Pycnogenol also known as Maritime Pine Bark extract is a natural herbal supplement that is made from the pine bark of a tree known as Pinus pinaster that is grown in southern France. The main active ingredients in Pycnogenol are Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC). OPC is the ingredients that gives all healing and immune building properties. OPC reported better work on Vitamin C in the brain to synthesize serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, and protects the brain against damage from free radicals. OPC has also been proven to block inflammation, boost the immune system, acts as a natural anti-histamine, and inhibits the breakdown of dopamine and norepinephrine.
Pycnogenol can be also found in grape seed, lemon tree bark, nuts, cranberries and orange peel. This extract was reported almost 25 times more powerful than Vitamin C as an antioxidant. Pycnogenol has also been shown to have antitumor, antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-viral action and cardiovascular-protective.
Pycnogenol Benefits for a hyperactive child/Autisme.
ADHD is a form of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and is the most common neurological diseases suffered by children. As a parent, it is necessary to learn to recognize the symptoms, so parents can seek the help of professional experts for their children. The main symptoms of ADHD are aggressive, impulsive, restless, learning disability, inability to focus and hyperactivity. However, it is often difficult to distinguish between normal behavior and ADHD. The dose used in the clinical trial is 1 mg/kg body weight per day. One-month trial in children with ADHD showed a significant reduction in hyperactivity and boost attention.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those who experience Cognitive Decline.
Cognitive function is a person’s ability to receive, process, store and reuse all the sensory inputs are good. Cognitive function is composed of the elements, pay attention (attention), given (memory), understand the talk/communicate (language), moving (motor) and plan/implement the decisions (Executive). A double-blind study using 150mg Pycnogenol per day on people in healthy seniors showed that Pycnogenol improves memory after three months compared with the placebo group.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those who have Allergies.
Studies show that at doses of 100 mg per day of Pycnogenol helps normalize the immune response by inhibiting Nuclear Factor-Kappa B and lower level of sensitivity to trigger an immune response. Pycnogenol also inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells. When the allergen is present, mast cells release histamine that triggers the onset of allergy symptoms such as cough, itching, sneezing, wheezing, etc. Clinical studies suggest that Pycnogenol block the release of histamine and reduces the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those who have asthma. The dose used in the clinical trial is 1 mg/lb of body weight per day Testing on children aged 6-18 years for three months showed a significant reduction of inflammatory markers, and increased lung function.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those who have Arthritis.
The dose used in the clinical trial is 100-150 mg/day. A double-blind trial using 100mg doses per day shows Pycnogenol can relieve pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis. The study group also experienced improved performance walking and reduce the use of pain medicine. Another double blind using Pycnogenol 150 mg doses per day showed improvement of symptoms and a reduction in the use of painkillers.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those who have Cholesterol/dyslipidemia.
The dose used in the clinical trial is 120-150 mg/day. In 2003 a study by Devaraj, et al, suggest that supplementation in healthy volunteers with Pycnogenol lowers LDL-cholesterol and increase HDL-cholesterol.
Pycnogenol Benefits for cancer prevention.
In the practice of veterinary medicine, Charles loop DVM successfully used in his clinic with 1-2 mg pycnogenol doses per pound of body weight as part of cancer treatment protocol. Herbalist, Robert McDowell used it as the successful cancers of his herbal treatments. Both of these practitioners utilize Pycnogenol for superior antioxidant properties and clearing of free radicals. In a study of ovarian cancer, Pycnogenol is proven to induce apoptosis in cancer cells while not affecting normal cells at all, suggest that Pycnogenol may be useful as a chemopreventative agent against cancers. Pycnogenol also studied and proven effective against Leukemia cancer cells by increasing differentiation and induces apoptosis in cancer cells.
Pycnogenol Benefits for Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).
The dose used in the clinical trial is 150-360 mg/day of Pycnogenol has proven effective in reducing the symptoms of venous ulcer, edema, and foot pain in people with chronic venous insufficiency.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those who have Diabetes. The dose used in the clinical trial is 50-200 mg/day. The study shows that Pycnogenol is more effective than green tea extract. Pycnogenol may help with weight loss too.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those experiencing Dysmenorrhea. The dose used in the clinical trial is 30-60 mg/day *. A double-blind study shows a reduction in abdominal pain and lower back during menstruation.
Pycnogenol Benefits for those experiencing Endometriosis: the dose used in the clinical trial is 60 mg/day *. The study shows that Pycnogenol reduced the symptoms of endometriosis by 33%.
Pycnogenol benefits for heart health.
In animal research, Pycnogenol has been shown to protect against the cardiotoxicity induced by antitumor drugs. Because it has strong antioxidant properties, Pycnogenol has been suggested as a measure to prevent heart disease. Research in animals shows that these extracts may slow or reverse atherosclerosis. Pycnogenol has been shown to reduce the permeability of the capillaries, increases capillary resistance, and strengthen the capillary walls. This extract has also been shown to reduce blood platelet aggregation, creates better circulation and reduce the formation of plaque.
Pycnogenol benefits for those experiencing hypertension. The dose used in the clinical trial is 100-200 mg/day *. At a dose of 200 mg per day, Pycnogenol lowererd systolic blood pressure of patients with mild hypertension about 10-15 points average **.
Pycnogenol benefits for those experiencing inflammation. Pycnogenol inhibits the enzyme produces eicosanoid with inhibitory effects are consistent with the reported clinical platelet and anti-inflammatory studies in vivo.
Pycnogenol benefits for those experiencing Jet Lag.
Jet lag is a condition of fatigue that result in indigestion, insomnia and headaches that occur simultaneously. There is also a mention of jet lag as an interruption of the rhythm of sleep after a long journey across time zones with the fly. At a dose of 150 mg Pycnogenol a day for 7 days, controlled studies showed jet lag symptoms become milder and last for a shorter period of time compared to the untreated control group. In the study, Pycnogenol taken during two days before and five days after air travel.
* This dose is obtained from Scientific and clinical Monograph for Pycnogenol by the American Botanical Council. The duration of the most commonly used during clinical trials is 2-3 month, but long-term use can be permitted and there is no evidence of actual use of products for several decades by millions of people that might warrant a limitation on the length of use.
** These statistics retrieved from Pycnogenol by Gary e. Foresman, MD.
Charles loop DVM, Holistic Veterinarian
Engineered for Health: Pycnogenol
Herbs for Dogs: From Herbal Medicine Robert McDowell
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
NYU Langone Medical Center, etc.