Find out more about OPC
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC) are essentially polymer chains of flavonoids such as catechins.1 Discovered in 1936 by
Professor Jacques Masquelier, it was also Masquelier who first developed techniques for the extraction of proanthocyanidins from certain plant species.2
OPC can be found in many plants, including in good concentrations in apples, pine bark, cinnamon, grape seed and skin, cocoa, bilberry, cranberry, and black
currant. The berries of chokeberry, specifically black chokeberry, have the highest measured concentrations of proanthocyanidin found in any plant to date.3, 4, 5
While recent publicity has touted the health benefits of OPC in red wine, red grape juice contains more OPCs per average serving size - and less alcohol! 6, 7
Many other foods and beverages also contain high amounts of OPC, but very few come close to the levels found in red grape seeds and skins (which readily
disperse into grape juice when crushed).7
Apples contain on average per serving about eight times the amount of proanthocyanidin found in wine, with highest amounts found in the Red Delicious and
Granny Smith varieties.8 Fresh, home grown and tree ripened fruit usually contains more OPC than store bought 'fresh' fruit.
Common food sources -
Average OPC content of common foods (PDF)
Scientific research -
There are many scientific studies involving OPC. Because a French company used OPC in a perscription medicine (Endotelon), there is much research regarding
health effects dating from France in the 1980s. More recently the USA has produced a flurry of OPC research activity. A synopsis of some of the available
studies grouped by health topic can be found following the links below.
Eye Sight / Night Vision
Oedema / Swelling
PMS / Premenstrual Syndrome
Retinopathy / Blindness
Varicose Veins / Venous Problems
- Ganora, L. (2002). PhenolicsInterm. http://www.herbalchem.net/PhenolicsInterm.htm. Retrieved 13 Oct 2008.
- If you want to find out more about OPC, its applications, and its discoverer, we highly recommend Schwitters, B. (1995). OPC in Practice. Henkes Senefelder: Netherlands.
- Wu, X., Gu, L., Prior, R., & McKay, S. (2004). Characterization of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in some cultivars of Ribes, Aronia and Sambucus and their antioxidant capacity. J Agric Food Chem. 52 (26): 7846-7856.
- Gu, L., Kelm, M., Hammerston, J., Beecher, G., Holden, J., Haytowitz, D., Gebhardt, S. & Prior, R. (2004). Concentrations of Proanthocyanidins in Common Foods and Estimations of Normal Consumption. J. Nutr. 134:613-617, March 2004
- Gu, L., House, S., Wu, X., Ou, B. & Prior, R. (2006). Procyanidin and catechin contents and antioxidant capacity of cocoa and chocolate products. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 May 31;54(11):4057-61.
- NDL (2004). Database for the Proanthocyanidin Content of Selected Foods. US Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/PA/PA.pdf. Retrieved 13 Oct 2008.
- Clark, S. (2008). Grape Juice Beats Wine in New Antioxidant Tests. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=15553. Retrieved 8 Oct 2008.
- Hammerstone, J., Lazarus, S. & Schmitz, H. (2000). Procyanidin content and variation in some commonly consumed foods. Journal of Nutrition. 2000;130:2086S-2092S
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