One of the most OVERLOOKED and UNDERAPPRECIATED processes in the human body occurs in the vascular system.
That’s the network of blood vessels — arteries, veins, and capillaries — that brings life-giving oxygen to all your tissues.
But that’s not all…
Because it also delivers nutrients where they’re needed… and sweeps away waste products.
That’s why every single other bodily system depends on your vascular – or circulatory – system working properly.
You may not notice it… until something goes wrong with it.
And I’m not just talking high blood pressure – a condition that most docs are HYPER-FOCUSED on, while IGNORING its root causes!
Having strong but relaxed blood vessels not only improves blood flow…
But it also can WARD OFF several painful ailments… and even PRESERVE your vision!
Fortunately, there’s an antioxidant powerhouse that can help you maintain the vascular health you need…and CHASE AWAY many of the conditions that plague older folks.
Keep going with the flow
Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes, or OPCs for short, are a type of flavonoid…
And one of the most extensively studied ones, to boot.
While this antioxidant hero has proven to benefit NUMEROUS kinds of tissues in your body… it appears to show a particular affinity for vascular tissue.
According to research, that means that OPCs can help…
- STRENGTHEN blood vessels by inhibiting enzymes that break down collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid
- IMPROVE circulation by widening blood vessels and making them more relaxed and flexible
- REDUCE artery thickness
- NORMALIZE elevated blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide (NO) production
- DECREASE blood clot-related adverse events, including deep-vein thrombosis, and
- COUNTERACT negative effects of sitting, including leg swelling and cramping.
And while these compounds can benefit your OVERALL vessel health… they also ZERO IN on specific vascular ailments.
The most conclusive scientific findings on OPCs have to do with how they can ease the aching of chronic venous insufficiency.
In that condition, blood pools in your legs… causing painful and unsightly varicose veins.
In a study out of France, 75% of the participants improved significantly after taking OPCs over the course of just one month.
That means these antioxidants can ALSO help with hemorrhoids – because those are essentially just varicose veins in and around your “back door!”
Both oral and topical forms of OPCs have shown to be effective in easing hemorrhoid symptoms, including bleeding.
Research also shows that OPCs can significantly improve diabetic retinopathy – including plugging up the “leaks” in your retina and healing vascular lesions associated with the condition.
So… where do you get these mysterious compounds?
Fortunately, they’re found in high concentrations in two different plant extracts you may have heard of before:
- French maritime pine bark extract (including the patented form, Pycnogenol) and
- grape seed extract.
Both are widely available in the supplement aisle at your local health food store or online.
Most studies have used doses ranging from 150 to 300 mg… which have shown to be perfectly safe in healthy folks.
But because OPCs can thin your blood, beware of combining them with aspirin therapy or blood-thinning prescription meds.