosclerosis

4. Very little wine has a very high concentration of procyanidins.

The border tests many wines and identifies only a few areas in the world that consistently have the highest concentrations of procyanidins

Antioxidants are powerful

OPC has a high reputation as an antioxidant that eliminates free radicals and motivates other antioxidants. In one in vitro study OPCs extended the life expectancy of vitamin C by 400 percent. Another in vitro study showed that exposing the blood vessels to OPC pine bark increased their vitamin E content by 15 percent. Grapes also show the effect of recycling and potentiating. Vitamin E-based activity, in the cell membrane mimicking system, has shown an increase in OPC grape seed.

A rat study, at Creighton University School of Pharmacy in Omaha, Neb., Found that patented grape extract protects tissues from oxidation better than antioxidant vitamins C and E or beta-carotene.

Grape OPC was observed to be a stronger antioxidant than vitamins C and E, although both vitamins were combined, in an in vitro experiment testing human gut cell responses to free radical damage caused by smoke-free tobacco.

Prevent Atherosclerosis

The role of oxidation in arterial development (atherogenesis) is well understood. Oxidized LDL (low density lipoprotein) triggers a variety of adverse reactions including inflammation, smooth muscle cell proliferation and clotting mechanisms to the cells that bind to the blood vessel wall. All of these lead to atherosclerosis.

Grape extract with 50 percent OPC and 50 percent phenolic acid inhibited LDL pig oxidation in vitro. OPCs can also prevent atherosclerosis in other ways. For example, two in vitro studies have found that patented pine bark extract summarizes the release of nitric oxide, which affects the diameter of the blood vessels.

Likewise, this is one of the main findings of Corder - high blood cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke because LDL-cholesterol can accumulate in artery walls where after oxidation it causes inflammation and plaque formation. When LDL-cholesterol is protected from oxidation, it is unlikely to cause atherosclerosis.

Researchers compared the effect of patented pine bark extract with aspirin on smoking-induced platelet aggregation in three groups of smokers. They found that platelet aggregation was inhibited by both 500 mg of aspirin and 100-125 mg of pine mushroom extract. Due to the increased bleeding time caused by aspirin, the authors conclude that pine bark offers a "beneficial risk-benefit ratio."

Increasingly, studies have raised the question of safety with long-term use of aspirin by "good anxiety" to prevent heart attachment. Studies have found continuous use of nearly twice the risk of hospitalization due to internal bleeding.

OPCs seem to prevent some of the factors contributing to atherosclerosis, but do they actually prevent the condition? Yes, this is a conclusion based on recent animal experiments. Researchers at a soy sauce factory in Noda City, Japan, eat a rabbit that causes high blood cholesterol and severe atherosclerosis in control animals. Their blood levels of peroxide (oxidation size) increased by 10 times. Another group of rabbits ate the same food but supplemented with OPC extract of grapes accounting for 0.1 or 1 percent of their diet. The added rabbit also produces high cholesterol levels; However, they have no peroxide detected in their blood. Even worse, their blood vessels do not have atherosclerosis. This finding has been confirmed by other research on grape seed and OPC pine bark. This emphasizes that the problem is the level of cholesterol oxidation and not high cholesterol itself.

Although promising data on OPCs and the prevention of atherosclerosis are mainly derived from test tubes and animal studies, epidemiological research can provide credence to the value of OPCs in human health. In fact, OPCs can help explain the "French Paradox," or why low rates of coronary heart disease exist in the French region known for fatty foods and red wine consumption. This population does NOT have a 'Mediterranean diet'.

The French Paradox was first proposed by Dr Serge Renaud in 1991. Dr Renaud's presence at the Wine & Health Symposium (chaired by Professor Corder) in Pau, France, in 2007 was confirmation that he supported Corder's research that identified procyanidins as The explanation French Paradox. Corder concludes from the research and epidemiological study that OPCs are a common cause of longevity in some populations in southwestern France and Sardinia. Proposed to suggest this is the REAL French Paradox.

Red wine can be considered as an alcoholic color of several strong flavonoids, including OPC from grape seeds. At the University of Padova, Italy, they feed fat food volunteers with and without red wine. The level of peroxide after eating is lower in those who drink wine.

OPC also appears to prevent the damage caused by atherosclerosis by preventing ischemic reflux injury. With atherosclerosis, an obstruction can block blood flow to the heart. If this fracture breaks, blood returns to the tissue. This process, paradoxically, results in a large amount of free radical damage. At the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington, they subject the animals to narrowing and release of blood. Compared to control animals, animals supplemented with patented grape extract had a heart rate of 38 percent and 50 percent less release of creatine kinase, a marker of tissue damage.

Breast cancer

Studies have shown that estrogen production in breast cancer tissue plays an important role in tumor development. In vitro studies show that while procyanidin B can reduce androgen-dependent tumor growth, it has been shown that these chemicals reduce estrogen production from androgen substrates.

Researchers have shown that procanidin B dimers in red wine can be used as chemopreventive agents in breast cancer by preventing the conversion of androgens to estrogen in breast tissue. Researchers estimate that one glass of four red grapes daily can provide sufficient procyanidin B dimer to inhibit aromatase activity in women after menopause.

Prostate Cancer Protection

One study concluded that procyanidin can induce apoptosis (self-destruction of cancer cells) and necrosis (external cell death) of prostate cancer PC-3 cells in a mitochondrion-dependent manner. Significant changes were observed at various stages according to the dose and reaction time in the initial treatment.

Prostate carcinoma (PCa) is one of the most common cancers in men. Death rates associated with PCa increase each year. To date, no effective therapy has had a clear impact on extending the life span of PCa patients. Other traditional therapies, such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery, cannot prevent PCa from developing into metastatic clones and refracting androgen. Therefore, developing new therapeutic strategies aimed at inducing apoptosis would be of real value in controlling the proliferation and inefficiency of PCa.

This study aimed to determine whether procyanidin-induced apoptosis and necrosis were due to PC-3 cells associated with mitochondrial membrane potential. Mitochondria are structures in the cytoplasm (outside the nucleus) of all cells except bacteria where food molecules (sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids) are broken down in the presence of oxygen and converted into energy. Because "superpower" cells are important to human health. It is also an important structure in cells that controls cell death. Studies show that mitochondrial membrane potential decreases significantly in PC-3 cells by treatment with procyanidin. Therefore, the toxicity of procyanidin to these cancer cells has been demonstrated.

Other Cancer Protection

Other in vitro studies also suggest that OPCs provide cancer protection. OPC in Vaccinium family fruits, including blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries, inhibits tumor growth by inhibiting protein synthesis in tumor cells, thereby preventing them from spreading. Also in the laboratory, OPC boils barley to transform human myeloid leukemia cells into cancerous cells. Another in vitro study found that grape seed extract was patented to kill cancer cells; inhibited the growth of breast, lung, stomach and myelogenous leukemia cells by 73 percent; and promote normal cell growth.

Bethel nuts, stimulated by chewing by millions of Asians, also contain OPCs. In a small study on the effects of inhibition of betel extract on endogenous nitrogenation in humans, researchers have suggested that OPCs may play a key role in the prevention of cancer.

Other Health Benefits

Virus protection can also occur with OPC. In vitro studies with OPCs of hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) kill herpes (HSV-1) and HIV virus.

Vaginal deficiency is a common condition in which the veins and muscles, especially the legs, cannot properly restore blood to the heart. Walking can be painful and difficult. Italian research has shown that grape seed extract can help. Twenty-four patients with chronic venous insufficiency were treated with 100 mg daily grape extract. The improvement was noticeable in 10 days: 70 percent of patients had less edema and 50 percent had less pain. Bilberry and other bioflavonoids have been used for veins for many years in Europe. They may have similar mechanisms of action, or their active components include OPCs.

The body is also protected from toxins by OPCs. Acetaminophen, an active ingredient in Tylenol, is a powerful liver toxin, annually causing 75,000 cases of poisoning that require hospitalization in the United States. Animal experiments show that pretreatment weeks with 100 mg / kg of patented grape extract prevented liver damage from acetaminophen. Organ damage is evaluated by studying liver cells for damage as well as by monitoring the health of animals.

Procyanidins and Beauty

More than just disease prevention, OPCs can make us look younger. Oxidative damage causes the most significant signs of aging in our skin. By preventing this damage, the skin will look younger. One way to achieve this is to reduce the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) light. Sunscreen products incorporate various antioxidants with the intention that they will prevent sun damage to the skin. In one study, OPC grape seed exerted a solo antioxidant effect at a potential level comparable to vitamin E to protect unsaturated fatty acids different from UV-induced lipid peroxidation. In the same study, OPC grapes synergistically interact with vitamin E, recycling the inactive form of the vitamin into an active form and thus acting as a virtual vitamin E extender.

Part of the aging process is the degradation of the skin by the enzyme elastase, which is released by the inflammatory response. OPCs specifically inhibit elastase, thereby maintaining elastin integrity.

OPCs can also help us grow thicker hair, if animal experimentation results in humans. Japanese researchers shaved mice and found that 40 percent of their hair grows naturally. When solution of 1 percent of any three proanthocyanidins is applied to the skin, however, between 70 and 80 percent of hair grows back. Test tube tests confirm that OPCs actually stimulate hair keratinocytes to produce three times more hair than controls.

OPC's health benefits have prompted several researchers to recommend an optimum intake of officially recommended. The dose used in many animal experiments is 100 mg / kg body weight, which equates to between 50 and 200 mg for the average adult, according to Bagchi. With today's delicate food culture, our intake is significantly lower than we might have grown, but there is little attempt to measure current OPC intake. However, according to Borders, one glass per day of red wine-rich procyanidin provides cardiovascular benefits. This has been the experience of New Zealand wine users from southwestern France. The wine, which has been tested for procyanidin content, has up to 330 mg per 125ml serving.

Although there is more research to be done on the evidence for the healthy benefits of procyanidin. The good news is that procyanidins are widely available in many types of foods without waiting for the commercial certification process to complete. To emphasize - procyanidins are available in natural doses. It is not always high and has not been proven to be a safe dose not required with procyanidin.


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