PYCNOGENOL® is a natural extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine tree that grows along the coast of southwestern France. Pycnogenol® contains a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenolic acids, which offer an extensive range of support for the body.
Pycnogenol is often touted as a remedy for high blood pressure, inflammation, and other problems known to increase the risk of heart disease; again here, its effects on the functioning of the endothelium are believed to be at play.
A small 2008 study investigating 48 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure who took either a daily Pycnogenol supplement or a placebo pill for 12 weeks found that those taking Pycnogenol showed improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. This supports the idea that taking Pycnogenol may help control some cardiovascular risk factors, particularly in this patient population.
Pycnogenol has been found to be useful in relieving symptoms in postmenopausal women. The authors of a review published in 2016 came to this conclusion and proposed that this effect is related to Pycnogenol’s antioxidative effects and improved functioning of the endothelium, the thin membrane lining the inside of the heart. This paper cites several studies demonstrating that Pycnogenol can improve the availability of nitric oxide, helping to maintain vascular homeostasis and improve circulation.
One 2006 study in particular showed that Pycnogenol may reduce swelling and pain in people with chronic venous insufficiency—when veins do not efficiently return blood from the legs to the heart—which may be improved along with circulation.
Pycnogenol has also been explored as a remedy for erectile dysfunction due to its effects on nitric oxide levels and blood flow. One study published in 2010 tested this using a combination of Pycnogenol and other ingredients (most commonly L-arginine). While the effects of Pycnogenol alone aren’t known, the data is promising with 92.5 percent of study participants experiencing a normal erection after three months.
Marked by continuous noise or ringing in the ears, tinnitus is a common condition sometimes triggered by low or high blood pressure or a disorder in the circulatory system.
In one study published in 2014, participants with tinnitus took Pycnogenol or a placebo daily for six months. After three months, about 45 percent of those who took Pycnogenol were completely asymptomatic compared to 23 percent of controls.
At six months, 87 percent of those who took Pycnogenol were asymptomatic, compared to almost 35 percent of controls, and had significantly better blood flow in the cochlea (a part of the inner ear that plays a key role in hearing). While tinnitus decreased in both groups, the decrease was more significant in those taking Pycnogenol.
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