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Proanthocyanidins

Other name(s):

anthocyanidin, anthocyanadins, anthocyanin, celphinidin, cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, petunidin

General description

Proanthocyanidins are chemical compounds. They give the fruit or flowers of many plants their red, blue, or purple colors. They were first studied for their importance as plant pigments. But these compounds may help prevent cancer. 

Proanthocyanidins are in a group of compounds called polyphenols. These belong to a subclass called flavonoids.

Food sources of proanthocyanidins include:

  • Red grapes

  • Black grapes

  • Grape seeds

  • Red wine

  • Bilberries

  • Cranberries

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Red cabbage

  • Apple peel

  • Pine bark

  • Leaves of the bilberry bush

  • Birch

  • Ginkgo biloba

Medically valid uses

Research is being done to look at the health benefits of these compounds. It’s known that a diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits reduces the risk for many types of cancer. It also lowers the risk of other age-related problems.

Unsubstantiated claims

Please note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been substantiated through studies.

Proanthocyanidins may protect the heart and cardiovascular system. They may work as antioxidants and block nitrosamines from forming. They may protect healthy cells from their effects. They work with vitamin C to lower the risk of breast cancer. They reduce risk of blood clots. This may lower the risk of a heart attack.

Dosing format

There is no set dose for proanthocyanidins.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their healthcare providers before taking any supplements.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

There are no known side effects linked with proanthocyanidins. There are no known food or medicine interactions.

Online Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Godsey
Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2019
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