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Proanthocyanidin Molecule


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Proanthocyanidins are a class of nutrients that belong to the flavonoid family.They are also called "OPCs" for oligomeric procyanidins or "PCOs" for procyanidolic oligomers. Proanthocyanidins have a strong antioxidant activity and play a role in the stabilization of collagen and maintenance of elastin in connective tissue. OPCs are found in many woody plants. The two most common sources of proanthocyanidins are grape seeds (Vitis vinifera) and the white pine (Pinus maritima, P. pinaster) of southern Europe. The chemical structure of proanthocyanidins which is found in Grape Seed extract is shown below.

Understanding the"French Paradox" has stimulated new research interest to investigate whether polyphenolic antioxidants such as proanthocyanidin may offer protective effects beyond the cardiovascular system, and whether polyphenols from other botanical sources may similarly offer beneficial effects to human health. Studies with animal models have provided information that may suggest the ability of grape polyphenols to ameliorate neuronal damages due to chronic ethanol consumption. Studies with resveratrol, an important component of grape polyphenols, also show protective effects on neuron cell death induced by ethanol and other oxidative agents. These studies demonstrate a need to extend research beyond the "French Paradox" towards better understanding molecular mechanisms of action of polyphenolic compounds and their application to human health.


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