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Pycnogenol and its Benefits

Pycnogenol (trade name) describes “an entire class of bioflavanoids that are composed of polyphenols, or Proanthocyanidin complexes.” The bioflavanoids may be extracted from pine bark, lemon tree bark, grape seeds, grape skins, or cranberries. (Hansen). ” Pycnogenol is absorbed into the bloodstream in about 20 minutes. Once absorbed, the maximum protective effect lasts about 72 hours. The protective effect begins to fall as it is excreted in the urine.” (Passwater)

Research has demonstrated that Pycnogenol is 50 times more effective than vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than vitamin C. Studies show that Pycnogenol is rapidly absorbed and distributed throughout the body within twenty minutes. Pycnogenol also activates vitamin C and puts it to work before it leaves your body.

Pycnogenol furnishes the human body with excellent antioxidant nutritional support for a variety of body repairs. It furnishes capillary resistance against fragility and rupture; consequently, Pycnogenol is useful to prevent diseased blood vessels associated with varicose veins, peripheral hemorrhage, diabetic retinopathy, and high blood pressure. Such capillary resistance adds up nearly three fold over the effects in those patients who normally are prescribed other types of nutrient flavonoids for repair of their damaged capillaries.

The source of Pycnogenol is a large forest of millions of acres in South-West France near the famous Bordeaux region. That forest is a plantation of French maritime pine trees. The pine trees are cultivated over a period of 30-50 years. Neither pesticides nor herbicides are used in that forest.

Pycnogenol is important to brain function, not only because it protects blood vessels, but also because it is only of the few dietary antioxidants that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells. the blood-brain barrier protects the brain from compounds that normally circulate in the blood. Brain cells are very sensitive to some compounds, even though they many not damage other cells in the body or even be needed by other cells. Pycnogenol crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect and repair free radical damage in brain cells and blood vessels of the brain. This is of special importance with those with ADD or ADHD, senility, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.

Pycnogenol has anti-ageing properties and is usually taken to boost the immune response and prevent the degenerative diseases of ageing, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, heart attack, arthritis and diabetes.

There have been over one thousand scientific studies documenting Pycnogenol’s absorptive ability and bioavailability in the human body. When Pycnogenol is taken as a food supplement, and then measured in human metabolism by means of laboratory tests, results show the compound behaves like a cellular detoxifier. What is the reason such ready availability takes place? Because Pyncogenol gets quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract due to its excellent water solubility. The compound fixes rapidly to cell membranes in veins and capillaries and connective tissue (collagen) where it exerts a stabilizing effect on cellular membranes of all types. Outside and inside the membranes it counteracts destructive oxidization by free radicals from this unique solubility characteristic.

Many claim that pycnogenol is useful for boosting the immune system, relieving neuro-degenerative disorders, is an anti-allergen, an anticancer agent, an anti-diabetic agent, relieves arthritis, prevents liver cirrhosis, and fights arthritis; however, these claims are not well founded. Recent research suggests that pycnogenol may indeed have some cardio protective effects useful for fighting a few vascular disorders and it is very possible that in the future research may emerge to show that pycnogenol may have some immune-modulating, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.

BENEFITS OF PYCNOGENOL
  • Improves skin elasticity
  • Improves skin smoothness
  • Effective against psoriasisProtects against sun damage
  • Allergies
  • Very effective against hay fever

Several anecdotal reports claim that arthritis feel improvement overnight with a bed-time does of 120-150 milligrams of Pycnogenol. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are inflammatory diseases. Pycnogenol may help by quenching some of the free radicals that are involved in the inflammatory process.

First of all, women are exposed to stress in the same way as men. Therefore, protection of arteries against blood clotting and constriction is also important for women to reduce the risk of heart infarction or stroke. Many women suffer from problems related to bad circulation: Swelling of the lower legs, cold hands and tendency to easy bruising for example. By sealing the capillaries and enhancing the microcirculation Pycnogenol will be a relief.

Another point of great interest for women is the protection of the skin against photo-ageing. Intake of Pycnogenol reduces the risks of UV-radiation and oxidative stress for the skin. Finally, Pycnogenol soothes menstrual disorders like cramps and pain.

Pycnogenol has the ability to prevent platelet aggregation, a condition that occurs when blood cells stick together to form “clumps” which leads to narrowing of the arteries and in some cases heart attacks and strokes. A condition that can be brought on by smoking and stress.

Pycnogenol has anti-ageing properties and is usually taken to boost the immune response and prevent the degenerative diseases of ageing, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, heart attack, arthritis and diabetes.

Pycnogenol is great at neutralizing peroxynitrate. It also reduces the amount of superoxide available that makes peroxynitrate and it helps to regulate the nitric oxide production so that it stays in balance. That means your immune system works better, your joints hurt less, and your blood flows better, all because of Pycnogenol… Other antioxidants may help, but presently researchers have only noticed OPCs working on this problem… Researchers found out that… even when the immune system was barely working, Pycnogenol brought it back.

Recently, Pycnogenol has proven very effective in Europe in helping the body efficiently scavenge for free radicals, cramping, and pain in the lower legs and feet. In particular, Pycnogenol has been documented to help maintain capillary resistance, aid in the control of varicose veins and venous insufficiency, and possibly reduce common edema (swelling), Pycnogenol has also been shown to benefit brain function, the eyes, the joints, general stress, muscular and tissue inflammation, hayfever and even sports injuries, all because of its inherent ability to protect capillaries and venous/vascular membranes from becoming too fragile.

Preliminary human data suggests that supplementation of Pycnogenol with conventional diabetes treatment may lower glucose levels and improve endothelial function. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

Several studies report benefits of Pycnogenol in the treatment and prevention of retinopathy, including slowing the progression of retinopathy in diabetics. Reported mechanisms include improvement of capillary resistance and reduction of leakage into the retina. Improvement of visual acuity has also been reported. Better-quality research is needed before a firm conclusion can be reached.

Pycnogenol is known throughout Europe as the “Youth Nutrient” because of its ability to revitalize collagen. Collagen, one of the body’s most widespread proteins, is the primary component of the joints and skin. Interlacing collagen fibers give your skin and joints their strength and youthful elasticity. Pycnogenol binds to collagen, and helps collagen fibers rebuild their crosslinks.

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