What is Pycnogenol ?
Pycnogenol is an alternative name for the proanthrocyanidins, chemical
substances belonging to one of the most beneficial groups of plant flavonoids.
Pycnogenols are found in many plant species, particularly in the seeds of
grapes; however one of the richest sources of these compounds is the bark of the
maritme pine (Pinus maritima).
is the trademark for a specific proanthrocyanadin extract derived from maritime
pine bark. Pycnogenols are powerful antioxidants whose protective effects are
manifest in a number of tissues (see below).
What does Pycnogenol do ?
Pycnogenol has been shown to be a more effective antioxidant than either vitamin
C or vitamin E, because it is so easily absorbed in the bloodstream (absorption
takes only 20 minutes) and works for up to 72 hours. It also works with vitamin
C to help the body recycle vitamin E, and is one the few antioxidants that can
cross the blood-brain barrier to help protect brain tissue.
Pycnogenol is an effective free-radical
it is thought to help regenerate systems that generally break down with age,
thus improving immune resistance, vision, brain function, and skin elasticity.
It may also protect cellular DNA from the oxidative damage and cell mutations
that can lead to cancer.
Evidence Pycnogenol can improve circulatory system
by helping to strengthen capillaries and veins. Improved circulation helps fight
both Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), a circulatory disorder characterized by
itching skin, swelling, ulcers, edema, and varicose veins; and cardiovascular
disease. In addition, Pycnogenol keeps blood platelets from sticking together
and forming hazardous blood clots.
Studies have shown that pycnogenol eases allergic or inflammatory symptoms by
inhibiting the release and synthesis of certain compounds that promote
inflammation, such as histamine, serine protease, prostaglandins, and
leukotrienes. Pycnogenol may also help heal stress-related ulcers by reducing
histamine secretion and by binding to and protecting connective tissue in mucous
The antioxidant complex contained in Pycnogenol
(proanthocyanidin, or OPC/PCO) is found in extremely small amounts in the peels,
skins, or seeds of grapes, blueberries, cherries, and plums; in the barks of the
lemon tree and the Landis pine tree; and in the leaves of the hazelnut tree. It
is difficult if not impossible to get the amount of PCO needed for antioxidant
protection from diet alone. If you want to try Pycnogenol supplements, they are
available at health food stores and most pharmacies in 30- and 60-milligram
tablets. There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Pycnogenol, but it
has shown no toxic effects to date. In one study, daily doses of up to 35,000
milligram were given for six months, with no adverse effects. However, this
supplement is not recommended for pregnant women or for children, as it has not
yet been determined safe for these groups.
In order to saturate the tissues, take one 30-milligram tablet for each twenty
pounds of body weight daily for three days. Thereafter, tissue saturation should
be followed with the maintenance dose of two 30-milligram tablets daily.
Pycnogenol seems to work best when used in conjunction with other antioxidants
and minerals. When combined with vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A (beta
carotene), and minerals zinc, selenium, and manganese with the addition of
CoEnzyme Q10, the pine bark extract in Pycnogenol has been shown to reduce the
effects of free radical damage associated with acute and chronic inflammations,
senility, poor circulation, nervous disorders, and immune system suppression.
Studies indicate that Pycnogenol may be useful in treating or preventing a host
of illnesses and disorders, including ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple
sclerosis, arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia, cellulite, diabetic retinopathy and
neuropathy, lung cancer, premenstrual syndrome, macular degeneration, myocardial
ischemia, skin disorders, phlebitis, poor night vision, pelvic pain, prostate
disease, cellulite, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disorders, strokes, and high
blood pressure. However, Pycnogenol supplements are relatively new to the U.S.,
and more scientific study is needed before we can be certain of their benefits.
Are there adverse effects from taking Pycnogenols ?
There are no reports of significant adverse effects from taking pycnogenols.
Mild gastrointestinal disturbance may occasionally occur in susceptible
individuals. The toxicity of pycnogenol is extremely low.
About Pharma-Nord Bio Pycnogenol
Each tablet of Pharma Nord Bio-PycnogenolR contains 40mg of Pycnogenol maritime
pine bark extract. PycnogenolR is a registered trademark of Horphag Research Ltd
of Guernsey, UK and is protected by U.S. patent. Pharma Nord recommends 2
tablets to be taken twice daily for one week, followed by 1 tablet twice daily
thereafter, with meals.