Isontonix® OPC-3 is a souped-up version of a pine bark extract called OPC, or oligomeric proanthocyanidins. The creators of the OPC-3 antioxidant, Market America, have added a few other bioflavinoids to the mix—primarily red wine extract and grape seed extract, rounded out with extracts from bilberry and a blend of citrus fruits. These bioflavinoids help promote collagen renewal for increased firmness of the skin and joint cartilage. The supplement is said to reduce stress, increase cardiovascular health, prevent damage from free radicals, and offer a number of other benefits.
One of the key benefits of OPC-3 is the prevention of damage from free radicals to the body’s healthy cells. Free radicals are unstable molecules that have an uneven number of electrons. In attempting to bind with stable molecules by taking an electron, they make stable molecules unstable, destroying the health of those molecules. This results in tissue damage that can cause cancer and accelerate the aging process. As an antioxidant, OPC-3 can safely interact with free radicals and stop the destabilizing chain reaction from occurring.
OPC-3 is also an anti-inflammatory supplement used to reduce stress and menstrual cramps, as well as improve blood circulation, skin complexion and eye health. The anti-inflammatory properties are also useful for pain relief, being used for joint pain, general cramps and abdominal pain. OPC-3 is also claimed to prevent cardiovascular disease glucose imbalances and elevated cholesterol levels.
Taking Isotonix OPC-3
Bottles of Isotonix OPC-3 are sold online and in health food stores in 30-serving and 90-serving sizes, with an average cost of $30 and $70 respectively. The recommended loading dose is two to three capfuls (servings), while the long-term maintenance dose is two capfuls. Each capful of the Market America product is 3.4 g, containing 25 mg of each of the five extracts.
Unlike the older OPC powdered product that was developed in France, OPC-3 is sold exclusively in liquid form. Antioxidants taken in liquid form tend to be more easily absorbed by the body than tablets or powder-based supplements. Though antioxidants are most easily absorbed in whole foods (i.e. a well balanced diet), it would be extremely difficult to get the same concentration that would be consumed by taking OPC-3 on a regular basis.