Health Benefits of proanthocyanidins     September, 2008
The major proanthocyanidins (flavanols) are present in
whole fruit, juice, and pulp of strawberry, Saskatoon berry,
raspberry, wild blueberry, chokecherry, seabuckthorn and
some other plants. [1]

Accordingly, ingestion of grape seed proanthocyanidin
extract has been demonstrated to improve insulin
sensitivity and/or ameliorate free radical formation and
reduce the signs/symptoms of chronic age-related
disorders including syndrome X. These natural strategies
possess a highly favorable risk/benefit ratio for prevalent
age-related disorders such as cardiovascular diseases,
obesity, and cancer. [6]

Researchers from India found that proanthocyanidin intake
in moderately low quantity was effective in up-regulating
the antioxidant defense mechanism by attenuating lipid
peroxidation and protein oxidation. They also noticed
changes in the cholinergic system indicating an increase in
the acetylcholine esterase concentration with a moderate
reduction in acetylcholine esterase activity. They suggest
that proanthocyanidin may have a potent benefit of
enhancing cognition in older rats. [2]

It is believed that proanthocyanidins may offer benefits of
bone health. Miller MJ and co-workers, Albany Medical
College, New York, extracted proanthocyanidins from an
Amazonian medicinal plant (Sangre de grado; Croton
palanostigma) in two preparations.- progrado and
zangrado (majority of short-chain oligomers). They found
progrado had a promising safety profile, significant
chondroprotective and antioxidant actions, directly
inhibited MMP activity and promoted the production of the
cartilage repair factor, IGF-1. [3]

In China, grape seed proanthocyanidin extracts had been
reported to be effective in treating diabetic nephropathy.
[4] While, Xu L and co-workers from Qi Lu Hospital of
Shandong University, Jinan, China, concluded that grape
seed proanthocyanidin extracts might be able to treat
'diabetic encephalopathy (chronic degenerative brain
disease in diabetes) as well from their in-vitro study. [5]
Diabetic encephalopathy is a chronic cognitive
disturbance and related to regional tissue pathological
changes in the brain, such as hippocampus.
Hyperglycemia induced activation of the AGE
(S)/RAGE/NF-kappaB pathway may play an important role
in the pathogenesis of the degenerative changes. Their
study demonstrated that the grape seed proanthocyanidin
extract attenuated the structural degenerative changes in
the diabetic hippocampus in a rodent model of diabetes
possibly through modulation of the receptor for advanced
glycation end products (RAGE) and/or nuclear
factor-kappa BP65 (NF-kappaBP65). [5]

Bagchi D and co-workers from School of Pharmacy and
Creighton University Health Professions,Omaha, NE
demonstrated that IH636 grape seed proanthocyanidin
extract provided superior antioxidant efficacy as compared
to Vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. They also stated that
grape seed proanthocyanidin extract supplementation
improved cardiac functional assessment including
post-ischemic left ventricular function, reduced myocardial
infarct size, reduced ventricular fibrillation and tachycardia,
decreased the amount of reactive oxygen species and
reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) formation in the heart
perfusate. [7]

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2008. This article can not be used as medical
advice. Please, consult with your doctor before using any drug and
supplement products.

1] Hosseinian FS, et al, Proanthocyanidin profile and ORAC values of Manitoba
berries, chokecherries, and seabuckthorn. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Aug
22;55(17):6970-6. Epub 2007 Jul 28. [2] Devi A, Jolitha AB, Ishii N. Grape seed
proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) and antioxidant defense in the brain of adult rats.
Med Sci Monit. 2006 Apr;12(4):BR124-9. Epub 2006 Mar 28. [3] Miller MJ et al,
Chondroprotective effects of a proanthocyanidin rich Amazonian genonutrient
reflects direct inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases and upregulation of IGF-1
production by human chondrocytes. J Inflamm (Lond). 2007 Aug 14;4:16. [4] Li BY,
et al, Back-regulation of six oxidative stress proteins with grape seed proanthocyanidin
extracts in rat diabetic nephropathy. J Cell Biochem. 2008 May 15;104(2):668-79. [5]
Xu L, et al, Oral administration of grape seed proanthocyanidin extracts downregulate
RAGE dependant nuclear factor- kappa BP65 expression in the hippocampus of
streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2008
Apr;116(4):215-24. Epub 2008 Feb 2. [6] Preuss HG, et al, Protective effects of a
novel niacin-bound chromium complex and a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract
on advancing age and various aspects of syndrome X. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002
May;957:250-9. [7] Bagchi D, et al, Molecular mechanisms of cardioprotection by a
novel grape seed proanthocyanidin extract. Mutat Res. 2003 Feb-Mar;523-524:87-97.