2015 01 10

imagine a lifetime in search for eternal secrets of health & wisdom; like the challenge of climbing Mt Everest as earth warms, forestalled by necessary fundamental education -- eastern culture, physics, biology, physiology, pharmacology, construction, engineering... wishing to report back upon each momentous discovery during the ascent, but always interrupted either in ascent or report before finally attaining the pinnacle; prompting Let the Report Begin!!  (but then there is the descent...)

The greatest discovery, evidently not yet enjoyed by the Cincinnati Bungles nor Reds, is OPCs [Oligomeric ProanthoCyanadins].  Perhaps better remembered as Organic Pure Chocolate, since that is where GOD provides most concentrated occurrence (as chronicled by USDA).

There will soon be one or more new webs / pages to enjoy fruits of the ascent while you may avoid 3 primary evils:  sugar, iron, and cheapFat -- guaranteed to make you s i c.  (Cheap fat is from unscrupulously-raised livestock and non-organic oils).

Health Update  introducing what may be the most un-heralded vitamin, if not the closest we may discover to the elusive "fountain of youth".  Worthy of a complete book, we can only arrange the essential intro, graced by the success of this food element in dual roles effecting (1) anti-oxidant nullification of (iatrogenic) iron poisoning; and (2) anti-Leukemic, consistent with 2009 research at uKy.edu.

USDA Nutrient Data  -  focus:  Flavanoids >>  2015 Report of USDA 2014 database of OPCs


Oligomeric ProanthoCyanidins are a set of 3-ring molecular polymers prevalent in various plants that we may encounter and pursue among our food options (USDA assembled).  There are reasons you may not have heard about OPCs that we will overcome here together in time.  Being a long-time healthNut, it is not likely i would have learned about OPCs if not for the value they represent for my dear uncle Tom.

My 1970 medical school biochemistry textbook by Lehninger makes no mention of bioflavonoids (aka flavonoids), the largest group of molecules relevant to our ultimate interest in the much smaller peer group of flavanols (aka bioflavanols).  Both classes share the flavan core:

 flavan core

            flavonoid core





For both, the pyran (the O-top ring) couples 2 carbon rings.  The double-bonded Oxygen makes the flavonoid core a ketone, which imparts the characteristic yellow color (lemon).

Flavanols, in contrast, are alcohols, by addition of a hydroxyl group (Oxygen, then Hydrogen):

flavan-3-ol core of OPCs



 Notice the O is position #1, then counting clockwise, the hydroxyl OH is at #3.

For cleaner pictures, the Carbon atom C is not explicit on a carbon ring but is implied at each point of the ring.  Only exceptions are depicted.  Each carbon atom, the primary building block of living systems, shares a total of 4 bonds (electrons) to connected atoms within the molecule.  Each bond to another atom is depicted by a connecting line (representing 2 shared electrons).  By default, when less than 4 bonds are counted at a Carbon atom, remaining bonds are implied to a Hydrogen atom H, which is often not depicted to keep the picture clean.  So in the cleaner schematic, we properly imagine H atoms as required to complete 4 bonds at each C atom.

On this core of flavan-3-ol, the natural OPC plant product has 4 more hydroxyls:

flavan-3-ol  monomer -- aka "catechin"  (named after the Tree basis of long known derivatives)

  The telescopic bond represents alternative 3-D configurations. 

                                                    This is one of 4 possible isomers of the OPC building block.  For more see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavan-3-ol.

An -OH on a single carbon ring is a "benzenol", aka phenol, so some refer to this group as phenols, and, when self-concatenated:  polyphenols.  So flavanols are a subclass of polyphenols.

Strictly, "Oligo" means few; in this case 2 or 3.  "Poly" means 4 or more.  In plants, the catechin building block, to various degrees, polymerizes, forming self-concatenations of di-mers (2), tri-mers (3), and polymers -- 4 or more connected (mono-mers (1) = catechins).  It turns out that the most valuable for optimimum living by us ingestors are di-mers and tri-mers, collectively:  Oligomeric ProanthoCyanidins OPCs

Another synonym for OPCs coined by their discoverer Masquelier2 in 1979 is pycnogenol [pg 24] "The Greek "pycno" means "thick," the "gen" part stands for generate and the "ol" suffix comes from flavanol.".)  There are many anthocyanidins, depending on various extensions to the core catechin, so the "Pro" prefix is used to refer to the most essential core and its self-concatenated dimers and trimers, excluding higher-order polymers.

There is plenty to describe about the poly-anthoCyanidins, which ultimately are the stuff of autumnal red leaves and the basis of "tannins", i.e. strong dyes that have high affinity for proteins like collagens in leather.  But for health, we enjoy the unpigmented (colorless) OPCs, most concentrated in chocolate.  Naturally, extractions from plants result in some "cohabitants" including monomers and polys.  It turns out that while monomers are not bioactive, as are dimers and trimers, nevertheless, some perfect blend of all three assure the highest stability of the mix.

Historical highlights

Prior to 1947, all the above was not known at the molecular level.  Certainly, tannins have been used a long time.  And the English sailors ("Limeys") learned about the flavonoids (not exactly but aka "citrin") and vitamin C, isolated during 1928-33 by research on both sides of the pond which led to 1937 Nobel prize award to Hungarian Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Vitamin C

  Notice the di-hydroxly, ketonated 5-sided furan ring.



The book informing this discussion and source of excerpts is OPC in Practice2, 1995 3rd Edition, by Bert Schwitters in collaboration with Prof. Jack Masquelier.  This report is supplemented by wiki articles, including my updates at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/flavan-3-ol and related sites.

Masquelier eventually found OPCs in "citrin".  But before that, Szent-Gyorgyi continued his study of "citrin" to find that it

[pg 11] possessed vascular wall strengthening properties.  The collapse of the vascular wall is one of the main causes of the phenomena of scurvy.  Because citrin did a much better job than vitamin C, Szent-Gyorgyi decided he had found a new vitamin.  He took the "P" from the word "permeability" and baptized the extract "vitamin P".  Still, citrin never really acquired real vitamin status because later experiments failed to demonstrate a condition of citrin deficiency.  But it had become clear that citrin contained one or more of the co-factors that strengthen the effects of ascorbic acid.  During the rest of his life, Szent-Gyorgyi never refuted the fact that scurvy is not caused by a lack of vitamin C, but by a lack of vitamin C + a co-factor.

As told 1994 by Masquellier:  in 1947, Szent-Gyorgyi visited 25-yr-old Phd student Masquelier in his lab at University of Bordeaux, attracted by Masquelier's work on the red skin of peanuts (from which Masquelier later that year first isolated the OPCs).  Szent-Gyorgyi remarked

[pg 13] "But Mr. Masquelier, are you still interested in that?  Don't you know that in the U.S. no one believes in bioflavonoids (citrin) anymore?...It's unbelievable.  They have made me the father of vitamin C, while I wasn't, and they have refused to make me the father of vitamin P, which I was."

That passing of the baton to Masquelier occurred in the context of expanding confusion as the number of researchers, taxonomies, names, flavonoids, flavanols, and their bio-value was confused in the market with claims that could not always be validated.  Further, the flavanols and poly-catechins were not clearly distinguished from the OPCs, which Masquelier devoted his life to purify and render.  Most significantly from the remains of wine-making, especially the seeds of grapes, he found a low-cost supply from which to yield the magic trilogy of monomers/dimers/trimers.  He later found the abundant source of maritime pine tree bark.

The role of OPCs in plant health, apparently, is the antioxidant protective function it provides to oils within grape seeds, the resin (sap) behind tree bark, and the skin of oxidizable fruits and grains like apples and rye berries.

[from Wikipedia] Linus Pauling (1901 - 1994), the only receiver of 2 unshared Nobel prizes (Chemistry and Peace), first reported the above cited carbon tetravalency (4 electrons shared in bonding to other atoms) early in his research.  Later studying molecules including hemoglobin, Pauling first proposed that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was a triple helix;[54][55] later contibuting to the theory defining the mechanism of complementary replication. 

Pauling clarified mechanisms by which enzymes subvert the Second Law of Thermodynamics, thereby enabling Life; and postulated the complementarity (lock and key) that characterizes the antibody-antigen interaction.

In November 1949, Linus Pauling, Harvey Itano, S. J. Singer and Ibert Wells published "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease"[58] in the journal Science. It was the first proof of a human disease caused by an abnormal protein, and sickle cell anemia became the first disease understood at the molecular level.  After his 1941 onset of renal disease, Pauling's research-guided self-help led to his 1970 Vitamin C and the Common Cold.

[back to Masquelier2, pg 71-73]:

Some mammals, e.g. dogs, produce their own vitamin C.  Like humans, guinea pigs do not produce vitamin C, and therefore must obtain it from their diet.  Masquelier tested guinea pigs, depriving them of vitamin C.  He found that for survival, the amount of vitamin C required was greatly reduced if OPCs were also provided.

"In a way Pauling was right about his high doses of vitamin C.  Not knowing about OPC, he had no other options.  But I am convinced that if Linus Pauling had known OPC, he would not have prescribed 18 grams of vitamin C, but a small amount C and a small amount of OPC.  Most certainly I feel that I would have been able to convince him!"

Masquelier was also interested in bioavailability of OPCs.  In 1977, using the well-known method, carbon labeling he grew grapevines in controlled chambers in which CO2, the main "food" consumed by plants in photosynthesis, was radioactive using Carbon-14 instead of the normal Carbon-12.  Thus, measuring body components after death of mice who consumed OPCs, he quantified the Carbon-14 marker, reporting the score for 14 tissues.  Highest score: 7.8 aorta.  Index (lowest) score, 1.0 blood. 

[pg 51] OPC was orally administered to test animals and right after application (10 minutes) the blood was already highly radioactive.  This means that entry from the digestive tract occurs immediately.  The maximum radioactivity level in the blood is already reached in forty-five minutes.  Subsequently the radioactivity dropped slowly and after seven hours, the level was still at something more than a third of the maximum.  The biological half life time is approximately five hours.

Masquelier died in 2009, having established International Nutrition Company (INC), the institutional support for his legacy of continuing integrity of production and marketing of OPCs:

U.S.:  http://www.masquelier.us/     global:  http://masquelier.com       http://ibioceuticals.com/ 

International:  http://www.inc-opc.com/content/view/44/62/

1987 U.S. Patent # 4,698,360  4698360.pdf

It works for me! See below for Practical Tips

Its value is especially evident in its clinically effective role controlling leukemia and counter-acting the most deathly free radical insult of iron overload.

However,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis , dear prudence...

but note the published statement at http://ibioceuticals.com/bioavailability.html


Scientists and clinicians have reported that MASQUELIER’s OPCs & French Maritime Pine Bark Extract are “very safe” and are “excellently tolerated”, with no undue side effects being observed in the various scientific human intervention and animal studies performed during the last 60 years.

and U.S. Pharmacopia report:



Reflecting abundant review of OPC knowledge, here are some

Practical Tips:

1.  Masquelier clearly proved the affinity of OPCs for collagen, the basis for the body's structural integrity.  One medical school professor especially instructed my view of the body as a system of ducts (tubes) through the "operational" / functional cellular tissue comprising each organ, and especially: muscle.  The high affinity of OPCs for collagen indicate a complementary relationship between the highly intertwined strands of fibrin comprising collagen.

Therefore, to optimize the efficacy of OPCs, avoid concurrent ingestion of collagenous protein.  Unlike most other vitamins, i take OPCs on an empty stomach so they seek body collagen and not dietary collagen.

2.  As a chemo-mechanic, silicon is a favored anti-friction agent that optimizes plumbing and mechanical connections and operations.  I view OPCs as the body's silicon.  In the body, i am coming to believe the "friction" has to do with free radicals latching onto fibrin producing "raw edges" of collagen experienced as stiffness/soreness by the human; and i can attest is averted and/or treated by "vitamin P" / OPCs.

The subject of free radicals is vast and i expect it will be the object of lifeLong learning.  Life is an anomaly within the vast, undeniable Second Law of Thermodynamics (we all will die;  Time's Arrow; a match struck is irreversible.) 

3.  Obviously, there is synergy between Vitamin C and OPCs (Vitamin "P"), and adding OPCs to your diet will reduce the requirement for C.

4.  It is a wondrous BONUS that OPCs also lead dysfunctional cancer cells to their proper death (Apoptosis)!  Thus, OPCs protect against the cell going awry; but if the cell should go awry, OPCs will chase the cancer cell to its death.  Here is GOD's magic bullit, but (therefore) you will never see it on ad or hear about it from your doc.  The conventional doctor is a pawn in the racket of pharmaceutics, where drug companies only make the BIG BUCK$ by achieving patented formulations that must be pushed by ads and docs.  Viewing these ridiculous ads for poisons, one has to be really stupid to be enchanted by the visuals and ignore the required warnings.  No warnings required for OPCs.  No patent is awarded for what GOD provides.



1.  A simple unit 6-Carbon ring with only 6-Hydrogens is the very toxic Benzene (the basis of all "aromatics") which is harmfully reactive with many biologic molecules.  If one Hydrogen atom on the benzene ring is interceded by an Oxygen atom, the result is "benzenol", commonly called "phenol", an aromatic alcohol, making it 40x more water soluble and still bio-toxic.  Nature, aka GOD, has fashioned non-toxic results by making additions to these aromatic rings.

2.  WorldCatalog: OPC in Practice, 1995 3rd Edition, by Bert Schwitters in collaboration with Prof. Jack Masquelier

Amazon:  OPC in Practice, 1995 3rd Edition, by Bert Schwitters in collaboration with Prof. Jack Masquelier  


Anti-Oxidants  >>  Anti - Cancer

2013 Jan Harvard Newsletter, note page 4.

012 Mar 22 Cincinnati Enquirer, provides:

2012 Mar 19 Article from Bloomberg News

http://search1.bloomberg.com/search/?content_type=all&page=1&q=antioxidants >


based on:

Proceedings of National Academy of Science:


here provided as marked-up pdf to more simply expose the simple truths within the obtuse report:

2011 Aug 30  Anti-oxidant Leukemia killer