What makes Grape Seed extract so important?At a time when we are bombarded with chemicals and environmental pollutants of all kinds, is there something you can do to mediate the harmful effects of free radicals that are created by these environmental stressors? We think there is and it’s called Grape Seed extract. Grape seeds contain high amounts of the polyphenol Proanthocyanidin. Proanthocyanidins (PC’s) are unique anti-aging phytochemicals known as flavonoids which have powerful antioxidant capabilities and are present in the grape as Procyanidins. Mixtures of Proantho-cyanidins are referred to as OCP’s (oligomeric proanthocyanidins). PC’s do occur naturally in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Grape seeds however, are one of the highest sources of PC’s, and these compounds have been reported to be beneficial against free radicals and oxidative stress.
More potent than Vitamins C and EBecause they are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, OPC’s can protect the brain and spinal nerves against free radical damage. Grape seed extracts repair connective tissues including those of the cardiovascular system and can help support the immune system and slow ageing. They also moderate allergic and inflammatory responses by reducing histamine production. Clinical tests suggest that OPC’s may be as much as fifty times more potent that vitamin E and twenty times more potent than vitamin C in terms of bioavailable antioxidant activity.
So what are Free Radicals?A free radical is an electrically charged atom or group of atoms with an unpaired electron in its outermost shell. Having an unpaired electron in the outer shell causes instability and makes the molecule highly reactive, and destructive to nearby molecules. Tissues that are under a high amount of free radical attack include the skin and cardiovascular system and this free radical activity can be associated with ageing.
How are Free Radicals formed?Free radicals are produced by the absorption of energy from many sources including:
- ultraviolet radiation
- x rays
- toxic chemical wastes
- direct and second hand cigarette smoke
- car exhaust
- urban air pollutants ozone and radiation
- physical stress