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Pycnogenol® is a patented extract of the bark of the French maritime pine. Pycnogenol® contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) found at high concentrations in red wine, grapes, cocoa, cranberries, apples, Pycnogenol also contains several other bioflavonoids: catechin, epicatechin, phenolic fruit acids, and taxifolin.
Pycnogenol is a super-antioxidant, reputed to be 50 times more potent than vitamin E. Pycnogenol acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, selectively binds to collagen and elastin, and aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide which helps to vasodilate blood vessels.
Pycnogenol's antioxidant activity makes it capable of extending the life of vitamin C, recycling used vitamin C in the body, and possibly enhancing the benefits of other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Pycnogenol & Allergy/Immune Health: Pycnogenols anti-allergy benefits arise from its ability to de-activate the enzymes that regulate histamine release.
Laboratory experiments have shown that Pycnogenol increases the activity of certain immune cells and so may enhance the immune system.
Pycnogenol & Circulation: Pycnogenol may strengthen weakened or fragile blood vessels, and reduce free radical damage to blood vessel walls, thereby maintaining the integrity of the circulatory system. By binding with the collagen and elastin in blood vessel walls, Pycnogenol can seal leaky blood vessels, improve their strength and flexibility, stimulate blood vessel dilation, and help ensure normal blood flow. Pycnogenol's anti-inflammatory activity also helps to prevent inflammatory damage to arteries and vein
Taking Pycnogenol® seems to significantly reduce symptoms of leg pain and heaviness, and oedema in people with poor circulation and may be useful for
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
intermittent claudication (leg cramps)
Pycnogenol & Vaso-Dilation: It is theorised that because Pycnogenol improves vascular health, it may also have benefits for:
retinopathies e.g. diabetic retinopathy
erectile dysfuntion & sperm health
neuro-cognitive disorders e. Alzheimers; ADD
dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
Pycnogenol & Heart Health: Pycnogenol appears to benefit the cardiovascular system by reducing platelet aggregation in a similar way to aspirin.
The abundant antioxidants in pycnogenol supplements can also decrease the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol so that it cannot stick to blood vessel walls and cause damaging cholesterol build-up.
Pycnogenol & Skin Health: Pycnogenol can slow down photo ageing (sun damage) to skin by up to 50%. according to research carried out at the University of California. It was found that Pycnogenol maintains the skin's healthy structure for longer by binding with collagen and elastin to prevent them from being broken down, while destroying the free radicals that try to attack the skin's structure.
A more recent discovery at the University of South Florida has shown that Pine Bark Extract dramatically increases the skin's blood circulation by strengthening the skin's capillaries and so helping to prevent the formation of thread and varicose veins. It can also help reduce the most prominent signs of ageing skin.