Most have heard of curcumin from turmeric and some about OPC from grape seeds. When used together these potent biologically active compounds can have profound health benefits.
If you do some research you will find an extensive list of health problems that these 2 compounds can influence. This should not surprise as both are potent antioxidants that additionally help the body to turn off unwanted inflammation. As an example one of my clients with ongoing hip problems added my Curcumin/OPC formula and is now much more comfortable.
OPC (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) is extracted from the purple pigments on red wine grape seeds. My favourite OPC is ActiVin®. This top grade Californian OPC is extracted from Nappa Valley grape seeds using a patented (ActiPure®) water and alcohol method.
OPC has significant benefits. It is excellent for circulation as it protects the proteins that make up blood vessel walls from free radical damage. This can help with general circulation and is great support for those with hypertension. Additionally it has strong antiinflammatory functions by helping prevent immune cells from over-producing a number of inflammatory chemicals.
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric. When we are discussing food we talk about turmeric. When discussing its health benefits we are talking about Curcumin. Like OPC, Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and has significant antiinflammatory properties. Curcumin is possibly the most researched natural health compound. It is excellent to add when looking to build our natural antiinflammatory systems.
I use these compounds as part of nutritional support programmes for those with various inflammatory problems. It is an ideal booster for those with serious osteoarthritis, for those with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune problems. When added at correct doses they can make a huge difference.
I speak daily to people affected by inflammation. This commonly affects joints but can affect most types of body tissue. While we can feel the discomfort of joint inflammation we cannot feel inflammation of blood vessels until disease symptoms appear.
Our immune system responds to injury and sickness by generating inflammation. This is an essential part of our in-built repair and recovery systems. While we cannot heal without inflammation, unwanted inflammation can slow healing and create new problems. Problems with the suffix ‘itis' are all inflammatory diseases.
One of the reasons we are told to eat lots of deep-coloured plants is that the antiinflammatory antioxidants are locked into their bright colours. The yellow in turmeric contains curcumin. Purple colour on grape seeds contains the potent OPCs.
While osteoarthritis is the most common joint problem, others such as tendonitis, bursitis and rheumatoid arthritis affect many people. The centre of any nutritional medicine programme is an anti-inflammatory diet. Adding well formulated supplements with high grade ingredients can add healing compounds at levels much higher than through diet alone. Two of the most potent are curcumin from turmeric and the OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) from grape seeds.
For example adding 1000mg of 95 per cent curcumin has the curcumin in several tablespoons of turmeric. You would need to eat tablespoons of red wine grape seeds to get 100mg of pure OPC.
I speak to clients daily who are more mobile and more comfortable by adding potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds. One with rheumatoid arthritis is much more comfortable by adding 1000mg of curcumin and 200mg of OPC daily.
■ John Arts (B Soc Sci, Dip Tch, Adv Dip Nut Med) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health Ltd. For questions or advice contact John on 0800 423559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Join his full weekly newsletter at www.abundant.co.nz