and Benefits: What is it?
Pycnogenol is a natural plant product made from the bark of the European
coastal pine, Pinus Maritima. It is the most powerful antioxidant today
and acts as a protector against environmental toxins.
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 has been used in France, Finland, Holland, Germany, Italy,
Singapore, Korea, Argentina, and Switzerland, and has just recently been
marketed in the United States.
How does it work?
Like Vitamins C and E, Pycnogenol (pronounced Pick-nah-geh-nol), is a
trade name for proanthocyanidin, a special family of bioflavanoids, plus
40 other biologically beneficial components. It is a powerful antioxidant
which neutralizes unstable or "radical" oxygen molecules that attack the
When these "free radical" molecules go unchecked, they degrade the tissue-strengthening
collagen within the body's joints, skin and organs. Free radicals reprogram
DNA and are implicated in more than 60 diseases. In addition, aging, inflammation
of the muscles, joints and other tissues, plus improper functioning of
the circulatory system, nervous system (including brain cells) and immune
system, often result from free radical damage.
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
The physiology of capillary repair involves the collagenases (enzymes
which break down proteins). These collagenases are released inside the
body during tissue damage and subsequent inflammation. By supplementing
the diet with tablets containing Pycnogenol, one can effectively inhibit
the release of unwanted collagenases, thus preventing decay of the fragile
capillaries' vascular walls.
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.
As if it were a sponge, the catechin ingredient mentioned earlier actually
mops up free radical particles. It binds with them and then the newly
formed molecules leave the body as waste products. Such neutralized waste
particles gather in the kidneys and get urinated away. Thus, absorption
of Pycnogenol is determined by detecting its metabolities in urine. Pycnogenol
facilitates active transport of vitamin C by carrying it to the site of
necessary action. Other bioflavonoids perform this function, too, but
Pycnogenol does it better.
Your body naturally protects itself against pollutants by forming antioxidants.
The most common antioxidants are vitamins A, C, and E; beta carotene;
and selenium. Unfortunately, the continual bombardment of stress, environmental
pollution, and the popular practice of food industrialization and food
conversion processes destroy antioxidants, allowing the body to be more
susceptible to disease and ill health. Consequently, the body has an extremely
difficult time producing enough antioxidants to combat the contaminants.