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Comphensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils


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Meschino Health Comprehensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
Grape Seed Extract and Related Procyanodolic Oligomers (Pycnogenol)
General Features
Grape Seed Extract and pine bark extract belong to a group of compounds known as procyanidolic oligomers
(PCO). These extracts contain flavonoids called proanthocyanidins, which are bound to other proanthocyanidins
forming proanthocyanidin dimers, trimers, tetramers and larger molecules. These unique flavonoid compounds are
powerful antioxidants and have been shown to inhibit the destruction of collagen, preserving the integrity of blood
vessels and capillaries throughout the body. These features make them useful agents in the prevention and
treatment of capillary fragility, venous insufficiency, varicose veins, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
They also inhibit the inflammatory process to a certain degree. 1,2
Grape Seed Extract and pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) products should contain 92-95 percent and 80-85 percent
PCO, respectively, to ensure sufficient amounts these bioactive agents.2
Supplementation Studies and Clinical Applications
1. Blood Vessel Support
PCO support collagen and ground substance, decreasing capillary permeability and fragility. PCO extracts have
been used to treat venous and capillary disorders, including venous insufficiency, varicose veins, capillary fragility,
diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration of the eye.3-9
2. Connective Tissue Support
PCO support the collagen and ground substance of tendons, ligaments and cartilage. They also help to prevent
cartilage destruction associated with inflammation and arthritis. PCO also inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory
mediators such as histamine, proteases, prostaglandins and leukotrienes. PCO also demonstrate powerful
antioxidant function. No clinical trials with arthritis patients have been published, however, anecdotal evidence and
biological plausibility suggest that PCO extract supplementation may be useful in chronic arthritic and connective
tissue disorders.10,11,12
3. Vision
PCO extract has been used to help reverse or stabilize diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. It has also
been used to improve visual performance in the dark and after exposure to glare (200 mg per day).8,9
Daily Dosage (standardized to 92-95% PCO content)
1. Therapeutic Purposes (Venous insufficiency, varicose veins, capillary fragility, diabetic retinopathy, macular
degeneration): 150-300 mg per day, in divided doses
2. General Health Support: 50-75 mg per day2
Toxicity and Contraindications
Procyanidolic oligomer extracts have been shown to be very non-toxic. They are water-soluble and any excess is
excreted in the urine. No side effects have been reported to date.
Drug-Nutrient Interactions
There are no known drug interactions for procyanidolic oligomer extracts.13
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