Grape seed extract is derived from the small seeds (and occasionally the skins) of red grapes--the same kind that are pressed to make wine. Used extensively in Europe, grape seed extract is rich in flavonoids, phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties some consider even greater than the old standbys vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants are believed to prevent and control numerous ailments by safeguarding cells against the ravages of unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals.
Grape Seed Extract is an herb that helps to protect cells from free radical damage while promoting healthy circulation. This is known as a powerful antioxidant similar in effect to the ever popular and patented Pycnogenol, but far less expensive. Grape Seed Extract is rich in polyphenols, a beneficial compound shown as being high in antioxidants that helps to improve circulation.
As an ingredient in facial creams, the extract may help maintain skin elasticity; many European skin creams feature grape seed extract for this purpose.
What Is OPC Grape Seed Extract?
OPC's (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) are a set of bioflavonoid complexes that perform as free radical scavengers in the human body. Many names refer to this set of bioflavonoids, including PCO's, Oligomeric Procyanidolic Complexes, leuco anthocyanin, anthocyanidin and still others. We will refer to them as OPC's for the duration of this discussion.
Grape Seed Extract which is high in Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC's or PCO's) is powerful antioxidant which can reduce the damage done by free radicals, strengthen and repair connective tissue, and promote enzyme activity. OPC's can also help moderate allergic and inflammatory responses by reducing histamine production.
Proanthocyanidin is a bioflavonoid which has demonstrated anti-oxidant properties and is taken by some as a treatment for arthritis, bruises, gum disease, phlebitis, ulcers, varicose veins, and other vascular problems. It has also been utilized in the treatment of allergies that respond to antihistamines. It is thought to protect and strengthen connective tissue.