unnamedBlack currants (Ribes nigrum) include high levels of anti-inflammatory Omega-6 gamma-linolenic-acid (GLA), as well as vitamin C and E, which made them very popular in France and England during WW2 because citrus fruit was almost impossible to obtain.

Because blackcurrant oil is the most biochemically-balanced and certainly the most chemically stable source of the three plants that include the fatty acid GLA (evening primrose and borage being the only other two) it is becoming a popular and profitable crop in this country.

Blackcurrants include a natural balance of Omega-6 linoleic fatty acids (LA), Omega-6 GLA, Omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA), Omega-3 stearidonic acid (SA), as well as natural vitamins C and E and chlorophyll for product stabilization.

A study published in the Journal of Inflammation suggests that the proanthocyanidin activity in blackcurrants can inhibit endothelial adhesion molecules (ICAM-1 and VCAM-1). The study also suggests that blackcurrants can inhibit leukocyte (white cell) infiltration during inflammatory processes. The latter can be particularly important to the type of inflammation associated with chronic and surgically induced dry eyes.

The inflammation journal study provides strong evidence that supports other studies suggesting the anti-inflammatory activity displayed by the anthocyanidins in blackcurrants is related to down-regulation of endothelial adhesion. This is also important to the macular degeneration, cancer and vascular disease patient.

Proanthocyanidins are suggested in the literature to repair and protect genomic DNA integrity. Studies have shown that dark colored berry anthocyanidins, and particularly blackcurrants, are beneficial in reducing age-associated oxidative stress, improving neuronal and cognitive brain function and stabilizing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) anti-angiogenic properties (the ability to reduce unwanted growth of blood vessels, which can lead to tumor formation, serious vascular disease and wet macular degeneration).

In addition to the anti-inflammatory effect of Omega 6 essential fatty acid GLA, which metabolizes to the mucosal tissue specific series one prostaglandins PGE1 (think dry eyes, mouth and vagina), the blackcurrant proanthocyanidins interfere with the accumulation of circulating leukocytes associated with a reduction of other inflammatory factors such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF alpha) and interleukin one ( IL-1).

FYI: The French frequently start their meals with an enchanting aperitif called Kir Royale. This beautiful and surprisingly healthy holiday cocktail is a combination of Champagne and Crème de Cassis, a blood-red liqueur made from blackcurrants.

Ellen Troyer, MT MA, with Spencer Thornton, MD and the Biosyntrx Staff

PEARL: BioTears Oral GelCaps include the optimal biochemical balance of Omega-6 blackcurrant seed oil and Omega-3 cod liver oil as a source of natural vitamin A and D, as well as safe amounts of Omega-3 EPA / DHA, plus other nutrient co-factors necessary for optimal fatty acid metabolism.

BioTears also includes other powerhouse natural anti-inflammatories plus lactoferrin, an iron binding protein that helps to inhibit ocular surface bacterial biofilm formation.  This is particularly important to the contact lens wearer with dry eyes.

Addendum:  The unfortunate multivitamin studies featured in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine and receiving irresponsible, sensationalized press coverage were based on big box store multiples that include a number of cheap synthetic ingredients at RDA levels based on keeping people alive, not on keeping people vital and healthy while lowering the risk and progression of age-related degenerative diseases.

Multiple vitamins vary greatly in design, quality, potency and outcome.  Biosyntrx multiples include the most bioavailable, natural form of  raw ingredients at science-based levels associated with optimal health.  We include non-GMO plant-based nutrients that comply with the European standard for non-GMO labeling.

References and an instrument announcement from our friends at Crestpoint Management can be found following today’s Pearl here.