Proanthocyanidins, one part of the French Health Cocktail, Pycnogenol

Red Wine and Grapes - Proanthocyanidin rich

Nutrient Family:     

  • Phytonutrient/Phytochemical

                >  Sub Group:      Polyphenols - Flavonoids

Proanthocyanidin is one of the 40 ingredients that make up Pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant compound.

Pycnogenol is a registered trademark for the flavonoids supplement produced from a special type of maritime pine bark found in France and in the Quebec province of Canada. The name “Pycnogenol” was coined by French researcher, Dr Jacques Mesquelier, in the early 1950s.  Its “real” name is Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins Complex or “OPC” for short.


However, the name “Pycnogenol” can be used for same substances extracted from grape seeds, grape skins or cranberries.

Proanthocyanidins' Workings

Fat or Water Soluble Antioxidant: 

  • Water Soluble


Proanthocynidin is said to be 50 times more potent than Vitamin E as an antioxidant.


Other functions besides being an antioxidant – similar to Pycnogenol:

  • Reinforces capillary walls which in turns improve micro-circulation
  • Protect against platelet aggregation, reducing risks of blood clots that can lead to stroke and heart attack.
  • Bolster the immune system by recycling Vitamin C as well as protecting the macrophages (a type of white blood cells used by body as an immune defence) from free radical damages.
  • Anti-inflammatory

Where Is Proanthocyanidin Found Naturally?

Proanthocyanidin is sourced from plants only, typically:

  • Maritime pine bark
  • Grape Seeds
  • Grape Skins
  • Apples
  • Lemon tree bark
  • Cranberries
  • Peanut Skin
  • Witch Hazel Bark
  • Hazelnut Tree Leaves
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Cinnamon

Examples of food sources:

  • Maritime pine bark
  • Grapes
  • Lemon tree bark
  • Cranberries
  • Peanuts
  • Witch Hazel Tree
  • Hazelnut Tree
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Red wine
  • Apples

Health Benefits Of Proanthocyanidins

Examples of health benefits of Proanthocyanidin - similar to Pycnogenol:

  • Neutralizing Free radicals to protect cells
  • Regulate the Immune System
  • Blood Pressure – both High and Low Blood Pressure
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Protection against UV and reduce damages of sun spots
  • Treating or preventing chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)/swollen capillary  - which can cause edema (fluid retention), weakness in capillary, legs swelling, varicose veins, itching, skin ulcers, easy bruising
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – improves blood flow to brain and thereby, improves concentration/focus
  • Diabetes, and Diabetic microangiopathy (disease of small veins related to diabetes)
  • Cramps – as it aids circulatory issues – including menstrual cramps
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) (taken with L-Arginine)
  • Gingivitis
  • Slow aging process
  • Improve endurance

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