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  Grape Seed Extract / Resveratrol  
 
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Grape Seed Extract (GSE) is classified as a proanthocyanidin also known as OPC’s. They are a class of compounds, which belong to the bioflavonoid family. This is the same class of compounds which pycnogenol (pine bark) belongs to. These compounds share similar properties. (In fact, grape seed extract has all the same benefits of pycnogenol). They function mainly as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and as enhancers of connective tissue and blood vessel strength. These compounds not only are powerful antioxidants but may enhance capillary strength as well. GSE has been used to improve edema (swelling) in individuals with chronic venous insufficiency. No side effects have been reported with this compound. Most of the benefits of grape seed extract have been demonstrated in laboratory animals or in cultured cells. For example, the ingestion of grape seed extract by rabbits fed a high cholesterol diet appeared to have an inhibitory effect on atherosclerosis associated with inhibition of LDL oxidation. GSE selectively killed two human oral cancer cell lines, more efficiently than human oral normal cell lines.

The recommended adult daily dosage is 50 to 100mg, although up to 200mg (in divided doses) is a safe and effective dose. GSE should be taken with meals.

OPCs found in GSE may have some anticoagulant properties when taken in high doses. Individuals on blood-thinner drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin), heparin, Trental (pentoxifylline) and aspirin should take high doses of GSE only under medical supervision, as high doses of OPCs might cause excessive bleeding.

A study suggests that when taking Pycnogenol, more NO is provided in response to neurotransmitters allowing for better expansion of arteries to carry more blood. This process serves to meet the enhanced oxygen demand of the performing muscle and avoid anaerobic metabolism. This was reported by Dr. Yukihito Higashi, lead researcher of the study. "These results also lead me to determine that Pycnogenol (trademark of Horphag Research) will be a useful natural alternative therapy in various diseases in which oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis."

The double-blind, randomized, placebo study was held at the Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Japan. Every day for two weeks young healthy men either took 180 mg Pycnogenol or a placebo. To identify Pycnogenol's effect on the release of NO, an inhibitor of the amino acid L-arginine was infused in patients, which restricts the expansion of arteries in response to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

After two weeks of supplementation with Pycnogenol, results revealed blood flow increased in response to acetylcholine stimulation by 42 percent. In contrast, the control group receiving the placebo did not show a pronounced blood flow increase in response to neurotransmitter stimulation.

"Acetylcholine stimulates the cells of arteries to produce NO from L-arginine faster," Dr. Higashi said. "In turn, the NO causes the muscle surrounding arteries to relax, which results in an increase of blood vessel diameters. When subjects had taken Pycnogenol the relaxation of arteries was increased by 42 percent as compared to the group taking placebo tablets."

According to Frank Schonlau, Ph.D, director of scientific communications for Horphag Research, worldwide distributors of Pycnogenol, "While more research is warranted, this is an encouraging breakthrough especially to athletes as Pycnogenol seems to allow people to move faster when exercising by satisfying the enhanced muscle oxygen demand and increasing the blood flow to active muscles. When people are performing heavy physical activity, nerves release neurotransmitter acetylcholine to arteries supplying muscles, which makes them expand, a process that requires enhanced production of NO."

A multitude of studies about Pycnogenol (trademark of Horphag Research) and sports nutrition have been conducted. Most recently, a year ago, Pycnogenol was demonstrated to improve blood circulation and support a lasting aerobic muscle activity during any kind of activity and enhance sports endurance by alleviating cramping and muscular pain in athletes. In short, Pycnogenol is effective for enhancing and prolonging muscle performance during sport, supports muscle adaptation to higher work-load and allows for faster physical recovery.

A Study published in the journal of Minerva Cardioangiologica (November 6, 2008) reveals Pycnogenol, pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduces jetlag in passengers by nearly 50%. The two-part study, consisting of a brain CT scan and a scoring system, showed Pycnogenol lowered symptoms of jetlag such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia and brain edema (swelling) in both healthy individuals and hypertensive patients. Passengers also experienced minimal lower leg edema, a common condition associated with long flights.

"This study could not have come at a better time for the upcoming holiday travel season," said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher of the study. Belcaro attributes Pycnogenol's combined activities for better circulation and antioxidant potency to such remarkable results. "Previous Pycnogenol flight studies have shown a reduction in jetlag; however this was the first study to solely focus on the condition."

The study, conducted at the G. D'Annunzio University in Pescara, Italy, consisted of 133 passengers who took flights that were seven to nine hours in length. Fifty mg of oral Pycnogenol was administered three times daily, for seven days, starting two days prior to the flight.

Resveratrol, found in red wine (from the skin and seeds of grapes), berries, and dark chocolate has demonstrated effects that mimic those of caloric restriction, which is the best documented anti-aging strategy to date. Caloric restriction does this, in part, by producing changes in gene expression that are associated with long life and a slowing of the aging process.

Resveratrol is also gaining popularity for its promise in fighting age-related diseases like dementia, diabetes, and cancer.
At this time, he most reliable way to extend life span is through the practice of caloric restriction, which involves reducing calorie intake while simultaneously maintaining good nutritional status.

It may be possible to achieve the life-extending benefits of calorie restriction using the plant-derived compound known as resveratrol. Resveratrol and calorie restriction appear to work via similar mechanisms to promote health and longevity in many animal species.

Harvard University scientists showed that resveratrol could prolong survival by regulating a gene associated with aging that is present in all life forms. [ Baur JA, Pearson KJ, Price NL, et al. Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet. Nature. 2006 Nov 16;444(7117):337-42]

Among the life-prolonging benefits of resveratrol supplementation proven in this study were:

  • increased insulin sensitivity
  • lower blood sugar
  • enhanced mitochondrial energy production
  • improved motor function
These benefits were achieved without significant reduction in body weight, and provided protection from the harmful effects of a high calorie diet.

While resveratrol may not extend longevity, quality of life should be markedly improved.

Taking resveratrol in extract form appears to be the best way to get the quantities needed without the consequences of too much alcohol or fruit consumption. In the studies conducted by BioMarker Pharmaceuticals, mice demonstrated favorable anti-aging gene-expression changes in response to receiving the human equivalent of 20mg of resveratrol a day. This is as much as found in 40 glasses of red wine.
 

 
 

Grape Seed Extract / Resveratrol can help with the following:
 
 
Addictions  Current Smoker
 GSE has been shown to provide better protection on factors such as lipid peroxidation (involved in atherosclerosis), DNA damage and cell death to a type of oral cells in culture than vitamins C and E, when exposed to tobacco extract.

Aging

  Premature/Signs of Aging
 Oxidative stress is implicated in aging. Resveratrol demonstrates powerful antioxidant capabilities, with profound implications for human health. Scientists report that resveratrol inhibits the oxidation of dangerous low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and scavenges harmful hydroxyl radicals. Resveratrol also helps preserve levels of glutathione, one of the body’s most essential antioxidants. According to prominent resveratrol investigator Dr. Milos Sovak, “There is no question that resveratrol is one of the best free-radical scavengers and that it has many effects whose ramifications might affect not only longevity but also general health.”

  Alzheimer's Disease
 Although unmodified resveratrol appears to have a weak bioavailability, several studies have clearly demonstrated the in vivo neuroprotective properties of the red wine-derived polyphenol, strongly supporting the notion that natural metabolites of resveratrol may have biological activities. Furthermore, recent findings have shed light on the potential role of resveratrol in transcription- and degradation-dependent anti-amyloidogenic mechanisms, suggesting that natural metabolites or potent synthetic analogues of resveratrol have a therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's Disease.

  Senile Dementia
 The findings from a study, which was published online in the journal Neurotoxicology, agree with prior human epidemiology studies that associate frequent red wine consumption with a reduced risk of developing dementia. Resveratrol and other similar compounds called polyphenols, have long been thought to contribute to this beneficial effect. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant that is also associated with numerous other health effects, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. [Feng Y, X Wang, S Yang, Y Wang, X Zhang, X Du, X Sun, M Zhao, L Huang and R Liu. 2009. Resveratrol inhibits beta-amyloid oligomeric cytotoxicity but does not prevent oligomer formation. Neurotoxicology doi:10.1016 / j.neuro 2009.08.013.]

  Parkinson's Disease / Risk
 Flavonoids, and in particular the proanthocyanidins (grape seed and pine bark extracts) should also be excellent candidates as Parkinson's disease preventers and retarders. Proanthocyanidins are water-soluble antioxidants that are stronger than vitamin C and which readily cross into the brain fluid. Clinical trials are, however, still required to support this hypothesis.

  Senior Issues
 Scientists report a so-called “miracle molecule” found in red wine might help improve mobility and prevent falls among older adults. The ingredient is called ‘resveratrol.’ Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Duquesne University Jane Cavanaugh says they tested the effect on laboratory mice.

“As these animal age, they lose some of their motor coordination. Very similar as to humans do as they age. And when we gave them out the resveratrol, the older mouse has less loss of motor coordination.”

Resveratrol is also found in grapes, blueberries and other dark-skinned fruits.

“We just used blueberries in our study and when they eat the whole fruit it’s actually more effective than the resveratrol alone and you don’t need as much.”

A person would have to drink at least a bottle of wine compared to only a handful of fruit to get the same amount.

The finding was presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia on Sunday August 19, 2012

Circulation

  Increased Risk of Stroke
 Previous studies have determined an association between mild-to-moderate red wine consumption with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular risk.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Maryland, USA) researchers investigated the mechanism by which resveratrol, a compound found in the skins and seeds of red grapes, may protect against stroke.

Two hours after feeding mice a single modest dose of resveratrol, the researchers induced an ischemic stroke. Those animals that had preventively ingested the resveratrol suffered significantly less brain damage, as compared to ones that had not been given the compound.

Sylvain Dore, lead researchers of the study, posits that resveratrol increases levels of an enzyme (heme oxygenase) already known to shield nerve cells in the brain from damage. When the stroke hits, the brain is ready to protect itself because of elevated enzyme levels. In mice that lacked the enzyme, the study found, resveratrol had no significant protective effect and their brain cells died after a stroke.

The team concludes that: “The data suggest a potential intracellular pathway by which resveratrol can provide cell/organ resistance against neuropathological conditions.”

  Hypertension
 A study published in the October 2006 journal of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis shows Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree reduced edema, a typical side-effect of antihypertensive medications, by 36 percent in patients taking these medications.

According to Dr. Gianni Belcaro, lead researcher of the study, more than 35 percent of patients taking antihypertensive medications are believed to suffer from edema as a side-effect. This happens because the antihypertensive medications cause blood vessels to dilate, which allows easier blood flow and thus lowers blood pressure. However, as a side-effect this causes blood to pool in the vessels of the lower legs. In result they stretch and liquid seeps into tissue causing swelling (edema). Hypertension is a serious risk factor for developing severe cardiovascular incidents some time in the future and thus the necessity for treatment justifies the development of edema as a side-effect.

Antihypertensive medications reduce pressure by inhibiting constriction of blood vessels. "The larger the blood vessel diameter, the easier blood will flow with less pressure," said Dr. Belcaro. "In order to avoid blood pooling in the lower legs and feet (edema), blood vessel diameters must adjust when a person changes positions from laying down to standing up. Results of this study show Pycnogenol to improve blood circulation, avoiding blood pools and reducing edema."

  Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
 Women with CVI were assisted in combating the condition in a double blind French study that utilized 150mg of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) daily. Positive results were also obtained in another French double blind research that increased the dosage to 300mg, with each dose being 100mgs. The effectiveness of the compound was evident in just four weeks of the treatment period and all the patients showed improvement.

  Varicose Veins
 A double-blind study of 50 people with varicose veins of the legs found that doses of 150mg per day of OPCs were more effective in reducing symptoms and signs than another natural treatment: the bioflavonoid diosmin, widely used in Europe for this condition. [Gaz Med. 1985;92: pp.96-100]

A double-blind placebo-controlled study of 71 subjects with venous insufficiency found that grape seed OPCs, taken at a dose of 100mg 3 times daily, significantly improved major symptoms, including heaviness, swelling, and leg discomfort. [La Revue de Medecine. Aug/Sept.1981;no.27–28: pp.1793-1802]

  Phlebitis / Thrombophlebitis
 One month of treatment with Pycnogenol (360mg per day reduced lower limb circumference and improved subjective symptoms better than horse chestnut seed extract in a study of 40 patients with diagnosed chronic venous insufficiency. [Phytother Res 2002;16(2): pp.1-5]

Hormones

  Elevated Insulin Levels
 Research in mice demonstrated that the phytoalexin, resveratrol, can prevent or attenuate the diabetic (insulin resistant) condition. The investigators found that resveratrol activated one or more SIRT enzymes that eliminated a fat-associated inhibitor of insulin action (protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B). The net result of resveratrol’s action was to convert muscle, fat and liver tissue cells to an insulin-sensitive state. Subsequently, this allowed glucose to be removed from the blood, returning the tissues to energy homeostasis. [J. Cell Metabolism, October 2007; vol 6: pp 247-249]

The question remains as to whether the encouraging results obtained with animal and cell culture research will hold true for humans.

Lab Values

  Elevated Total Cholesterol
 One month of treatment with Pycnogenol (360mg per day) reduced total and LDL-cholesterol levels, but had no effect on HDL-cholesterol levels, in a study of 40 patients with diagnosed chronic venous insufficiency. [Phytother Res 2002;16(2): pp.1-5]

Three months of using pycnogenol at 120mg per day improved erectile function and reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 21 men with erectile dysfunction. [ Nutr Res 2003;23(9): pp.1189-98]

  Elevated LDL/HDL Ratio
 See the link between Elevated Total Cholesterol and Grape Seed Extract.

Metabolic

  Meniere's Disease
 Reports by doctors state that a combination of pycnogenol (pine bark extract) and shark liver oil may be useful in treating Meniere's Disease.

  Edema (Water Retention)
 One month of treatment with Pycnogenol (360mg per day reduced lower limb circumference and improved subjective symptoms better than horse chestnut seed extract in a study of 40 patients with diagnosed chronic venous insufficiency. [Phytother Res 2002;16(2): pp.1-5]

A double-blind placebo-controlled study of 71 subjects with venous insufficiency found that grape seed OPCs, taken at a dose of 100mg 3 times daily, significantly improved major symptoms, including heaviness, swelling, and leg discomfort. [La Revue de Medecine. Aug/Sept.1981;no.27–28: pp.1793-1802]

A study published in the October 2006 journal of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis shows Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree reduced edema, a typical side-effect of antihypertensive medications, by 36 percent in patients taking these medications.

According to Dr. Gianni Belcaro, lead researcher of the study, more than 35 percent of patients taking antihypertensive medications are believed to suffer from edema as a side-effect. This happens because the antihypertensive medications cause blood vessels to dilate, which allows easier blood flow and thus lowers blood pressure. However, as a side-effect this causes blood to pool in the vessels of the lower legs. In result they stretch and liquid seeps into tissue causing swelling (edema). Hypertension is a serious risk factor for developing severe cardiovascular incidents some time in the future and thus the necessity for treatment justifies the development of edema as a side-effect.

Antihypertensive medications reduce pressure by inhibiting constriction of blood vessels. "The larger the blood vessel diameter, the easier blood will flow with less pressure," said Dr. Belcaro. "In order to avoid blood pooling in the lower legs and feet (edema), blood vessel diameters must adjust when a person changes positions from laying down to standing up. Results of this study show Pycnogenol to improve blood circulation, avoiding blood pools and reducing edema."

Musculo-Skeletal

  Poor Musculoskeletal Health

Nutrients

  Antioxidant Need/Oxidative Stress w/o Supplements

Organ Health

  Night Blindness
 One interesting 6-week controlled (but not blinded) study evaluated the ability of grape seed OPCs to improve night vision in normal subjects. In this trial of 100 healthy volunteers, those who received 200 mg per day of OPCs showed improvements in night vision and glare recovery as compared to untreated subjects. [(English abstract) Bull Soc Ophtamol Fr. 1988;88: pp.173-174, 177-179]

  Fatty Liver
 Researchers found that alcohol-fed mice given resveratrol had less fat in their livers and the fat broke down more quickly than alcohol-fed mice not give resveratrol. The researchers note that resveratrol has been shown to activate molecules that are also important in fat metabolism in the liver. Chronic alcohol abuse inhibits these molecules.

In this study, alcohol-fed mice treated with resveratrol also had enhanced activity of these molecules. "Collectively, these results demonstrate that resveratrol treatment protected against the development of alcoholic [fatty liver] in mice," they write.

The authors write that alcohol along with "concentrated resveratrol could be a more potent and efficient way" of getting the health benefits of resveratrol alone. [The American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, October 2008]

  Increased Risk of Diabetes ll
 A study accepted for publication in Endocrinology, a journal of The Endocrine Society, shows that the brain plays a key role in mediating resveratrol's anti-diabetic actions, potentially paving the way for future orally-delivered diabetes medications that target the brain - for those who are interested. [ScienceDaily Oct. 9, 2009]

Risks

  Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack
 Resveratrol may help guard against age-related decline in heart health, according to a 2008 study on middle-aged mice. Researchers examined more than 1,000 genes in the heart, all of which change in function as we age. But in mice fed low doses of resveratrol, that age-related change was thwarted by 92%.

Given these findings, the study's authors suggest that regular intake of resveratrol may serve as "a robust intervention in the retardation of cardiac aging." Of course, it's important to remember that research done on animals does not confirm equal efficacy in humans.

More research still has to be conducted to prove that resveratrol is the main factor in the reduction of heart disease seen in the French paradox.

  Increased Risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia
 Although unmodified resveratrol appears to have a weak bioavailability, several studies have clearly demonstrated the in vivo neuroprotective properties of the red wine-derived polyphenol, strongly supporting the notion that natural metabolites of resveratrol may have biological activities. Furthermore, recent findings have shed light on the potential role of resveratrol in transcription- and degradation-dependent anti-amyloidogenic mechanisms, suggesting that natural metabolites or potent synthetic analogues of resveratrol have a therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's Disease.

  Cancer / Risk - General Measures
 A number of studies have already revealed that eating fruit and vegetables helps to prevent cancer, and that this is likely due to the presence of proanthocyanidins. The authours, Shi and colleagues have already investigated this family of antioxidant compounds in apple peel and found it triggered cell death in cancer cells but not non-cancer cells.

Studies on grape seed extract have also suggested that it reduces breast tumors in rats and skin tumors in mice, and is active in a number of laboratory human cancer cell lines (such as skin, breast, colon, lung, stomach and prostate cancer cells), but until now nobody has investigated its effect on blood cancers.

Shi and colleagues used a commercially available grape seed extract and exposed leukemia cells to various concentrations of the extract for 12 and 24 hours, and also looked at what happened when leukemia cells were exposed to 50 µg/mL of the extract over various time intervals.

The results showed that exposure to grape seed extract resulted in dose and time-dependent increase in cancer cell apoptosis. They also discovered that the extract did not affect normal cells but they weren't able to determine why.

"This is a natural compound that appears to have relatively important properties," said Shi.

He and colleagues then examined the underlying mechanisms by which the grape seed extract caused the leukemia cells to commit suicide. They found that the extract had a strong effect on the activation of JNK, which led to the up-regulation of Cip/p21 (a CDK inhibitor which controls the cell cycle).

They double checked their finding by showing that the grape seed extract didn't work when used with an agent that blocked JNK: this was a pharmacologic approach. And using a genetic approach, they showed that silencing the JNK gene also disabled the grape seed extract's ability to trigger apoptosis.

Shi told the press that "These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or treatment of hematological malignancies and possibly other cancers."

"What everyone seeks is an agent that has an effect on cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone, and this shows that grape seed extract fits into this category," he added.

Shi said these finding were not enough to warrant advising people to start eating lots of grapes, grape seeds, or grape skin in the hope they will avoid getting cancer. It's too early to say for sure that grape seed extract has this effect, even though the results are promising, he said. [1 January 2009, Clinical Cancer Research]

Skin-Hair-Nails

  Male Hair Loss
 A mouse study has shown improved hair growth with the use of topical procyanidins (grape seed extract). [J Invest Dermatol 1999 Mar;112 (3): pp.310-6]

The active ingredients of Revivogen are natural compounds proven to inhibit of 5-alpha-reductase (the enzyme that produces DHT), block the androgen receptors and stimulate hair growth. These active ingredients include Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA), Alpha Linolenic acid (ALA), Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Azaleic acid, Vitamin B6, Zinc, Saw Palmetto Extract, Beta-Sitosterol and Procyanidin Oligomers.

  Female Hair Loss
 A mouse study has shown improved hair growth with the use of topical procyanidins (grape seed extract). [J Invest Dermatol 1999 Mar;112 (3): pp.310-6]

The active ingredients of Revivogen are natural compounds proven to inhibit of 5-alpha-reductase (the enzyme that produces DHT), block the androgen receptors and stimulate hair growth. These active ingredients include Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA), Alpha Linolenic acid (ALA), Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Azaleic acid, Vitamin B6, Zinc, Saw Palmetto Extract, Beta-Sitosterol and Procyanidin Oligomers.

Uro-Genital

  Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence)
 Three months of using pycnogenol at 120mg per day improved erectile function and reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 21 men with erectile dysfunction. [ Nutr Res 2003;23(9): pp.1189-98]
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Acetylcholine:  A neurotransmitter widely distributed in body tissues with a primary function of mediating synaptic activity of the nervous system and skeletal muscles.

Aerobic:  Using oxygen. For example, aerobic exercises such as running, swimming, bicycling or playing tennis use up lots of oxygen and burn up lots of calories and fat.

Amino Acid:  An organic acid containing nitrogen chemical building blocks that aid in the production of protein in the body. Eight of the twenty-two known amino acids are considered "essential," and must be obtained from dietary sources because the body can not synthesize them.

Anaerobic:  Of, relating to, or being activity in which the body incurs an oxygen debt (for example weight training or resistive exercises) and does not immediately burn off a lot of calories and fat.

Anticoagulant:  A substance that prevents or delays blood clots (coagulation).

Antioxidant:  A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.

Atherosclerosis:  Common form of arteriosclerosis associated with the formation of atheromas which are deposits of yellow plaques containing cholesterol, lipids, and lipophages within the intima and inner media of arteries. This results in a narrowing of the arteries, which reduces the blood and oxygen flow to the heart and brain as well as to other parts of the body and can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or loss of function or gangrene of other tissues.

Bioflavonoid:  Vitamin P. Any of a group of colored flavones (crystalline compounds) found next to the peel in many fruits. Essential for the stability and absorption of ascorbic acid.

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Capillary:  Any of the smallest blood vessels connecting arterioles with venules and forming networks throughout the body.

Cholesterol:  A waxy, fat-like substance manufactured in the liver and found in all tissues, it facilitates the transport and absorption of fatty acids. In foods, only animal products contain cholesterol. An excess of cholesterol in the bloodstream can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Dementia:  An acquired progressive impairment of intellectual function. Marked compromise exists in at least three of the following mental activity spheres: memory, language, personality, visuospatial skills, and cognition (i.e., abstraction and calculation).

Diabetes Mellitus:  A disease with increased blood glucose levels due to lack or ineffectiveness of insulin. Diabetes is found in two forms; insulin-dependent diabetes (juvenile-onset) and non-insulin-dependent (adult-onset). Symptoms include increased thirst; increased urination; weight loss in spite of increased appetite; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; frequent infections including bladder, vaginal, and skin; blurred vision; impotence in men; bad breath; cessation of menses; diminished skin fullness. Other symptoms include bleeding gums; ear noise/buzzing; diarrhea; depression; confusion.

Edema:  Abnormal accumulation of fluids within tissues resulting in swelling.

Insulin:  A hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver, muscles, and fat cells to remove glucose from the blood for use or storage.

Low-Density Lipoprotein:  (LDL): Also known as "bad" cholesterol, LDLs are large, dense, protein-fat particles composed of a moderate proportion of protein and a high proportion of cholesterol. Higher levels of LDLs are associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Metabolism:  The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

Milligram:  (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Neurotransmitters:  Chemicals in the brain that aid in the transmission of nerve impulses. Various Neurotransmitters are responsible for different functions including controlling mood and muscle movement and inhibiting or causing the sensation of pain.

pH:  A measure of an environment's acidity or alkalinity. The more acidic the solution, the lower the pH. For example, a pH of 1 is very acidic; a pH of 7 is neutral; a pH of 14 is very alkaline.

Placebo:  A pharmacologically inactive substance. Often used to compare clinical responses against the effects of pharmacologically active substances in experiments.

Proanthocyanidin:  Also called procyanidin, it is a powerful antioxidant that chemically belongs to the class of bioflavonoids. Pycnogenol from grape seed and pine bark extracts is an example. Berries, such as hawthorn berries, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries and, to a lesser extent, red wine, are natural sources.

Pycnogenol:  A trademark for specific bioflavonoids extracted from pine bark.