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Pine bark extract – Pycnogenol

2019-04-30

What is Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is a trademarked name for pine bark extract, and there is little to no difference between the two in terms of composition or effects. You might use pine bark extract or pycnogenol to help treat a variety of medical conditions, including chronic venous insufficiency, retinopathy or erectile dysfunction.

Function of Pycnogenol

Pine bark extract and pycnogenol contain OPCs, also called procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs), which are also found in grape seed extract, reports the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). OPCs appear to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial actions and might act to stimulate your immune system, protect against atherosclerosis and prevent certain types of cancers, according to the Sloan-Kettering. Specifically, the OPCs in pine bark extract and pycnogenol seem to prevent leaking in the blood vessels, and the flavonoids called catechin and taxifolin in the herb stimulate nitric oxide production in the body, which relaxes your blood vessels, DrugDigest.org explains.

Possible Health Benefits of Pycnogenol

Lately, the interest in Pycnogenol has been growing among many medical researchers.

Studies have shown that Pycnogenol has powerful antioxidant activity and may reduce markers of inflammation (3).

However, although many studies have been performed, data from clinical trials is still limited. Therefore, most experts believe that more data is needed before conclusions can be drawn about the health benefits and safety of Pycnogenol.

Most of the human studies on Pycnogenol are small. However, their results suggest that the substance may have beneficial effects on health.K

KEY BENEFITS FOR SKIN

Laboratory studies have found that Pycnogenol protects key structural proteins in the skin. It binds to both collagen and elastin, and protects them from degradation by free radicals and by blocking the action of enzymes that break them down. In addition, Pycnogenol® stimulates the production of new collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. It also improves microcirculation in the skin, so that more oxygen and nutrients can be delivered and waste products are more efficiently removed. These combined actions result in maintaining the elasticity, hydration and overall health of skin, less wrinkles and younger looking skin.

And that is not all! Other reported skin benefits include protection against photo-ageing of the skin, reducing brown spots and scar formation and promoting skin healing. One study found that Pycnogenol supplementation for just 8 weeks reduced skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, lowering the participants’ susceptibility to sunburn.

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