Pycnogenol: the powerful antioxidant from the French maritime tree

What is Pycnogenol®? 

Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) French maritime pine bark extract is a premium herbal supplement ingredient extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree.

Where does Pycnogenol® come from?

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 pine trees (pinus pinaster), dating back to the times of Napoleon III, which 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.


Menopausal symptoms lessened with Pycnogenol

In one study, researchers compared 38 menopausal women, aged 40 to 50, who took 100 mg of Pycnogenol per day to 32 similar women who did not take any treatment. After eight weeks, while there were no changes for the women who did not take treatment, those who took Pycnogenol had an average decrease of more than 50 percent for the six most common menopausal symptoms; hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods, loss of libido and vaginal dryness.

The Pycnogenol group also had much lower levels of free radicals circulating in the blood, meaning less oxidative stress. Several other symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disorders, concentration and memory problems, dizziness, and irritability also tended to improve for the Pycnogenol group but did not reach statistical significance, according to researchers, who suggested that Pycnogenol may be an effective daily dietary supplement for reducing symptoms in menopausal women.



Provides skin hydration and elasticity

Doctors said this is the first molecular evidence that an oral supplement improved skin hydration and elasticity. Doctors explained that there is a middle layer of skin, called the dermis, which contains collagen proteins and elastin fibers that provide contour and support for the skin, and help maintain hydration, but deteriorates with age. In a pilot study, 20 healthy postmenopausal women, aged 55 to 68, took 75 mg of Pycnogenol per day.

After 12 weeks on Pycnogenol, skin hydration increased 8 percent and elasticity 25 percent. Researchers also observed a 44 percent increase in a beneficial molecule, hyaluronic acid, which hydrates and gives the skin it’s supple, elastic feel and vibrant look. Doctors also saw an increase in the activity of the genes that help produce collagen and hyaluronic acid, and believe Pycnogenol promoted this effect.



Seasonal allergies reduced after 5-8 weeks of use

Symptoms of seasonal allergy from airborne pollen include itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, and clogged and runny nose. Researchers thought that Pycnogenol might be more effective if participants began taking it before allergy season. In one study, 39 people took 50 mg of Pycnogenol each morning and evening, or a placebo, five to eight weeks before the birch-allergy season. By the end of the season, signs of allergic reaction were 61 percent greater for placebo than for Pycnogenol. The Pycnogenol group also had 35 percent fewer eye symptoms and 20 percent fewer nasal symptoms than placebo. Those who began taking Pycnogenol seven to eight weeks ahead of allergy season, compared to those who began five to six weeks ahead, had the greatest relief.



Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) reported less severe

Researchers in one study said that impaired blood flow to the ear may be one of the main causes of ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. Doctors examined 82 people with mild to moderate tinnitus that began for no apparent reason and had persisted in one ear for at least two weeks. Participants were not dizzy and did not have significant hearing loss. Twenty-four people took 150 mg of Pycnogenol per day, 34 took 100 mg of Pycnogenol per day, and 24 took no treatment. The three groups were similar in sex and age. After four weeks, while there were no changes in the non-treatment group, both Pycnogenol groups had much better blood flow to the ear and reported far less severe symptoms. The higher dose group improved more in both measures than the lower dose group.



Hemorrhoids and bleeding subside with Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol, a natural plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, resolved bleeding hemorrhoids, a study reveals. Researchers evaluated and followed up on 84 people who had experienced an acute hemorrhoidal episode within the last 48 hours, dividing them into four groups. Group 1 took 300 mg of Pycnogenol for four days, then 150 mg of Pycnogenol for three days. Group 2 took a placebo. Groups 3 and 4 took the same dose of Pycnogenol as Group 1 plus a topical cream with 0.5 percent Pycnogenol or a placebo cream. After seven and 14 days, the placebo group still had bleeding, but for those who had taken the Pycnogenol supplement, hemorrhoidal bleeding had resolved completely. 

Less jet lag and leg swelling with Pycnogenol   

Air travel through time zones may confuse the natural sleep/wake body rhythms. In part one of a two-part jet lag study, 68 participants, healthy or with high blood pressure, took 50 mg of Pycnogenol, an extract of French maritime pine bark, or a placebo three times per day for seven days starting two days before a flight. Jet lag symptoms lasted an average of 18 hours for Pycnogenol compared to 39 hours for placebo.

In part two, 64 participants similar to the first group also took Pycnogenol or placebo. A brain scan shortly after flight found more brain and leg swelling in the placebo group and less short-term memory with memory loss symptoms rising as leg-swelling increased. Those with high blood pressure were prone to brain swelling. Overall, the Pycnogenol group reported 62 percent fewer symptoms than the placebo group.

Final Comments: Pycnogenol® is a blend of active bioflavonoids, also found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Forty years of research have been dedicated to establishing the safety of Pycnogenol® and its benefits for human health. Purity and potency of Pycnogenol® are continuously monitored and Horphag Research guarantees its constant high quality.

Previous Next Back to Top
More Related Articles