Proanthocyanidins: What They Are And What They Do

Proanthocyanidins are a group of chemicals that are naturally found in various plants. They are a class of Polyphenols and chemically are Oligomeric Flavonoids. They are also known as Condensed Tannins and are believed to have a number of health benefits, as they are powerful antioxidants.

Natural Sources

Proanthocyanidins are naturally found in a variety of plants. In plants these chemicals are produced to defend against plant pathogens and predators. Therefore they can be naturally found in many food sources, such as:

  • Grapes (seed and skin) therefore Red Wine also;
  • Almonds;
  • Apples;
  • Cranberries;
  • Cocoa;
  • Peanuts.

Health Benefits Of Proanthocyanidins

These condensed tannins are believed to have a number of health benefits. They have been researched and studied, although more is needed to scientifically prove these benefits. Nevertheless they are widely believed to help with a variety of issues, here are some ways these chemicals may help:

Antioxidant

As an antioxidant these chemicals protect against oxidant damage from free radicals.

Allergies

Proanthocyanidins may have an anti-allergy effect. They may inhibit enzymes that produce histamine and so ease allergies.

Heart Disease

Condensed tannins may help to improve fat metabolism and reduce blood pressure. They are also believed to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Therefore they may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Aging

These chemicals bond with collagen and so may have a anti-aging effect. Bonding with collagen may help to promote healthy skin, flexibility and cell health.

Cancer

It is suggested that Proanthocyanidins have anti-cancer and antitumor properties.

However, the research into the health benefits are preliminary. They have mainly been performed on animals and in test tubes, so it is not scientifically proven that these chemicals have these effects on humans. More research is needed to determine the effects.

Many people do believe in the health benefits of Proanthocyanidins and use them as part of a healthy lifestyle.