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Grape Seed Extract / Pine Bark Extract


Both grape seed extract and pine bark are rich sources of the plant flavonoids PROANTHOCYANIDINS (OPCs). The OPCs are the pigment materials which give flavour, colour and aroma to many plants and fruits. The beneficial effects of pine bark were discovered in 1534 when sailors suffering from scurvy, survived by drinking tea made from the bark and needles of pine trees. Masquelier patented the method of extracting OPCs from pine bark in France in 1951 and from grape seeds in 1970. OPCs have been marketed in France for decades where they have been shown to improve retinopathies, venous insufficiency, and vascular fragility. Grape seed extract typically contains 92-95% OPCs while the pine bark extracts vary from 80-85%.


It is suggested that 25-100mg OPCs will provide synergy for general antioxidant protection. Therapeutic levels are in the range of 0.5 - 1.0mg per pound of body weight. Best taken in divided doses.

Potential applications

Skin health / sun protection (reduces inflammation of UV exposed skin), wound healing, economy class syndrome / long car journeys, varicose veins, eye health- cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, capillary fragility, micro-vascular disorders, oedema, allergies, hypertension, atherosclerosis, elevated cholesterol, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ADD/ADHD, anti-mutagenic (DNA protective).

Known contraindications

None known.


Consult a physician if already using anti-coagulant medication (e.g. warfarin).

Use in conjunction with

  • Skin protection - Flax/hemp seed oil, antioxidant complex, beta carotene
  • Varicose veins - Horse chestnut, ginkgo biloba, flax seed oil, ester- C
  • Cardiovascular health - Co Q10, hawthorn, flax seed oil, antioxidant complex
  • Male/Female libido - 'High-five' multi-vit/min, rhodiola / schisandra, ginkgo biloba


Key differences between grape seed and pine bark (pycnogenol):

  1. Most of the published clinical data over 20 years has been on grape seed
  2. Grape seed may be more potent than pine bark as only grape seed contains the potent gallic esters of the OPCs, the most active free radical fighting OPCs.


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