Sneezy? Itchy? Achy?

My husband used to suffer from severe seasonal allergies and bad, achy knees. I used to be wearing cold sores on my lips a lot, and we both used to get colds and the flu too often to our tastes.

I really like the “used to” parts of the above paragraph. Let me share with you how we turned those and other bad realities into mere bad memories…

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My Isotonix OPC-3 Story

Chuck and I discovered Isotonix OPC-3 in early 2004. We were told it was the champion in relieving inflammatory symptoms, such as allergies, arthritis, any other -itis, and others. Since we had a few of those between us, we decided to give OPC-3 a try.

Chuck used to suffer from seasonal allergies, sometimes so severe that he’d almost lose his hearing in one ear. He’d go through his initial prescription of Flonase and 5 or more refills each allergy season. After 2 or 3 years on OPC-3, one Flonase nasal inhaler would last him a year! The last few years he hasn’t even bothered to renew the prescription.

Chuck also used to have really bad knees. The joint pain was so bad that he had to stop running. Thanks to OPC-3 his knees don’t bother him anymore. He actually ran a marathon a few years ago, and did a lot of tile and hardwood installing on our floors both up north and in our new house and his workshop in North Carolina. Haven’t heard him complain about his knees once!

Chuck’s colds and flus are also for the most part gone. He occasionally wakes up with a scratchy throat, so he doubles his dose of OPC-3 for a couple of days. Not only does the scratchy throat go away, he also ends up with so much extra energy that he stays up a lot later than usual without feeling tired at all! Maybe he should be doubling his OPC-3 all the time…

Market America claims that OPC-3 “helps reduce mild menstrual cramping and abdominal pain.” Well… mine were no mild cramps. They used to be so severe that I would be rendered useless for 2 or 3 days each month, and while I may have not howled, I would often cry out of pain. These symptoms disappeared completely a few months after I started taking OPC-3. I wish I had found it 25 years earlier!

Also, before OPC-3, I used to get the flu or a bad cold at least 2 or 3 times each year. Some of them would keep me in bed for a week at a time. I have had the flu ONCE in all my years on OPC-3! Other than that, I occasionally wake up feeling like I’m coming down with something, but I double my OPC-3 dose and the “bleh” feeling is gone by the time I finish breakfast.

Another “perk” — my cold sores are all gone. I used to be getting them every 6 weeks or so, and they would linger for a couple of weeks at a time, making it very difficult for me to speak, eat, drink or brush my teeth. I did get 2 or 3 cold sores after I started taking OPC-3, but they disappeared after just a few days, and they happened a long, long time ago.

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Isotonix OPC-3 Information

“OPC” stands for oligomeric proanthocyanidins — now you say this ten times fast! (Don’t feel bad, it took me about 3 years to learn to pronounce this right…)

OPCs are the most potent antioxidants known to science, and may help slow down aging and prevent chronic, degenerative diseases, such as allergies and arthritis, for example. More about this another time.

Composed of five super-potent antioxidants — extracts from grape seeds, red wine, pine bark (pycnogenol), bilberry, and citrus — Isotonix OPC-3 offers unparalleled protection from aging- and disease-causing free radicals.

Another quality that sets Isotonix OPC-3 apart from other antioxidants is its isotonic formula. It offers the maximum health benefit by enabling your body to absorb about 95% of all nutrients it contains in just a few minutes. In contrast, most pills, tablets and capsules only give you 10% to 70% absorption rate, often over many hours.

The high absorption rate is crucial here, as OPCs are particularly difficult to digest when acquired from foods or taken in non-isotonic formulas. If you don’t absorb a nutrient, it won’t benefit your health.

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How Do You Dose Isotonix OPC-3?

Before I tell you how many doses of OPC-3 you might need, let me explain how to make them!

Each bottle of OPC-3 comes with a small cap and a large cap, as shown above. To make 1 serving (dose), mix ONE SMALL capful of powder with HALF of the LARGE capful of water (use the white mid-cap line painted on the large cap).

If you need a larger dose of OPC-3, multiply both the small powder capfuls and the large water half-capfuls by the same number so you maintain the correct proportions and the isotonic quality.

Some customers who live in humid climates complain that the bottle may become messy and the powder may cake. To avoid this:

  1. Once you have used the large cap to measure water, do NOT put it back on the bottle.
  2. Save the small cap after you finish your first bottle of OPC-3 and use it to measure the powder from the subsequent bottles. Use the new (clean and dry) caps to close the new bottles.

For best results, be sure to take OPC-3 on an empty stomach, with room temperature, preferably filtered water.

If you’re taking a single dose, take it on an empty stomach, first thing after you get up. If you’re taking multiple doses, you can take them all at once when you get up, or some before breakfast and the balance before another meal or before bed time, whenever your stomach is the emptiest.

To avoid forgetting about your second round, it’s best to take all of your doses first thing.


Typically, the recommended daily dose is 1 serving per 75 pounds of your body weight during the first week. After that you can lower the dose to 1 serving per 150 pounds of your body weight per day.

If you have a chronic, inflammatory disease (such as severe allergies, for example), it is recommended that you take 1 serving per 75 pounds of your body weight plus an additional serving “for the disease” — and continue to do so beyond the first week, as long as needed. You can lower your dosage once the symptoms subside.

Don’t like math? The following chart will help you determine your dosage:

Your body weight Prevention
First week
If you’re ill
First week & on
Up to 75 lbs 1 serving 1 serving 2 servings
76 to 150 lbs 2 servings 1 serving 3 servings
151 to 225 lbs 3 servings 2 servings 4 servings
226 to 300 lbs 4 servings 2 servings 5 servings
301 to 375 lbs 5 servings 3 servings 6 servings
376 to 450 lbs 6 servings 3 servings 7 servings
451 to 525 lbs* 7 servings 4 servings 8 servings

* I’m ending the chart at this range because it includes the heaviest participants of TV’s The Biggest Loser (woman 476 pounds and man 454 pounds). Continue adding extra OPC-3 doses if you weigh more than 525 pounds. If you’d like help losing weight, visit my Slender & Healthy website or send me a message.

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Is OPC-3 For You?

DISCLAIMER: OPC-3 is likely to relieve your symptoms but is NOT guaranteed to treat your disease. Do NOT stop taking your prescribed medications without consulting your doctor first!

Isotonix OPC-3 is Market America’s best selling product. Millions of people believe it’s right for them.

However, YOU are not millions of people, YOU are YOU, and your body may be different. The best way to find out if Isotonix OPC-3 is right for you is to print the information about it and take it to your doctor.

Also, be aware of the following contraindications to taking Isotonix OPC-3.

OPC-3 has mild blood thinning qualities, therefore you should NOT take it if you are on a prescription blood thinner. Alternatively, you can discuss this with your doctor and find out if reducing the dosage of your blood thinner while taking the full or reduced dose of OPC-3 could be an option for you.

Discontinue taking OPC-3 temporarily in the following circumstances:

  • For about a week before any surgery (including tooth extractions) and until all desired blood clots have formed (typically, this doesn’t take long, ask your surgeon or dentist if in doubt). OPC-3’s blood thinning action could interfere with blood clotting. On the upside, taking OPC-3 not long after the surgery may help relieve the pain.
  • For about a week before any transplant surgery and until it’s certain that the transplant has been accepted by your body (could be as long as a year). OPC-3 boosts your immune system. While this can help improve your overall health, it could also cause transplant rejection. It’s best to discontinue all antioxidant supplements until your body fully accepts the transplant.

If you have any other medical concerns, consult your doctor before you consider taking any new supplement.

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  1. Barbara

    Since OPC3 has mild blood thinning properties, is it OK to continue to take my natural E?

  2. magz

    Hi Barbara – since both OPC and vitamin E have blood thinning qualities, you may have to adjust the dosage of both if you’d like to take them both. I’d suggest you consult your doctor and have him/her help you decide on the most appropriate dosage for you

  3. Deanna

    I’m hoping to get some info on the benifits of OPC3 for COPD. I’m having an awful time this year with the unusual seasons and humidity.

  4. magz

    Hi Deanna – I don’t have any specifically COPD-related information handy, but based on what causes COPD, there’s a good chance that OPC-3, with its anti-inflammatory action, could help there. I recommend you show the list of ingredients to your doctor, and if there are no potential interactions with your medication(s) or any dietary restrictions you might have, try it. Let me know if you need assistance getting the information ready for your doctor.

  5. Linda

    i had a small procidure done on my leg due to some varicose & spider vains, also i like to run do kick boxing and do hot yoga, but recently im feeling disconfort and pain in my knees, is it ok to start taking OPC3? im looking to get something that would help to my joints. Also my boyfriend gets really sick due to sesonal polen, is POC3 something that can help him with his allergies?

  6. magz

    Hi Linda,

    OPC-3 can be beneficial both to you and your boyfriend for the conditions you described. For knee joints, you could also take a look at Prime Joint Support Formula, it’s also in isotonic format and, based on my own experience and reports from others it has worked well for many people.

    As with all supplements, I recommend both of you consult your respective doctors before you start taking either one of these, especially if you have any dietary restrictions or take any medications. Also, if I understand correctly, your procedure hasn’t taken place yet. Assuming it involves cutting and bleeding, I wouldn’t be taking OPC-3 just before it (OPC-3 is a mild blood thinner), but if you get an OK from your doc, you can start taking it as soon as the desired blood clots form afterwards.

  7. heather

    If I donate blood plasma frequently, 2 times per week, should I be ok to take the opc’s? I ask because the plasma center doesn’t even allow aspirin due to blood thinning.

  8. magz

    Hi Heather,
    Thanks for your inquiry. I admire you for donating blood so often, and understand your concern. I’m not sure how exactly OPC-3 compares to aspirin in terms of blood thinning. I’ll see what I can find out and will post an update here, but for now I’d say hold off on taking OPC-3. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn about another isotonic antioxidant, the Isotonix ORAC formula could be a good alternative.

    UPDATE 9/6/2013 – The consensus among my medical colleagues has been that the risk might outweigh the benefits – we wouldn’t want you to bleed to death… Consequently, I wouldn’t recommend OPC-3 for you, but the ORAC formula referenced above is worth looking into. Please let me know if you have any questions about it.

  9. magz

    Hi Heather – I just heard from another person who is *not* a member of the medical community, but has this to say: “I have donated blood while taking opc, and had no adverse reactions…however each case is different…”
    Decisions, decisions, decisions…

  10. Hally

    Can I take OPC-3 while on antibiotics ?

    Also, could I just take half cap full plus cut the water to 1/4 cup?

  11. magz

    Hi Hally – There shouldn’t be any conflict between antibiotics and OPC3. Reducing the dosage is OK if you’re very small, but it may make the supplement less effective. And yes, if you decide to take half the small capful of powder then you’ll need 1/4 large capful (=1 fl oz) of water. Both caps come with each bottle of OPC3.

  12. Y

    If the opc has blood thinning affect, will this explain the pro longed periods I have had since taking this for the past 2 months?

  13. magz

    Hi Y – it’s possible that your body reacts this way, however, I haven’t heard about this side-effect from anyone else and I personally haven’t experienced it, either. I’d check with your doctor if I were you, there could be some other reason for the extra bleeding.

  14. Hally

    Thanks. Another few questions….

    (1) could I use the OPC for kids? Just use half dose? I prefer not to use the mighty opc because it has vitamins that I do not believe my kids need

    (2) do i must also take multivitamin to have the OPC to be more effective? I started OPC thinking it will help reduce or eliminate allergies, well, three weeks later, I started to have same itcy eyes I normally get at this fall season… And hubby has same allergy and caught a cold too… Possible too soon to be effective ? We both take normal dose, 1 cap per 150 lbs. I did double it the first 10 days when we begin the OPC product and OPC only (no other supplements)

    Thank you very much

  15. magz

    Hi Hally,

    (1) While Might-A-Mins Spectrum Isotonix OPC-3 was designed specifically for children, the regular Isotonix OPC-3 can also be taken by children. I don’t even believe that it’s necessary to reduce the dose, although you can do so if you prefer, especially if the children are very small (below 75 pounds).

    (2) Indeed, 3 weeks could be too soon to take effect. There are individuals who can tell a difference within a couple of weeks of starting OPC3, but it can take a couple of months or even a few months to build up sufficient immunity, we are all different. For the same reason, without knowing the details of your dietary habits, I can’t determine whether you’d benefit from adding the multivitamin to your supplementation regimen. Chances are you could unless you eat mostly unprocessed, certified organic foods.

    Thank *you* and you’re welcome!

  16. William

    What is the recommended dosage for my kids?I have kids age 10 and 14. Can they start on regular opc 3 ?

  17. magz

    Hi William,
    Dosage is based on body weight, see the chart at http://saluterra.com/sneezy-itchy-achy/#dosage (you may need to scroll down a little to see the chart). While the regular OPC3 can be taken by children, why not take advantage of the formula designed especially for them?

  18. Josephine

    i hv gastric. Opc contains grape seed n pine bark, usually these two will cause gastric. Is opc suitable for people with gastric problem? I am also on cholesterol drug. Doctor told me not to take grapefruit. If I take opc, do I need to reduce my cholesterol drug dosage? Will it interfere with my drug?

  19. magz

    Hi Josephine,

    What kind of gastric issues do you have? If indigestion or similar, the general rule of thumb is that it’s best to take care of that before you go on OPC-3. I’d recommend that you take a look at Isotonix Digestive Enzymes With Probiotics. Take that information to your gastrologist or regular doctor and have her or him recommend the best dosage for you of both the enzymes and any medications you’re already taking.

    On the other hand, if you meant GERD, then I’d recommend you take information on OPC-3 to your doctor/gastrologist. Familiar with the complete picture of your health history, they are best qualified to advise you on any potential incompatibility between these and other supplements and your overall condition or medications.

  20. Irene

    I have taken OPC3 and Complex B for almost 3 months and I mixed OPC3 and Complex B with water together. This is how the consultant instructed me.

    I want to add in Digest enzyme.
    Can you suggest the best way how to take these 3 products?

    Can I take them as below?

    Before lunch: One cap digestive enzyme+ one cap Complex B.
    In the afternoon or before dinner: One cap Opc3.

    I can’t take OPC3 in the morning because I need to take other supplement in the morning

  21. magz

    Hi Irene,
    Sorry about the delay with my response, I’ve been away.
    Your consultant probably has some reasons to recommend the schedule you quoted, so discuss this with them before you make any changes. In general, I’d rather mix the B Complex with OPC3 and take them together on an empty stomach – time of day doesn’t matter as long as it’s about the same time every day, and you hadn’t eaten for at least 4 hours (or longer, if you ate something that takes longer than 4 hours to digest). The digestive enzymes, on the other hand, work best when consumed with a major meal. So, if your major meal is dinner and you hadn’t eaten or snacked for at least 4 hours before it, you could take the OPC3 + B Complex combo, wait 10 minutes, and then have the digestive enzymes and dinner.

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