The maintenance of normal and healthy circulation, which is critical for the functioning of the heart and all tissues in the human body, requires the return of blood by the veins from different parts of the body to the heart. The circulation of blood through leg veins requires an extra effort since the blood has to return to the heart against gravity. Leg veins contain a series of muscle-driven pumps and one-way valves that allow blood to flow in only one direction - upwards. Veins also have a high ratio of collagen to elastin. Collagen, along with glycoproteins, is essential for maintenance of structure of the vein wall. The high level of collagen also provides tensile strength to the vein wall, and together with elastin, prevents excessive distension of the veins in response to the large volume of blood contained in them. These structural properties enable veins to better perform their function of ensuring that blood flow back to the heart is appropriately regulated.
Weakening of the vein walls and valves occurs due to various factors such as sitting or standing for long periods, age, smoking, pregnancy, oral contraceptives or a family history of varicose veins. This results in blood and fluids leaking from leg veins and capillaries and accumulating in the lower leg. This is experienced as swelling (edema), heaviness in the legs, cramps, tingling sensation and sometimes severe leg pain, a condition referred to as venous insufficiency. Venous Insufficiency affects about 1 in 20 people in the Western Hemisphere (inluding approximately 25 of the Western European population as well as 72 of women and 40 of men over the age of 60 in North America).
There is strong scientific evidence that MASQUELIER’s® OPCs strengthens blood vessels and maintains a healthy venous system, thereby reducing risk of venous insufficiency in the legs. In several clinical studies, MASQUELIER’s® OPCs has been shown to have a beneficial effect on vein functional aspects such as venous tone and venous compliance, and to significantly reduce leg swelling, cramps, heaviness, tingling sensation and pain in the legs associated with venous insufficiency. For instance, a large study was conducted in France involving 4729 female volunteers who exhibited symptoms of venous insufficiency including swelling, heaviness, tingling sensation and cramps in legs following oral hormone intake (estrogen progesterone or progesterone only) for contraceptive or non-contraceptive purposes. The volunteers were advised to take MASQUELIER’s® OPCs for 90 days. At the end of 90 days, the physicians observed that the improvement in symptoms was excellent or good in 89.9 of volunteers and average or poor in 10.1 of the volunteers. The physicians concluded that MASQUELIER’s® OPCs is highly effective in people with symptoms of venous insufficiency and at the same time safe.
The beneficial effects of MASQUELIER’s® OPCs on vein function and in reducing symptoms of venous insufficiency are linked to its ability to bind collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (key components in vein walls and vein valves), and promote collagen synthesis, protect collagen and elastin from degradation and regulate glycosaminoglycan levels. Through these actions, MASQUELIER’s® OPCs can greatly reinforce vein walls and vein valves, improve their function in returning blood to the heart and reduce risk of venous insufficiency.