The year was 1535. French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew were exploring Canadian waters when, unexpectedly, the rivers froze, trapping them in the remote provinces for five months.
With few fresh supplies aboard, the crew soon became sick and many died. Turning to the locals for help, the crew learned how to make a tea from the needles and bark of the native pine trees.
This nourishing tea made a significant impact with its vitamin C content, and what would be isolated and discovered later, bioflavonoids with powerful antioxidant activity.
Fast forward more than 400 years... French researcher Jack Masquelier, in his under-equipped university lab, would be the first to successfully isolate this naturally occurring, remarkable substance, found in peanut skins, grape seeds and pine bark.
Professor Masquelier discovered oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or simply OPCs.
What are OPCs? They are a group of closely related antioxidant compounds that plants – such as the pine tree – depend on for protection against external threats, including UV radiation and predators.
Masquelier’s discovery of OPCs turned out to be revolutionary for science. Studies would show how this nutrient is just as active and protective in the human body as it is to plants.
In fact, the knowledge he provided transformed scientists’ understanding of health, and the process of living and dying.
What Makes OPCs Potentially Valuable for Health?
As part of your activities of living free radicals form in your body. Stress, UV radiation, aging, illness, environmental toxins, poor diet, excess exercise and lack of sleep can all take their toll by creating free radicals that can damage your cells.
On the cellular level, the energy-producing mitochondria in your cells also create free radicals as a type of waste product – usually highly reactive oxygen compounds capable of causing much damage to your cells.
Your body uses special molecules, known as antioxidants, to help neutralize these highly reactive compounds. If you have too few antioxidants in your body to neutralize all the free radicals, your body experiences excessive oxidative stress.
As you age, all of those daily stresses build up and reduce your supply of natural antioxidants. That can potentially lead to even greater damage on the cellular level, including your mitochondria, proteins, cell membranes and genetic material in the cells.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you get enough antioxidants on a daily basis. Like other antioxidants from plants, OPCs can help protect your cells.*
10 Ways OPCs Work to Help Safeguard Your Health*
OPCs work to help neutralize oxidative stress throughout your body, potentially benefitting your:
- Cardiovascular system by promoting healthy circulation, already normal blood pressure and healthy veins and arteries.*
- Metabolism by promoting optimal endothelial function and healthy glucose levels already in the normal range.*
- Immune system by supporting healthy T- and B-cell immune function, which can decline naturally with aging.*
- Respiratory health by supporting a healthy, normal inflammatory response in the airways and promoting normal airway flow.*
- Cognitive function, mood and mental performance through its effects on oxidative stress.*
- Joints by promoting comfortable movement and a healthy, normal inflammatory response.*
- Connective tissue by promoting the synthesis of collagen for healthy tissues, and hyaluronic acid, a polysaccharide found in nearly every cell in your body, for healthy connective tissue and immune support.*
- Eyes and vision by supporting the healthy structure and function of the microscopic blood vessels in the retina and other structures of the eye.*
- Muscles by improving muscle recovery time, reducing muscle soreness and promoting athletic performance and endurance.*
- Lipid profiles by supporting the actions of antioxidant enzymes to help protect your body’s supply of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) against oxidation.*
In addition to helping to protect your cells, tissues and organs against oxidative stress from damaging free radicals, OPCs also help protect and renew your body’s supplies of vitamins C and E.*
Support Your Healthy Heart With OPCs*
OPCs have been shown to play a major role in supporting heart and vascular health.*
Earning the Nobel Prize in 1998 for their work, a team of researchers described how the endothelial cells lining the walls of your blood vessels play a crucial role in regulating blood flow and blood pressure levels in the normal range.*
Your endothelial cells produce a gas called nitric oxide (NO) that helps:
- Your blood vessels stay relaxed and open for blood flow.*
- Promote healthy blood vessel flexibility and dilation.*
- Support healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range.*
As a part of normal aging, your body’s ability to produce nitric oxide declines. And that means you may need extra support to help maintain optimal blood flow.* The OPCs in pine bark extract can help support healthy blood vessel dilation and help support endothelial function by maintaining nitric oxide levels that are within the normal range.*
Research findings suggest that, in addition to its effects on healthy blood pressure and endothelial function, OPCs may also help protect low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles from oxidative stress – another plus for supporting your cardiovascular health.*
Now that we know what OPCs offer for health, let’s take a look at what I believe is one of the best sources of this gift from nature.
How the OPCs in Pine Bark Extract Work in Your Body
After his initial discovery of OPCs in peanut skins, Professor Masquelier went on to create a pine bark extract and patented the technique of extracting OPCs from pine bark.
Research continues today on the many properties of the flavanols and bioflavonoids in pine bark extract. The active metabolites in pine bark extract include phenolic acids and procyanidins, including catechin and taxifolin – all with important antioxidants and other properties.
Pine bark extract is typically standardized to its procyanidin content, the class of flavonoids and polyphenols found in blueberries, grapes, wine, cocoa and citrus. Researchers have studied how pine bark extract acts in the body and how its actions occur over a period of time:
- Within 30 minutes, its phenolic acids, catechin and taxifolin are rapidly absorbed and begin their antioxidant activity.
- Once they reach your gut, the more complex antioxidants, such as procyanidins, break down into active metabolites.
- Six hours later, these active compounds appear in your blood and remain for 14 hours or longer.
You have many choices when it comes to pine bark extract. Generic pine bark extracts usually come from China, with limited information about the product.
Some formulas even make false claims as to the percentage of OPCs they contain. Be suspicious if you see products claiming 95% or greater OPC (or procyanidins), as levels should realistically be closer to 60 to 75%.
By choosing a Certified Organic formula, you receive greater assurance of a quality product.
For the highest quality product, look for a Certified Organic pine bark extract sourced from a pristine, clean environment with known origin and traceability.
From the Wild Forests of the Arctic: Organic Pine Bark Extract With OPCs
Finland is home to 25% of the planet’s certified organic forests. And that’s where we’ve chosen to obtain the pine bark for our extract.
The pine bark in our exclusive formula is harvested from living pine trees in approved Certified Organic designated areas within the wild forests of the Finnish Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle.
These trees grow at the northern tip of the tundra, near the clean arctic Barents Sea. Because of the arctic temperature, the pine trees contain naturally more bioactive metabolites than some other species of pine.
The wild forests in which these pine trees grow are sustainably managed and Certified Organic. Through a unique agreement with the U.S., suppliers are able to apply for USDA Organic Certification for their products.
The Finnish version of organic, these Certified Organic designated wild areas exclude the use of pesticides. Because of the areas’ remoteness and sparse population, levels of heavy metals and other impurities are so low, they’re under detection levels.
Sourcing from a natural forest in this region ensures that the pine bark is free of pesticides, herbicides and other man-made products that are often used in traditional tree farming.
The pine bark extract is carefully prepared to preserve its important compounds, using water only for extraction. Unlike some other pine bark extracts, ours contains no harsh solvents or preservatives.
Organic Pine Bark Extract with OPCs is standardized to 60% procyanidins. Plus, it contains other phenolic and polyphenolic compounds like soluble lignin, monomeric catechin, protocatechuic acid, stilbenes and flavanonols.
How Organic Pine Bark Extract Supports Sustainability
The company that supplies the pine bark for Organic Pine Bark Extract with OPCs believes in using wild organic raw materials from abundant resources that are underutilized.
Our supplier uses young trees – mostly crown bark from the still-growing tree tops, for the highest quality OPC. The extract comes from fresh, not dried Pinus sylvestris bark, which is also known as Scots pine.
It’s certified organic and produced from sustainable and traceable wood sources that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Following the Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations, our supplier demonstrates their responsibility for the environment and the local people by:
- Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.
- Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
- Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
- Protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, combating desertification as well as halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss.
- Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
Take Control of Your Health® With Organic Pine Bark Extract with OPCs
As your normal daily routine exposes you to a wide variety of demands, such as stress, environmental toxins, UV light, poor diet, lack of sleep, you need protection for your body and mind more than ever.
All of these factors can take their toll by creating free radicals, leading to oxidative stress that can damage cells if your supply of antioxidants is low.
Aging only compounds the issue as your supply of natural antioxidants declines with every year. This can potentially lead to even greater damage on the cellular level, including your mitochondria, proteins, cell membranes and DNA.
Organic Pine Bark Extract with OPCs can help you take control and support your physical and mental well-being by helping to rein in damaging free radicals.*
Live your life to its fullest with confidence with the help of the ‘high-performance phytonutrient,’ and order Organic Pine Bark Extract with OPCs today.