, or oligomeric proanthocyanidins (also procyanidins) occur naturally and belong to the group of flavanols. They are often known as “grape seed extract”, but this is actually only an occurrence of the substance.
Originally, they were found in the red peanut skins . But they also occur in the grape seeds or in the flour made from them, in the skin and foliage of red grapes, in coconuts, in ginkgo leaves, in apples or larch wood and the bark of the beach pine .
So there is a pattern: OPC is mainly found in barks, shells, cores and core housings. Red wine can also be a source. By the way, this is also where the legend comes from that red wine is so healthy. In France, there is a below-average number of cardiovascular diseases. This has long been attributed to red wine – i.e. the OPC. To this day, however, it is not known whether this is the actual connection.
Doesn’t everything sound quite vegan? What is the problem? We first start with a brief overview of the effect.
The effect of OPC – whether vegan or not
The oligomeric proanthocyanites have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Depending on the dose, they even have a growth-inhibiting effect against colon cancer cells!
However, some things are not yet certain, because OPC could also act as a catalyst for vitamins A, C and E – so it could increase the positive effect of these. There is also evidence that it might work against the memory loss of Alzheimer’s.
Other substances could also enhance the positive effect of OPC: ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is the most prominent substance here. Other bioflavonoids, flavanonols and flavanols (yes, no spelling mistake, the two are different structures in the group of flavonoids) also belong to the amplifiers for OPC.
In combination, they could also have a positive effect on cardiovascular diseases, against oxygen radicals and as an antioxidant . As already described above, they can act in combination against cancer – anticarcinogenic. However, precise investigations are still missing here.
However, OPC cannot always be well received. Thus, not the entire amount of the nutrient you supply can also be used by the body in the blood. The OPC that is transported there is also slightly different. It is also partially broken down in the intestine and not absorbed. This is also one of the reasons why we do not yet fully know whether OPC is causing all these effects. It could also be other nutrients released by the decomposition of OPC in the gut. So maybe these are the “really good stuff”.
As already indicated here, much about OPC is not yet secured. This is one of the reasons why they are also not considered medicines, but are classified as dietary supplements. The recommended amount of consumption on the package must therefore also be strictly adhered to, because science simply does not know enough here.
Especially pregnant and breastfeeding women should definitely discuss with the doctor of trust what OPC can do. If you are taking medication for illness, the warning also applies. Possible interactions must be clarified here.
So if you hear promises like “keeps the skin young,” “protects against cancer,” or “heart attacks,” you should be skeptical. These statements are forbidden. Not because the authorities want to get on our nerves, but because they are simply not scientifically proven. We don’t know if that’s true.
Enough of the effect. Once OPC vegan to take away.
Grape seeds as vegan OPC: Is OPC always vegan?
As you have already read, OPC is mainly available in cores and shells . Usually, it is obtained for dietary supplements from grape seeds or the Japanese knotweed. So it’s always vegan?
No, strictly speaking , not always! It can also be obtained from genetically modified microorganisms . Thus, some dietary supplements are not purely vegan.
The product from knotweed is also synthetically produced, but is approved as a tablet or capsule with a maximum of 150 mg per day for adults. Here must also be the note on the package that this product should not be taken without medical supervision.
With supplements, however, it is always necessary to look closely at the package or the product description. The coating is partly not vegan and therefore does not go hand in hand with a vegan diet. In this context, pay attention to gelatin and Co: You certainly do not want that. However, manufacturers must specify additives for capsule or tablet production. So here you can sit back and read with peace of mind.
Alternatives are, for example, vegetable cellulose. Properly stored – e.g. in brown glass – it can be stored for a long time protected from moisture and oxidation.
Vegan OPC: Potential is there
So you see that OPC is a supposed miracle cure . Much has not yet been proven, some evidence is there. However, we do not know what exactly works. So far, the suspicion falls on OPC.
So you are vegan and want to provide yourself with OPC in addition. As you have read, this works without a problem. You just have to pay attention to how the OPC was made in the supplement. If it was obtained purely vegetable and then the shell of the tablet or capsule is vegetable, then it is simply called “bingo”!
In the next few years, we will probably see a lot of research and studies on OPC. Much is still unclear here, but the evidence so far suggests that there is a lot hidden in the material.
So grape seed extract : In France you would simply say “Santé”.