If you’re looking for the best pycnogenol supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Pycnogenol Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Pycnogenol (Pine Bark Extract) Supplements
|#1||Now Foods Pine Bark Extract||More Info|
|#2||BulkSupplements Pure Pine Bark Extract Powder||More Info|
|#3||Absorb Health Pine Bark Extract||More Info|
|#4||Source Naturals Pine Bark Extract||More Info|
|#5||Viva Naturals Pycnogenol||More Info|
|#6||Swanson Superior Herbs Pine Bark Extract||More Info|
|#7||Piping Rock Health Products Pine Bark Extract||More Info|
|#8||Vitacost Pine Bark Extract||More Info|
|#9||Planetary Herbals FS Pine Bark Extract Tablets||More Info|
|#10||Best Naturals Pine Bark Extract Powder||More Info|
Many people use dietary supplements to improve their health and enjoy numerous benefits. However, it is essential to make sure the best supplement is selected and used appropriately. Below are some essential facts about Pycnogenol, its uses, side effects and benefits.
What is Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is a liquid substance that is extracted from the Maritime Pine tree bark. This tree is native to the country of France, but is also grown and harvested in other regions. It has been used as an active ingredient in a broad range of vitamin and mineral formulas for decades, and is also found in numerous dietary supplements and weight loss products.
Pycnogenols are found in a vast array of supplements, including grape seed extract. However, Pycnogenol itself should not be confused with formulas that merely contain pycnogenols, as the overall benefits associated with such supplements are not nearly as impressive as those found in proper Pycnogenol.
Benefits of Pycnogenol
Numerous individuals search for ways to improve their general health. Additionally, those suffering from certain diseases and conditions sometimes prefer natural alternatives to costly drugs and the side effects with which they are associated. Although no one should replace traditional medical care or prescription drugs with holistic therapies, it cannot be denied that herbs have been used for thousands of years by many people to great advantage.
Numerous individuals have stated that they experienced significant relief from the symptoms of various medical conditions when using Pycnogenol supplements. These include hypertension–high blood pressure–hyperactive disorder, leg cramps, asthma, high cholesterol, allergies, painful menstrual periods and diabetes. Pycnogenol is also a popular supplement among those whose goal is to improve their athletic performance.
In 2009, researchers at the University of Arizona published the findings of a clinical trial conducted on patients suffering from high blood pressure. The trial offered evidence that the extract of the Maritime Pine tree bark does indeed provide the benefit of lowered blood pressure readings: those in charge of the study monitored the impact of Pycnogenol on blood pressure by giving the participants either a placebo pill or 125 milligrams of Pycnogenol on a daily basis for 90 days.
The average age among participants was 61. When the trial commenced, 60 percent of participants who were given the Pycnogenol supplement had normal blood pressure readings, while less than three percent of those given the placebo experienced the same results. This is a significant benefit of Pycnogenol, as reducing high blood pressure also lowers one’s risk of a stroke or heart attack. Researchers stated that the extract appeared to offer similar benefits to that of ACE inhibitors, the latter of which is a class of drugs commonly used to treat hypertension.
In addition, those who were given the supplement rather than the placebo also experienced lower LDL–bad–cholesterol in their bloodstream. Overall, LDL cholesterol decreased to 10.8 and 13.2 mg/dl after two and three months, respectively.
Help With Diabetes
Pycnogenol also appeared to offer benefits with regard to the management of diabetes. Participants who were given a placebo experienced a mere 5mg/dl decrease in their fasting blood sugar levels, while those who were given Pycnogenol experienced an impressive 23.8 mg/dl decrease.
There is also evidence that Pycnogenol may offer substantial benefits to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and old-age dementia. Because Alzheimer’s medications are often ineffectual, certain medical universities have ramped up their studies on specific herbs to see if the disease can be slowed or prevented by natural means.
According to clinical trials completed over a seven-year period from 1993-2000 at Loma Linda University in California, laboratory mice showed notable improvements in cognitive function and memory when fed small doses of Pycnogenol over six months. Older mice who were given the supplement experienced so much cognitive improvement that they scored as high as young mice when memory tests were administered.
Additional research completed by Doctor Benjamin Lau in another department of Loma Linda University resulted in proof that Pycnogenol lessens the amount of damage caused by the protein that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Several more double blind studies were conducted on individuals in their 30s and 40s and these studies demonstrated that improved memory function is definitively associated with the use of Pycnogenol.
According to WebMD, there are substances in Pycnogenol that may also improve blood flow to the brain, and this increased blood flow may be responsible for the enhanced memory mentioned in the studies outlined above. Additionally, Pycnogenol has antioxidant effects, which may stimulate and bolster the human immune system. In fact, it is thought that Pycnogenol contains the same antioxidants found in mangosteen fruit and blackberries, two fruits that contain the world’s most powerful antioxidants.
Additional studies are underway to determine why Pycnogenol also appears beneficial in the treatment of retinopathy, chronic venous insufficiency, asthma and allergies.
Are There any Side Effects?
As with all holistic remedies, there are certain side effects associated with Pycnogenol, although most are not serious. Among the most concerning are its effect on individual suffering from autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Because Pycnogenol may bolster the immune system, thus causing it to be more active, individuals suffering from the aforementioned disorders may experience exacerbation of their symptoms. Therefore, those afflicted with autoimmune disorders should probably avoid using Pycnogenol.
Those who have blood clotting disorders must use Pycnogenol with care. The supplement’s anticoagulant properties that are so beneficial to those with high blood pressure may have an adverse effect on individuals with bleeding disorders. Ultimately, the supplement may increase a person’s risk of a G.I. Bleed or hemorrhage somewhere else in the body when taken in high doses.
Minor side effects among otherwise healthy individuals include slight nausea, stomach cramping, headache or diarrhea. However, side effects can be minimized simply by refraining from overusing the supplement.
How to Take Pycnogenol
Pycnogenol should be taken by mouth and the dose depends on the purpose for which the supplement is being used.
Those who are taking Pycnogenol to enhance athletic performance should take 200 milligrams daily. To see if Pycnogenol will help with allergies or asthma, one should take 50 milligrams twice daily in separate doses.
To increase circulation and enhance memory, 50-100 milligrams should be consumed three times daily. For mild hypertension, 200 milligrams consumed once a day in the morning is the appropriate dose. Diabetics taking Pycnogenol should use the supplement with meals, at a dose of 50 milligrams three times a day.
What to Look for in a Good Pycnogenol Supplement
Although Pycnogenol is a useful remedy for a variety of conditions and disorders, it is important for one to choose the best Pycnogenol supplement to experience the most beneficial results. Many supplements contain a broad range of fillers or inactive ingredients, which can lessen the positive effects of the actual Pycnogenol.
For instance, silicon dioxide or silica are frequently added to supplements to prevent caking. Similarly, stearic acid or magnesium stearate are added simply because it makes it easier to manufacture the supplement in capsule form. Such additives should be avoided as they may have questionable health effects.
Additionally, lecithin may be used as an emulsifier, and while lecithin is not necessarily a worthless ingredient, it can dilute the strength of the Pycnogenol.
For this reason, experts recommend looking for a supplement that contains only the purest pycnogenol, with all-natural ingredients and no fillers. Consumers should look for an ingredient label that lists Pycnogenol–Maritime Pine bark extract–water and cellulose in a vegetable capsule. Additional things to look for is a procyanadin content that falls within the range of 60-75%, depending on the harvest. Procyanadin is the extract from which Pycnogenol formulas are made.
As with all dietary supplements, one should check with a licensed healthcare practitioner prior to adding Pycnogenol to his or her diet. However, there is significant evidence to suggest that using this supplement as part of a balanced diet and exercise program is beneficial to one’s health.