Pycnogenol, flavangenol, or French maritime pine bark extract (PBE) comes from the bark of the European Pinus-pinaster tree and is a super antioxidant with many health benefits. Pine bark extract’s power comes from compounds called oligomeric proanthocyanidin, or OPCs. This powerful antioxidant also has anti-allergic, anticarcinogenic, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. Plus, it can be taken in a liquid, tablet or capsule form.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Pine bark extract helps lower blood glucose levels in people with diabetes by improving the endothelial function, which is adversely affected by the insulin issues experienced by these individuals. Pine bark extract normalizes endothelial function by increasing nitric oxide release which, in turn, lowers blood sugar levels.
Protects the Body from Infection
Pine bark extract can prevent and treat infections in people with both healthy and compromised immune systems and can address serious bacterial infections like staph, E. coli, as well as treating infected wounds. The essential oil of pine bark extract significantly inhibits bacterial growth with the help of proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, and oligomeric flavonoids. These compounds remove harmful free radicals from cells.
Helps with Balance and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can develop from ototoxicity. The condition is caused by drugs or chemicals that results in damage to the inner ear or the vestibulocochlear nerve, which is linked to balance and sends signals to the brain. The antioxidants in pine bark extract are believed to help with improve balance and hearing loss.
Helps Protect the Skin from Ultraviolet Rays
Pine bark extract can provide photoprotection for the skin and reduce the hyperpigmentation that develops from sun damage by improving the function of the skin’s barrier and extracellular matrix homeostasis. The extract also makes it easier to absorb vitamin D from the sun.
Diminishes Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction issues increase each year. Pine bark extract has been known to diminish the effects of erectile dysfunction by increasing the concentration of sperm and improving orgasmic function. PBE can do all this without any noteable side effects, unlike many pharmaceuticals that do the same.
Chronic inflammation is linked to disease. In addition to its antioxidant effects, pine bark extract is an anti-inflammatory and can help control the body’s inflammatory response, which is helpful in the healing process and the prevention of chronic inflammatory conditions.
Boosts Athletic Performance
Pine bark extract improves performance by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body that develops due to exercise. It increases endurance by prolonging the amount of time it takes the body to become fatigued. This is possible as a result of increased serum NAD+ levels. The extract can also prevent leg cramping and muscle pain.
Improves Vitamin C Absorption and Helps Diminish Pain
Pine bark extract’s strong antioxidant qualities help the body to absorb vitamin C more readily. This benefits the body extensively because vitamin C has many health advantages, including cardiovascular health benefits and anti-aging qualities. This extract also helps when it comes to diminishing pain. However, this natural pain reliever may take longer to kick in than other, over-the-counter options.
Boosts Brain Function
Oxidative stress can impair brain function. The oxidative stress-battling properties of pine bark extract can help in this area, too, by boosting brain function and improving memory and mental clarity. Pine bark extract is especially beneficial when it comes to improving brain function in people over the age of 55.
Improves Asthma Symptoms
Pine bark extract can improve asthma symptoms by reducing airway obstructions and thromboxane and leukotriene levels, two molecules responsible for inciting asthmatic symptoms. PBE may also help reduce dependency on inhalers and lower the amount of asthma medication a person requires.