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Pycnogenol Health Benefits -- woman with leg pain


Pycnogenol (Horphag Research), a branded extract from the bark of French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster, formerly Pinus maritima Poir.), is promoted for various uses due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Although clinical research has suggested that Pycnogenol may be beneficial for some of these conditions, many of the studies to date have been funded by the makers of Pycnogenol and some were small in size, which limits the impact of the results.

Other French maritime pine bark extracts, such as Flavangenol and Oligopin, have also been evaluated for certain conditions in clinical research, although these brands are much less studied that Pycnogenol. These products also differ slightly from Pycnogenol in how they are extracted: Pycnogenol is obtained by extracting with water and alcohol, while Flavangenol and Oligopin are obtained by extracting with only water (Marmol, Trends Food Sci Technol 2019; Segal, Toxicol Rep 2018), affecting the range of compounds in the extracts.

In addition to French maritime pine bark extract, some supplements contain bark extract from Pinus massoniana, a different pine species that is sometimes called Chinese red pine. This form of pine bark extract has been studied in only limited clinical research without apparent evidence of benefit.

Sign in as a member for details about clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness and safety of Pycnogenol and other pine bark extracts for conditions such as asthma, allergies, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), blood clots during travel, chronic venous insufficient (CVI), arterial plaques and coronary artery calcifications, diabetic retinopathy, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, high blood pressure, knee osteoarthritis, Raynaud's phenomenon, sun protection, tinnitus, and varicose veins. Also, find out what to look for when selecting a pine bark extract supplement.

Note: Unfortunately, the current method of testing for compounds in Pycnogenol and other pine bark extracts can be easily fooled by the addition of peanut skin extract. Until a more reliable, validated method is developed, is unable to test and review these products.

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