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Pycnogenol® - An Antioxidant Hero

 What is Pycnogenol®?

Pycnogenol® is a trademarked name for French maritime pine bark extract. It is a safe and evidence-based premium ingredient, and a unique blend of natural antioxidants. A premium, natural ingredient extracted from the bark of French Maritime Pine trees (Pinus pinaster) it contains a unique of phytonutrients, including procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenols[1]. It contains oligomeric proanthocyanidin compounds (OPC’s) , a type of antioxidant in the flavonoid’s category known for their antioxidant producing benefits, also found to be anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory[2]. Pycnogenol® is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This pine bark is a unique, natural and powerful blend of active compounds. 

Besides possessing potent and unique antioxidant properties, Pycnogenol® is a water-soluble flavonoid and represents a natural combination of constant proportions of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids. Pycnogenol® has four basic properties – it’s a powerful antioxidant, acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, selectively binds to collagen and elastin, and finally, it aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide which helps to vasodilate blood vessels.

“The source of Pycnogenol® is Europe’s largest forest in southwestern France near the famous Bordeaux region. The forest is a plantation of French maritime pink trees dating back to the times of Napoleon III. They are harvested for timber purposes after a period of 30-50 years. Neither pesticides nor herbicides are used in the forest. French forestry legislation provides that fallen trees are to be replaced every year”.

The benefits of Pycnogenol® have been studied for various chronic conditions and lifestyle applications, and it has been extensively clinically researched for extensive natural health benefits including heart and joint health. The extract has been widely studied for the past 40 years, with more than 160 clinical trials and 450 scientific publications, ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient.

Published clinical trials have evaluated Pycnogenol® for its potential use in managing conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic venous insufficiency, diabetes and osteoarthritis[3]. Additional reports indicate it may help with thrombosis, hypertension, attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder, erectile dysfunction, retinopathy, gingivitis, and muscular cramps and pain.

The effective of Pycnogenol® in protecting against thrombotic events

Pycnogenol® appears to protect against deep vein thrombosis (DVT), by protecting blood vessel walls and promotes good blood circulation. A clinical study on passengers travelling on long-haul flights showed it has the ability to control the permeability of capillary walls, preventing oedema, inhibiting platelet aggregation and ultimately reducing thrombotic events[4]. Whilst few people have heard of this incredible natural ingredient, it’s time to appreciate its benefits and build it into your supplementation programme.

  

 

[1] Rohdewald, P. (2002) ‘A review of the French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), a herbal medication with a diverse clinical pharmacology’ International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 40(4):158-168.

[2] Fine, A. (2000) ‘Oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes: history, structure and phytopharmaceutical applications’ Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical Therapeutics 5(2):144-151.

[3] D’Andrea, G. (2010) ‘Pycnogenol: A blend of procyanidins with multifaceted therapeutic applications’ Fitoterapia 81(7):724-736.

[4] Belcaro, G. Cesarone, M. Rohdewald, P. et al. (2004) ‘Prevention of venous thrombosis and thrombophlebitis in long-haul flights with pycnogenol’ Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis 10(4):373-377.


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