Study: PYC “Activates” Immune Cells

Macrophages are important immune cells, responsible for engulfing and neutralizing invader pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, infections and harmful microbes. This process carried out by macrophages, known as phagocytosis, is a critical immune system response.

Pycnogenol Immune Impact

Some research suggests Pycnogenol benefits may include enhanced phagocytosis, potentially strengthening the immune system’s defenses against foreign pathogens.

  • In one study, researchers found that mice infected with retro virus and treated with Pycnogenol appeared to have diminished levels of inflammatory compounds and enhanced immune system performance. In particular, researchers suggested the French Maritime Pine Bark extract appeared to “activate” macrophages, optimizing the immune system’s phagocytosis performance.
  • Researchers also noted that Pycnogenol appeared to modulate inflammatory responses without suppressing immune cell activity, which is a reported side effect of synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs.

Though it was an animal study only, this early research still seems to suggest PYC’s potential as a botanical immune-booster that appears to have complementary natural anti-inflammatory properties.


Chesier JE, et al. Immunomodulation by Pycnogenol in retro-virus-infected or ethanol-fed mice. Life SCi 58:87-96.

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