Update 8/30/19. A friend asked me about Isotonix supplements and wanted to know my thoughts about them. Isotonix is a product line of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) called OPCs that are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, red wine, and other plants. OPC stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins. So, do you need OPC supplements? Are Isotonix supplements better than other supplements? Let's see what we can discover.
What Are OPCs
OPCs can act as antioxidants and studies show that they seem to have many healthy effects. For example, some OPCs seem to reduce inflammation and expand blood vessels in the body. Other OPCs might boost immunity.
But, OPCs are not my main focus for this review. Rather, it’s the claim that Isotonix supplements are more “bio-available” (in other words, better able to be used by the body) than other supplements.
According to the people I’ve run into who sell Isotonix supplements, the enhanced bioavailability is one of the main reasons for choosing Isotonix over other products.
But, does “absorbed faster or better” mean “superior”? In other words:
- Is a supplement better because the body absorbs it faster?
- Will a faster-absorbed supplement be better at preventing cancer, heart disease or other health problems?
- Will a faster or better absorbed antioxidant work better at neutralizing free radicals than an antioxidant that is absorbed a little slower?
So, is there any research? Let's look at that next.
Isotonix Supplement Research
There are some studies on these supplements. Here's a quick review.
One investigation involved 10 “borderline healthy” young and middle-aged men and women. The classification of borderline healthy seems to be tied to their elevated oxidative stress. All persons were given 400 mg of the OPC3 supplement mixed with water. At another time, the people were given a tablet form of the same compounds.
Results showed oxidative stress was reduced within 10 minutes of taking the OPC-3 supplement. This result did not occur when a tablet form of OPC bioflavonoids was taken. Researchers also noted free radical levels in the blood remailed lower up to 4 hours after taking the supplement. This did not happen when the tablet product was taken.
In another study involving 25 people, researchers noted the OPC-3 supplement improved blood vessel function after people ate a high-fat meal. Blood vessel function improved by about 10% with the OPC-3 supplement vs. about 3% for the placebo.
Our Supplement Works Faster
One study does appear to show greater absorption of the OPC-3 supplement. This makes some sense since a liquid product would be expected to be absorbed faster than a solid product.
But, does works faster mean it's better? Sometimes maybe. Other times maybe not. The OPC3 supplements studies so far, are short-lasting. It would take a much longer study – several years- to determine if factor acting supplements are superior.
Who Makes Isotonix Supplements?
The company is called NutraMexrix (NutraMextrix.com). This is a division of another company called Market America. The company address is 1302 Pleasant Ridge Road, Greensboro, NC 27409.
Contact NutraMextrix: Call (336) 389-6710.
Are Antioxidants Good For Us?
The big claim of OPCs and many other supplements today is their antioxidant effects. The claim that something is an antioxidant is a huge selling point to a lot of people as you may have noticed from all the products (and foods) that mention the word “antioxidant” on their packaging.
As an aside I often wonder why I don’t see “antioxidant” listed on fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables (which are teeming with antioxidants). The food industry seems to be at least 20 years behind the supplement industry on this issue…Wake up food industry!!
Antioxidants are helpful to use. We even make our own antioxidant compounds like glutathione to deal with free radicals. The thing to know is sometimes too much of a good thing, can be bad. In the case of antioxidants, this is called pro-oxidation.
What Is Pro-Oxidation?
While antioxidants are obviously good for us, there is a darker side that is often not discussed. Any antioxidant can make free radicals (i.e. become “pro-oxidant”). A prooxidant is an antioxidant that has the ability to make free radicals. Any antioxidant has the capability to make free radicals under the wrong conditions.
Often antioxidants are marketed to people who exercise because exercise produces free radicals and the idea is that antioxidant supplements prevent free radical-induced cell damage. Maybe in some cases, they do but there is no proof that people who exercise regularly need more antioxidant supplements. This may be due to the fact that they tend to eat better and consume more fruits and vegetables.
Free Radicals: Always Bad?
Free radical production is tied to life on earth. None of us would be here without free radicals. Our immune system uses free radicals and they even seem to help cells communicate to each other. It's only when they get out of hand, do problems pop up.
Do Isotonix OPC Supplements Work?
Preliminary research appears to show the powdered OPC-3 supplement mixed in water is better absorbed than a tablet form of nutrients. The phytonutrients in Isotonix supplements may also help blood vessel function too. While this is intereseting remember there is more in foods than antioxidants. Food first. Supplements second.