Benefits of Procyanidins:
In terms of edible plants procyanidins are found in grape seeds and skins, apples, blueberries, cranberries, bilberries, black currants, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios. Studies have shown that the antioxidant power of procyanidins is 20 times higher than that of vitamin C and 50 times higher than vitamin E.
Procyanidins also have the following very useful health benefits.
Procyanidins are anti-inflammatory – Epidemiological studies have indicated that populations that consume procyanidin-rich foods have lower incidences of inflammatory diseases. Because of their inlamation reducing effect they have also been found to reduce allergic reactions and also help combat artherosclerosis. It is thought that the beneficial properties of procyanidins found in red wine are responsible for the better health of people from countries where red wine consumption is high. France and Italy, for example, have a far lower incidence of heart disease than in countries such as America, England or South Africa.
Procyanidins help prevent and repair circulatory dysfunction – studies have shown that procyanidins extracted from grape seeds have beneficial effects in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). They do this by lowering blood pressure and improving general vascular and circulatory health. High blood pressure is a very serious and sometimes life threatening condition. It can cause narrowing, hardening and blockages of arteries. In severe cases this can lead to the rupture of an artery causing internal bleeding and even a stroke. Untreated high blood pressure can also lead to enlargement of the heart or heart failure. It also damages kidneys and eyes.
Anti-oxidant properties – Procyanidins have strong free radical-scavenging activity against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. According to Wikipedia “An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules…. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death to the cell. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions.
Sexual health – Studies have found that procyanidin from bilberry and grape seed may reduce the general fluid retention and swelling that can occur in Premenstrual syndrome. It is also used to combat erectile dysfunction.
The beneficial effect of procyanidins on circulation and cardiovascular health have been found to combat and often cure erectile dysfunction by significantly reducing high blood pressure.
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