Isotonic formula of OPC antioxidants, including 3 natural extracts - pine bark extract, grape seed extract and red wine extract, provides the fast and highly efficient absorption (>90% in 3-10 minutes). The absorption rate of OPC in capsules and tablets could be as low as 10-50% due to the OPC-protein binding interaction with food, and possibly low quality of OPC ingredients. The OPC nutrients are largely wasted by taking OPC capsules and tablets.
Isotonics – the most powerful delivery method of nutrients
Isotonic solution is one that has the same solute concentration as the normal cells of the body and the blood. More generally, isotonic solution has the same osmotic pressure as blood. It is the middle point between a hypertonic solution and a hypotonic solution. Food nutrients have to be made isotonic via very complex biological processes in intestines for absorption into the human body. An isotonic beverage can be used directly by human body without the effort of the human body in making the isotonic form. Therefore, an isotonic beverage may be taken to replace the fluid and minerals which the body uses during physical activity, providing the needed fluid and nutrients instantly. The isotonic beverage has the characteristics of the fastest and the most efficient absorptions by human body. There are many sport drinks made isotonic in the market.
Isotonic OPC Drink of Super Taste
When OPC powder is taken by making an isotonic solution (a drink of grape juice taste), on an empty stomach, OPC takes 3-5 minutes to reach about 95% absorption, as soon as you take a high quality of isotonic OPC! And this method provides 90 to 95% active ingredients to neutralize tissue-damaging free radicals in your body, and more importantly to exert a variety of other beneficial biological activities. Our isotonic OPC drink tastes great. If you try it, you will like it, guaranteed!
The OPC purity requirement for OPC high absorption
All isotonic OPC product sellers make such a claim of high OPC absorption of ~95%. However, this high absorption is possible only if the nutrients are 100% bio-available (absorbable). Our investigations show that our 3 isotonic OPC ingredients: Vitaflavan ® grape seed extract, Oligopin ® pine bark extract and red wine grape polyphenols are fully bio-available and free from high molecular weight tannins or polymeric proanthocyanidins (PPCs). Other grape seed OPC extracts on the market may contain 30-85% PPCs that cannot be absorbed by human bodies no matter how those OPC grape seed extracts are formulated. Similarly, other pine bark extracts may contain 30-73% un-absorbable tannins / polymeric proanthocyanidins.
OPC nutrients are largely wasted by taking capsules and tablets
Human beings are smart enough to escape the bitterness and astringency of OPC by swallow whole pills and capsules. But how do you feel when you swallow big hard OPC capsules, tablets or fat softgel capsules? They cause pain to throat! The painful feeling is the same as you take medicines. Our isotonic drink of OPC antioxidants has a nice taste that you can enjoy without being bothered by painful swallow. Good to your throat, good to your stomach and good to your intestines. Those hard capsules and pills provide much less OPC absorption rate for 3 reasons.
1. OPC capsules and tablets are more likely made of low grade of OPC ingredients that are specially labeled for solid dosages (capsules). Why are there ingredients of grape seed OPC extracts and pine bark OPC extracts specially labeled for solid dosage at all? They cannot be used for beverages simply because those OPC ingredients contain so much tannins or polymeric proanthocyanidins (30-80%) that they are water-insoluble. It is possibly the worst thing that you swallow an OPC product without knowing what it is made of. You might abuse your body in the name of OPC nutrients, if you simply trust OPC sellers without knowing their OPC ingredient makers and/or without seeing the detailed OPC ingredient specifications. It is good for the OPC product makers and sellers if OPC consumers simply trust OPC sellers.
2. A large intake of polymeric proanthocyanidins is bad to your health as they bind strongly with food nutrients such as minerals. A daily intake of 90-250 mg OPC of good quality is adequate. In the rare circumstances, a daily intake of 300 mg is necessary. A large intake of low quality OPCs containing polymeric proanthocyanidins would interfere with the absorption of minerals that human bodies need for normal functions. Polymeric proanthocyanidins is the strong chelator of metal ions or minerals such as copper, ion, zinc, etc, forming insoluble chelated complexes that are excreted without absorption. Some of OPC-metal complexes are water-soluble in some degree and can be well absorbed due to their small sizes.
3. All polyphenolic bioflavanols including OPC bind, shrink, and precipitate proteins and various other organic compounds - amino acids and alkaloids. OPCs have strong binding affinity for proteins, and polymeric proanthocyanidins bind with protein even stronger. If you taste an OPC powder with your tongue, you can feel the bitter and astringent tastes so that you cannot tolerate. The astringency causes the dry and puckery feeling in your mouth. If you take capsules or tablets, you only skip this terrible feeling in you mouth. But OPCs and polymeric proanthocyanidins in a capsule exert the same effects on you stomach and your intestines once the capsule shell melts down there. You don’t get the same terrible feeling because your stomach and intestines don’t have the tasting nerves.
It is recommended that capsules are taken with food, partially in order to reduce any possible damages of the capsule shell (hard and sharp) to your empty stomach and/or intestines. However, OPC and polymeric proanthocyanidins can bind tightly with food proteins and amino acids, forming precipitations. Consequently, the OPCs and proanthocyanidin polymers, and their bound proteins (amino acids) are very hard to be digested and absorbed. The nutrient OPC components are considerably wasted when you take OPC capsules. That is exactly why the absorption rate from OPC capsules is too low to be accepted, while high quality OPC ingredients from grape seeds and pine bark are so expensive.
If you take OPC capsules and tablets with empty stomach without food, OPC and proanthocyanidin polymers have more chances to bind extra-cellular functional proteins and enzymes in your stomach and intestines. These extra-cellular functional proteins and enzymes are needed to perform normal functions for your body, but lose their ability due to the strong binding with proanthocyanidins. Therefore, we don’t recommend OPC capsules and tablets.
It Is Your Body! It Is Your Choice!
Why are OPC and other polyphenols astringent?
Plants use a variety of polyphenols including flavanols (OPC) and flavonoids mainly for defense against oxidation by oxygen and other oxidizing materials in the nature. Therefore, they have the antioxidant property. OPC (a class of polyphenols) are known to cause astringency. OPC and related polyphenols have been the most widely researched for mechanisms of astringency. As early as 1954, Bate‐Smith suggested that polyphenols, such as OPCs, bind with salivary proteins causing precipitation. Several types of proteins found in human saliva are involved in the astringency taste, forming the polyphenol-salivary protein complex. Hagerman andButler demonstrated in 1980 that the polyphenol-salivary protein interactions may be due to hydrophobic interactions. Hydrogen bonding was also proposed to be responsible for the polyphenol-salivary protein interactions by Haslam in 1974. Salivary proteins have the special role of lubrication in the mouth. OPCs and other polyphenols bind strongly with salivary proteins, forming polyphenol-salivary protein complexes, inhibiting the lubrication activity of salivary proteins, and resulting in the astringent sensation (Siebert and Euzen, J. Sens. Stud. 23 (2): 222-233, 2008). The strong evidence has been established showing polyphenol interactions with salivary proteins.
Chemical principle of the isotonic OPC taste change
Many isotonic OPC consumers noticed that there are a variety of raw materials (e.g., potassium bicarbonate and calcium sulfate) in the isotonic OPC powder. They serve several purposes for isotonic OPC, including the isotonic capability. Additionally, they have significant impact on the taste and color of the isotonic OPC products. They can help reduce the strongly bitter and astringent tastes of OPCs in a certain degree. As the OPC quantities from the OPC ingredients increase, their impact can reach a certain limit.
Isotonic OPCs are specially formulated and the bitter and astringent tastes of OPCs are reduced to the minimum. The astringent taste cannot be reduced simply by adding sugars or other sweeteners. The astringency of OPCs won’t go away no matter how sweet a drink is. The efficient way to reduce the astringent taste is to add other non-sweet components, such as calcium, potassium, citric acid, etc. which significantly affect color and taste of OPCs.
Polyphenols including OPCs have multi hydroxyl groups (O-H), and are acidic due to their strong ability to donate protons (H+). The OPC hydroxyl proton (H+) is positively charged, because electron density is concentrated on the oxygen (O). And the oxygen shows partial negative charge. The chemical mechanism for the strong binding between polyphenols (OPC) and proteins is formation of so-called hydrogen binding, between OPC hydroxyl protons (H+) and basic nitrogen atoms (N) in protein, while hydrophobic effects may also contribute to the formation of OPC-protein complexes.
In basic conditions, the OPC hydroxyl group (O-H) readily reacts with a mineral base to form a phenolate salt. That is, the O-H group in OPC is cleaved and the H+ is replaced by a metal ion. The oxygen (negative) has strong affinity for metal ions (positive). In most cases, OPC forms phenolate salt with metal ions to precipitate out from the solution. But in acidic conditions, OPC hydroxyl groups can form chelated complexes with metal ions, which are sometimes precipitate out from a solution. However, in some cases, an OPC-metal ion complex may have good solubility in water in certain concentration. An OPC-metal complex soluble in water has much less ability to bind with proteins, and may or may not show that strong astringent taste.
Isotonic OPC formulation is partially based on such a principle. The isotonic OPC powder contains limited quantities of some nutritional minerals such as food grade calcium and potassium salts. The metal ions form chelated, soluble and absorbable complex with OPC under acidic conditions in the presence of citric acid. Once a right amount of water is added, an isotonic OPC solution is formed for easy and readily absorption.
Characteristics of isotonic OPC
•A certain concentration of OPC solution in water as a drink. •Superior absorption. •Good taste if correctly formulated. •Good looking color attracting stomach. •Easy swallow. •Need good formulating skills (more challenging to make). •Each serving contains less than 1% of the daily sugar intake for a normal person. •Isotonic powder is less stable than pills, capsules. •Very hygroscopic (keep dry) •Possible caking when too cold, too hot weather or exposure to moisture.
Don’t take OPC capsules or tablets, but isotonic OPC
How to take this isotonic OPC product?
For adults of 18 and older, take the powdered isotonic OPC, 3.33 g (3/4 of a teaspoon), and put the powder into a glass or a cup. Do not use the measuring cup for the powder, and use it for measuring water volume only. Add 60 mL (2 ounces) of room temperature water and stir well. Drink it on empty stomach in morning, or at least 2 hours after a meal in the day. Take once daily or more as directed by your physician. Keep the bottle closed tightly from moisture. You may have a meal 5-10 minutes later after the isotonic OPC is taken.
We recommend a total of 90-250 mg of OPC extracts a day. For general health maintenance, 90-150 mg of total OPC extract is adequate, while you may take 2 doses (180 mg or 300 mg) a day for a short period of time (2-3 weeks). A total of 150-220 mg of OPC extract is needed for people of particular medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, muscle cramp, chronic venous insufficiency, platelet function. Consult your health care professional if you have any specific questions.
These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food & Drug Administration.
FrenchGlory ® isotonic OPC antioxidants are nutritional supplements, not intended to diagnose, treat, care or prevent any diseases.