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Monday, July 11, 2011

PYCNOGENOL - what is it? and why you should be taking it

A diabetic friend recently sent me an article about Pycnogenol and I knew I had to share the research on this product for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular health in general. The first question I had is, "What exactly is Pycnogenol?" and where does it come from?

LINK to what is pycnogenol and why should I take it.


All About Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol® (Pik-nah-gen-all) is a water extract from the bark of the French maritime pine grown as a mono-species forest, spread over the coastal region of south-west France. The unique source of Pycnogenol®, the "pine bark" has a well-established monograph based on macroscopic and microscopic findings defining its pharmacogonistic characteristics, an essential feature of the quality confirmation.
Pycnogenol® is produced by a validated manufacturing process following good agricultural practice (GAP) and good manufacturing practice (GMP). There is absolutely no application of pesticides during the growing of pine trees or toxic solvents during the manufacture of Pycnogenol®, there can be no pesticide or solvent in the finished active substance.

Pycnogenol® represents a natural blend of genetically programmed constant proportions of bioflavonoids including catechin, epicatechin, taxifolin, monomers, dimers of catechin and epicatechin, oligomeric procyanidnins and phenolic fruit acids such as ferulic acid and caffeic acid. 

What is Pycnogenol®?
Pycnogenol® is the brand name for a premium herbal supplement extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. That special pine bark is loaded with a concentrate of active bioflavonoids, which are also found in fresh fruits and vegetables. The extract from that bark is a potent blend of active compounds. Extensive research over a period of more than 30 years was dedicated to safety of Pycnogenol® and to substantiate the manifold benefits for human health of this extraordinary extract. Purity and potency of Pycnogenol® are continuously monitored and Horphag Research guarantees its constant high quality.
Where does Pycnogenol® come from?
The source of Pycnogenol® is a large forest of millions of acres in South-West France near the famous Bordeaux region. That forest is a plantation of French maritime pine trees. The pine trees are cultivated over a period of 30-50 years. Neither pesticides nor herbicides are used in that forest.
How does Pycnogenol® work for your health?
As one of the most potent natural scavenger of free radicals, Pycnogenol® mops-up all kinds of aggressive radicals, before they cause any damage by oxidative stress. Pycnogenol® boosts the immune system and it strengthens blood vessel walls and capillaries. It supports a better circulation by preventing stress-induced constriction of arteries and blood clotting. Additionally the extract contains substances, which act against cramps. 

Pycnogenol and Type 2 Diabetes:
What about diabetes and Pycnogenol®?
Diabetes produces oxidative stress and continuously damages blood vessels. The protective action of Pycnogenol® for blood vessels and capillaries helps to keep blood vessels in diabetes well functioning. Of course, a strict normalization of blood glucose is the best way to prevent these damages. Often a retinopathy is observed in diabetics. Without protection diabetics often develop retinopathy: Tiny capillaries nourishing the retina of the eye spill blood onto the retina causing vision loss. Intake of Pycnogenol® has been found to reduce the micro bleedings in the retina and to improve eyesight. 

EXCERPT from this LINK:
Article Affiliation:
Nutritional Sciences Department, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
Patients with type 2 diabetes are at considerable risk of excessive morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD). We investigated the clinical effectiveness of Pycnogenol, a flavonoid-rich dietary supplement, in reducing antihypertensive medication use and CVD risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Forty-eight individuals were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with parallel-group design. Patients were diagnosed with both type 2 diabetes and mild to moderate hypertension and were undergoing treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either Pycnogenol pill (125 mg daily) or matched placebo for 12 weeks. According to the values of blood pressure (BP) measured at 2-week intervals, the pretrial ACE inhibitor dosage was left unchanged, reduced by 50%, or brought back to the pretrial dosage until a stable BP was obtained. Fasting plasma glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), serum endothelin-1, and urinary albumin were evaluated monthly. Pycnogenol treatment achieved BP control in 58.3% of subjects at the end of the 12 weeks with 50% reduction in individual pretrial dose of ACE-inhibitors (P<.05). Plasma endothelin-1 decreased by 3.9 pg/mL in Pycnogenol-treated group vs 0.5 pg/mL increase in control group (P<.001). Mean HbA1c dropped by 0.8% in Pycnogenol-treated group (P<.05), whereas it decreased by 0.1% in control group. Fasting plasma glucose declined by 23.7 mg/dL in Pycnogenol-treated group vs 5.7 mg/dL in control group (P<.0001). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol improved significantly in Pycnogenol-treated group, declining by 12.7 mg/dL (P<.001). A significant decrease in urinary albumin level was observed at week 8 compared with the control group (P<.05). However, this reduction was not significant at 12th week. After 12 weeks of supplementation, Pycnogenol resulted in improved diabetes control, lowered CVD risk factors, and reduced antihypertensive medicine use vs controls.

Here is a Potential Source for PYCNOGENOL supplementation:

LINK to Purity Products Pycnogenol supplement

Pycnogenol®, Pomegranate and Vitamin D3 Healthy Aging Super Formula
Pycnogenol Super Formula combines the advanced polyphenol power of 40mg of P40p™ concentrated Pomegranate extract, with the antioxidant power of 50 mg of Pycnogenol®. Purity’s Pycnogenol Super Formula has also been enhanced with Vitamin D3 and Bioperine® (a proven bioavailability enhancer). *
Pycnogenol™ The Research is Impressive and Extensive
Pycnogenol® is a water extract from the bark of the French maritime pine. This natural extract has three basic properties - it’s a powerful antioxidant, it selectively binds to collagen and elastin, and finally, it aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide which helps to support vasodilation.*
More than 190 scientific articles and clinical trials have confirmed Pycnogenol’s safety, absence of toxicity and clinical efficiency over the past 35 years. Today, Pycnogenol® is one of the most researched ingredients in the natural product marketplace. Published findings have demonstrated Pycnogenol’s beneficial effects in cardiovascular health, skin care, cognitive function, sports nutrition, respiratory function and menstrual health, among others.*
Pycnogenol Super Formula Supports:
  • Healthy Blood Pressure Levels and Healthy Cholesterol Levels Already Within The Normal Range*
  • Healthy Circulation*
  • Immunity and Respiratory Health*
  • Joint & Skin Health*
This product contains no milk, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, shellfish or gluten.


(Psalms 103:1-4 NKJV) Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! {2} Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: {3} Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, {4} Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,


  1. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

    What Is Diabetes

  2. You have discussed in detail about Pycnogenol. Good info. Excellent work. Thanks

  3. Thanks Dann. I do the best I can to try and separate "fact from fiction" in my blog. I appreciate your comment. God Bless your efforts to defeat diabetes. Dan