MASQUELIER’s® OPCs producvascular benefits in healthy people

INC | 18 january 2012

“Integrating all measured effects into a global, so-called vascular health index revealed a significant improvement of overall vascular health by...

Read full article  MASQUELIER’s® OPCs producvascular benefits in healthy people
“Integrating all measured effects into a global, so-called vascular health index revealed a significant improvement of overall vascular health by MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs compared to placebo.”

That’s the outcome of a study performed by the Department of Toxicology of Maastricht University, published in the December issue of PLOS One. The research team led by Dr. Antje Weseler faced the challenge of studying the cardiovascular effects in healthy people. This is one of the requirements developed by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in examining health claims. “Food scientists,” so write Weseler and colleagues, “are facing the challenge to prove the clinical efficacy of nutrients that modulate human physiology in a subtle and non-specific manner. In drug research, where the one-target-one-hit concept is imperative, randomized clinical trials with a well-defined single endpoint are the gold standard of efficacy testing. However, a single endpoint neither sufficiently reflects the multifarious nature of nutrients’ functions in humans nor the complexity of pathomechanisms underlying virtually all diseases. Our study pioneered the implementation of a pragmatic solution for this problem: Carefully select a representative panel of markers that reflect the major relevant pathological aberrations and integrate all measured effects into a global health index.”

In order to study the beneficial health effects of dietary supplements in a healthy population, one must elevate the levels of the of the relevant parameters by exerting a certain stress. Still, the disturbances should be mild, so that no pharmacological intervention is required. The smokers recruited for the trial fulfilled these criteria adequately. Using a daily dosage of MASQUELIER’s® OPCs in the range that fits normal consumption of a varied and healthy diet, the new integrative multi-biomarker approach proved to be a sensitive and therefore powerful strategy to unveil the multifarious benefit of an 8 week supplementation. This research project confirms the vast amount of scientific work performed since professor Jack Masquelier first isolated the active principles of MASQUELIER's® Original OPCs. For health conscious consumers, the postive results take the product from maintaining their vascular health to reducing the risk of vascular disease.

The study showed a significant decrease in serum total cholesterol and LDL. Additionally, after 8 weeks of supplementation, the ratio of glutathione to glutathione disulphide in erythrocytes rose from baseline by 22% in the supplemented subjects. The researchers also observed that MASQUELIER’s® OPCs exerts anti-inflammatory effects in blood towards ex vivo added bacterial endotoxin and significantly reduces expression of inflammatory genes in leukocytes. Conversely, alterations in biomarkers such as platelet aggregation, plasma levels of nitric oxide surrogates, endothelin-1, C-reactive protein, and prostaglandin F2alpha, did not reach statistical significance. However, integrating all measured effects into a global vascular health index and taking into account that the trial was performed with healthy subjects, it was concluded that MASQUELIER’s® OPCs produces a significant improvement of overall vascular health compared to placebo.

MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs found to delay aging of blood vessels

INC | 3 December 2008

New research shows a potential novel biological activity of oligomeric proanthocyanidins. As present in MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs, this complex...

Read full article  MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs found to delay aging of blood vessels
New research shows a potential novel biological activity of oligomeric proanthocyanidins. As present in MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs, this complex phytonutrient was shown to delay aging in human vascular endothelial cells. The effect on what is technically called ‘senescence’ is possibly due to reducing DNA damage and oxidative stress.

The results of the research project, A Potential Role for Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in delaying Senescence in Endothelial Cells, were presented by International Nutrition Company’s Dr. Geetha Achanta at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, held from 19 to 23 November in Indianapolis. The study was performed under supervision of Dr. Jan Andries Post at the Center for Cellular Architecture and Dynamics Department of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Compared to blood vessels in healthy people, blood vessels of people in the early stages of atherosclerosis or who are otherwise at risk for developing this disease, show a greater number of aged endothelial cells. This suggests that endothelial cell senescence might be associated with an increased risk for developing atherosclerosis. In the present research project it has been shown that MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs may influence this risk factor.

Dr. Achanta, comments: “Atherosclerosis and the associated cardiovascular complications constitute the leading cause of death in the Western hemisphere. Smokers, hypertensives and the elderly are especially at risk. Aging of the vasculature has been associated with endothelial dysfunction, impaired angiogenesis and enhanced occurrence of atherosclerosis. The MASQUELIER’s® OPCs used in this study has been shown in our previous investigations to exhibit strong antioxidant activity. The findings from the current study suggest a novel biological activity for the product: delaying endothelial cell senescence. We are currently attempting to further elucidate the mechanisms by which the product delays endothelial cell senescence, which would provide a firm basis for testing its potential application in reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases.”

Arteries are lined on the inner side by a single, continuous layer of cells called endothelial cells. These endothelial cells have been found in laboratory experiments to undergo a finite number of cell divisions, after which growth halts. This phenomenon is called replicative cellular senescence and is suggested to occur in vivo with ageing of blood vessels. Senescence in endothelial cells also occurs upon exposure to oxidative stress, a phenomenon referred to as stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS). Interestingly, current research has shown that there is an increase in number of senescent cells in arteries of human subjects that are at risk of developing atherosclerosis, suggesting that delaying endothelial cell senescence might decrease the risk of developing atherosclerosis.

In the study, MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs, a well characterized dietary supplement from Vitis vinifera seeds rich in specific oligomeric proanthocyanidins, was found to markedly delay the onset of replicative senescence in human endothelial cells cultured in the laboratory, using several established tests for assessing senescence. Additionally, the ingredient was also found to effectively delay SIPS caused by exposure to rotenone, a chemical substance that is known to generate oxidative stress.

Interestingly, the ability of MASQUELIER’s® OPCs to delay senescence was associated with a decrease in the levels of a marker of DNA damage and DNA terminal ends (gamma-H2AX), suggesting that the possible molecular mechanism by which OPCs delay senescence in endothelial cells is through reduction in DNA damage. This hypothesis is supported by observations made in other research studies, showing that extent of DNA damage and levels of gamma-H2AX increase as cells progress to senescence. Reducing levels of DNA damage could therefore delay cellular senescence.

In previous investigations performed at Utrecht University it has been shown to significantly protect human LDL from oxidation, further supporting a potential application for this product in reducing risk of atherosclerosis.

MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs Effectively Protects human Low Density Lipoproteins

INC | 21 November 2007

Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, as present in the complex phyto-nutrient MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs, directly protect human LDL from oxidation at...

Read full article  MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs Effectively Protects human Low Density Lipoproteins
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, as present in the complex phyto-nutrient MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs, directly protect human LDL from oxidation at concentrations that reflect biologically-relevant or in vivo levels.

The results of the research project, Oligomeric proanthocyanidins effectively inhibit LDL oxidation: A Mechanistic study using a lipophilic, Oxidation-sensitive, Fluorescent Probe, were made public by Dr. Geetha Achanta at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, held last week in Washington DC. The research was performed in The Netherlands under supervision of Dr. Jan Andries Post at the Center for Cellular Architecture and Dynamics Department of the University of Utrecht.

Dr. Achanta commented: “The project aims at deepening our understanding of the ways OPCs protect the vascular wall, and potentially reduce risk of vascular disorders and cardiovascular complications. In research conducted last year, we found that OPCs are capable of protecting endothelial cells lining the blood vessels from oxidative damage and so reduce the risk on endothelial dysfunction and vascular disorders. This year’s research aims at studying the effects of OPCs on oxidation of LDL particles in plasma and their interaction with the vascular wall, a key factor that promotes inflammation in blood vessels resulting in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular complications. The results of the first phase of the project are extremely promising, because they indicate that OPCs, at levels found in circulation after oral intake, are capable of protecting LDL from oxidation, and appear to be more effective protectors than vitamin E.”

The results demonstrated that the likely mechanism by which MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs protect LDL from oxidation is by effectively scavenging free radicals generated in both the water phase as well as the lipid phase which cause oxidation of the lipid (cholesterol)-rich LDL particles and triggers inflammation. This study used a highly sensitive, novel fluorescence method for detecting LDL oxidation.

The relevance of the data from this study is obvious. Atherosclerosis, the deterioration and functional impairment of the walls of our arteries, is a chronic inflammatory disease which constitutes the leading cause of morbidity, invalidity and bodily malfunction in the Western world. Vascular inflammatory disorders can also lead to angina pectoris, heart attacks and many other deadly, crippling, cumbersome or inconvenient health problems such as stroke, temporary ischemic attack (TIA), retinopathy (bad eyesight) and varicose veins. Moreover, vascular complications form the major side effect of diabetes. Increased risk for angina pectoris and an increased rate of sudden death have been observed in people previously diagnosed as diabetic. Today’s rapid increase in diabetes is due to the growing prevalence of obesity and overweight. The cascade of events that flow from obesity to diabetes to vascular inflammation show that the protection of the vascular wall must have absolute priority in the field of nutrition.

Free radicals play the determining role in the onset of vascular inflammatory processes. A major trigger for vascular inflammation is oxidation of plasma Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL). Oxidized - modified - LDL sets the inflammatory reaction in motion and the effects of this event result in many health- threatening conditions. The product-specific research, performed at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), showed that, at concentrations that are biologically-relevant in humans, the flavanolic compound named MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs significantly protected plasma LDL from oxidation by scavenging free radicals in the water phase and lipid phase, thereby interrupting LDL modification and inflammation.

Representing International Nutrition Company, the worldwide supplier of the MASQUELIER’s® compounds, Bert Schwitters said: “This places Dr. Masquelier’s product as an important nutritional factor that attenuates the onset of the inflammatory reactions that may lead to numerous cardiovascular complications. If we can protect cholesterol (LDL) from oxidation, we may be capable of reducing the body’s inflammatory response and increase the chances on a healthy future for the vascular system.”

New Study Confirms - MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs protect Endothelial Cells

INC | 20 March 2006

New scientific research confirms the beneficial effect of MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs on the viability and integrity of endothelial cells when...

Read full article  New Study Confirms - MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs protect Endothelial Cells
New scientific research confirms the beneficial effect of MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs on the viability and integrity of endothelial cells when exposed to oxidative stress. The food supplement protects endothelial cells by increasing the cells’ capacity to survive oxidative stress. In addition, endothelial cells are protected against oxidative stress in the presence of MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs. This is how MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs protects endothelial cells from oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals inside as well as outside the cells.

The MASQUELIER’s® product comprises single and slightly condensed forms of flavanols, as verified by HPLC. The ex vivo study, which is ongoing at the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands), investigates the ability of MASQUELIER’s® Original OPCs to protect vascular endothelial cells from oxidative damage. The first results of the research project were presented at the XIIth Annual Meeting on Oxidants and Antioxidants in Biology, held last week in Santa Barbara by the Oxygen Club of California (OCC) by International Nutrition Company’s (INC) Dr. Sujata Bapat.

The compound, sold by INC as a food supplement under the ANTHOGENOL® trademark, has become well known for its numerous vascular benefits. The vast body of research that underpins ANTHOGENOL’s® active principle has now been enriched with the scientific certainty that the product specifically protects endothelial cells under oxidative stress.

Endothelial cells not only form the dynamic inner lining of the entire vascular system. They play a key role in capillary function, because capillaries consist of nothing other than endothelial cells. This is why, at the capillary level, endothelial cells determine permeability and exchange of micro- and macromolecules between blood and tissues and vice versa. Free radicals are involved in numerous seemingly unrelated conditions such as inflammation, atherosclerosis and premature aging. Radical damage to the endothelial cells that line vasculature results in endothelial dysfunction, which in turn plays an important role in the onset and progression of vascular disease.

As INC’s Dr. Sujata Bapat explains: "We now have conclusive evidence that ANTHOGENOL® preserves the viability and integrity of vascular endothelial cells. The research shows that ANTHOGENOL® supplementation resulted in a >85% protection of endothelial cells from oxidative stress. ANTHOGENOL® provides antioxidant support to the vascular endothelial cells whether present intracellularly and extracellularly."

INC’s chairman, Bert Schwitters, adds: "This is another pearl in the string of scientific data that demonstrates the broad nutritional support provided by our MASQUELIER’s® food supplements. It confirms the links between the product’s antioxidant effects and its well established effects on vascular health. As the research continues, our ever improving understanding of this unique product will lead to more and more solid health claims in the field of vascular health."