This is an herbal supplement that comes from the Pinuspinaster ssp. atlanticatree. This tree can be found in southwestern France and is a natural plant extract. In the extract there are many molecules that have value in the medicinal field. Pycnogenol has several other flavonoids that include epicatechin and catechin. Each of the flavonoids in pycnogenol has strong antioxidants that help to protect the cells from the free radicals that are harmful to your body. Because it is a concentrated mixture of flavonoids and is a water extract it can be absorbed and distributed in your body within twenty minutes. It will work in synergy with other vitamins that you may take and can help activate vitamins E and C in your body so they will work longer.
Pycnogenol is a natural free radical scavenger and one of the most powerful antioxidants found today. It is said that it is fifty times stronger vitamin E and twenty times stronger than vitamin C. It is also able to cross the blood/brain barrier to protect the oxygen that is going to your central nervous system and your brain. It is a very potent antioxidant. Pycnogenol is found in supplement form along with a gum that you can get to treat problems with your gums. When taking supplements you need to make sure that it does not contain any artificial preservatives or colors.
If you have an abnormal blood sugar level it is generally not recommended that you take this supplement because it could possibly lower the level of your blood sugar and possibly causing a decrease that is unsafe. Women who are pregnant should also not take this supplement as it is not known if it will have any effect on the unborn child.
Benefits of Pycnogenol
The benefit of taking pycnogenol is a continual discussion because of the continued research that is testing this extract to see just what benefits it has. There are many “claimed” benefits but many of them have little research accompanying them. It is hard to make a list of the benefits of pycnogenol because with the research that is still being done it could change the list of benefits.
Some of the many benefits that pycnogenol is said to have include:
- It can help with the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency which is a medical condition that can cause significant water retention, an increase in the development of varicose veins, and pain in your legs. When a person takes a pycnogenol supplement it can help reduce the discomfort associated with this medical condition along with helping to reduce the retention of water. Although there is still more research that needs to be done to ensure that pycnogenol can help in treating this medical condition it is becoming accepted more widely as the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency.
- Another well researched benefit of pycnogenol is in the treatment of asthma by helping to improve the symptoms of asthma and improve lung function. One thing to note is that pycnogenol is not to be used as a substitute for other asthma medicines. To fully prove the benefits for helping to treat asthma symptoms additional research is needed.
- Another promising benefit is it has the ability to enhance the performance of athletes but just to a small degree.
- It has also been shown to minimally lower your blood pressure and lower your cholesterol level.
- It can also help to improve medical conditions such as retinopathy. This medical condition can cause serious damage to your retinas over time. The extract also appears to help slow down the damage that can accrue with this medical condition.
- Another benefit of pycnogenol is that it has a low incidence of side effects
- When including pycnogenol into your anti-aging regimen you can have a clearer complexion, will help to keep your skin taut, and fight wrinkles.
- It has the ability to strengthen your arteries, veins, and capillaries by binding collagen and then protecting them from degradation.
- Supports cardiovascular health and good blood circulation along with preventing blood clotting.
- It can help stop leg cramps
- It can help to boost your immune system and also acts as an anti-inflammatory
- It can help with the cramping and pain associated with menstrual disorders
- Helps to reduce the risks of UV radiation
- It can help improve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- It can help improve psoriasis
- Helps to stop bruising
- Clears skin discoloration
- Joint flexibility is improved
- When using it with L-arginine it can help with erectile dysfunction
- Studies have been done that indicates it could help with male infertility by improving sperm function and quality.
- It can increase your endurance when exercising.
- Helps with chronic bronchitis
- Helps with Alzheimer’s disease
- It can help protect against having fragile veins and varicose veins
- It can help with medical conditions of your skin and helps to protect the skin from the sun along with improving the elasticity of your skin.