One of the Key factors of the French paradox is that along with their high fat, buttery croissants and rich sauces, the typical diet includes wine. And red wine is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants that may be the reason the French have 50% the incidence of heart disease than Americans.
Cheryl Myers, RN explains that wine contains OPCs, or oligomeric proanthocyanidins, which are “powerful bioflavonoids that attack free-radicals and boost the immune system response to inflammation, allergy and infection.”
But the expert, who is a nationally known specialist in natural medicine, says these potent OPCs are also found in grape seed extract, which is available as a food supplement.
“Grape seed extract is made from the seeds of grapes and is considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants available,” Ms Myers says. “It has been studied extensively over the past 50 years and has been shown to be highly effective in reducing oxidative damage and inflammation at the cellular level.”
Research shows that grape seed extract contains antioxidants that are 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50X more powerful than vitamin E. European tests indicate that OPCs from grape seed extract have no human toxicity and cause no allergic reactions, birth defects, or carcinogenicity.
Also, OPCs are on the front line of cancer research.
According to Ms. Myers, grape seed extract is also beneficial in preventing the oxidation of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
“It can help reduce blood pressure by relaxing blood vessel walls and speeding muscle recovery,” she says. “
“While eating grapes or using grape seed oil in your diet are great, healthy additions, you don’t get the guaranteed levels of proanthocyanins and healthy compounds found in a high-quality supplement,” she said
The Key is to find supplements that contain the smallest and most absorbent OPCs and are tannin-free, says Mss. Myers.
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