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My naturopathic doctor suggested I take grape seed extract to help support my heart.


Q. Hello Terry, “My naturopathic doctor suggested I take grape seed extract to help support my heart (I had a heart attack 5 years ago). I’ve also seen that pine bark extract is good for the heart too. Should I take one or the other, or both?” — Fritz M., Ann Arbor, MI

A. Dear Fritz, Grape seed extract and pine bark are both sources of compounds called oligomeric proanthocyanidins, often abbreviated OPCs. There has been extensive research on OPCs from grape seed extract and pine bark for conditions like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and many others. While the exact OPCs in grape seed extract and pine bark may differ, when combined, they can provide even greater benefits.

Because the potency of grape seed extract and pine bark can greatly vary, I recommend choosing ingredients that are standardized for their OPC content. My favorite grape seed extract comes from France and contains a minimum of 80% low-molecular weight OPCs (tannin free), which means greater absorption. This French grape seed extract also contains gallic acid, which is not present in pine bark. For the pine bark extract, I suggest one that is standardized to at least 90% OPCs.

I would take these ingredients once or twice daily.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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