Pycnogenol® (pronounced “pick-NAH-jen-all”) is the patented trade name for French Maritime Pine (Pinus maritime) bark extract that has become a popular supplement for anti-aging and diverse aspects of whole-body health.
Distinct from other pine bark extracts, Pycnogenol –sometimes abbreviated as PYC — is havested from coastal pines, sustainably grown near France’s Bordeaux region in beachside groves free of pesticides or herbicides.
Due to their harsh environment of high winds, salty air and blazing sun, Pinus maritime trees have evolved over millennia to be hardy and resilient, in part because they naturally produce a potent complex of protective antioxidants. Extract of the bark captures this antioxidant complex, including active compounds called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), in supplement form for human use.
This special French pine bark extract is considered by many experts to be a nutritional breakthrough because it supplies four different biological actions that seem to work together to unlock ideal health and wellness:
- Antioxidant Activity: A“Super Antioxidant,” Pycnogenol is a complex of hundreds of different compounds called OPCs that quench age-accelerating free radicals.
- Nitric Oxide (NO) Booster: Stimulation of Nitric Oxide (NO) in blood vessel walls relaxes and opens them, promoting robust whole-body circulation.
- Anti-Inflammatory Activity: Pine bark extract soothes inflammation both internally, such as joint pain and heart disease, and externally, such as sunburn and skin scaling and flaking.
- Connective Tissue Binding: Pycnogenol is naturally drawn and bound to collagen and elastin, building blocks of skin and connective tissue, where it protects and nourishes.
With these three key actions, PYC has garnered acclaim as a “polypill” that may deliver multiple health benefits across diverse body systems. been shown to unlock diverse health benefits across body systems, helping with:
- Cardiovascular health, especially circulation and blood vessels
- Anti-Aging, both in terms of skin health and general wellness
- Joint pain, soothing away discomfort and promoting flexibility
- Women’s wellness, primarily PMS and perimenopause discomfort
- Blood sugar, helping to keep glucose levels balanced and stable
- Immune performance, promoting normal and healthy responses
- Vision and eye health, supporting and protecting retinal wellness
While the above represent a primary list, the extract has also been linked with even more diverse and specific benefits for tinnitus, erectile function and fertility, exercise performance, cognitive function, jetlag and more.
Because it seems to so effectively support whole-body wellness, French Maritime Pine Bark Extract has become a popular supplement for enhancing overall Quality of Life, with an emphasis on youthful vitality in body and mind.
Other pine bark extracts do exist, but none with Pycnogenol’s unique antioxidant fingerprint.