6 Best Pycnogenol in 2022

Pycnogenol: You’ve probably heard of this nutrient, but what is it exactly? If you’re not familiar with the supplement pycnogenol, also known as pine bark extract. Pycnogenol is a compound derived from tree bark that has been studied for its potential to improve health and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. With so many pycnogenol reviews focused almost entirely on the health benefits associated with taking pycnogenol, it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction. But don’t worry! We’ve done the work for you.

Editor’s Choice

1. Healthy Origins Pycnogenol

Healthy Origins Pycnogenol (Nature's Super Antioxidant) 100 mg, 60 Count
BrandHealthy Origins
Product BenefitsHeart Health,Eye Health
Item FormCapsule
Dosage Form1-500
FlavorUnflavored
Age Range (Description)Adult
Allergen InformationGluten Free
Material FeatureVegetarian
Unit Count60 Count
Item Dimensions LxWxH3.5 x 2.25 x 2.25 inches

Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all) French maritime pine bark extract is a premium herbal supplement ingredient extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. 40 years of research have been dedicated to establishing the safety of Pycnogenol and its benefits for human health. The purity and potency of Pycnogenolare continuously monitored assuring that you receive the highest quality pine bark extract available.

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WHAT IS PYCNOGENOL

Pycnogenol is a natural extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. Pycnogenol contains a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids, and phenolic acids, which offer extensive natural health support.

EXTENSIVELY RESEARCHED

Pycnogenol is one of the most thoroughly researched dietary supplements available. Over 135 clinical studies using 10,000+ subjects and 300 scientific publications confirm Pycnogenol’s efficacy and safety.

BROAD RANGE OF BODILY SUPPORT

Pycnogenol supports heart health, circulatory health, skincare, eye health, joint care, women’s health, cognitive function, and respiratory health and provides support during and after exercise.

Healthy ORIGINS

Healthy Origins Pycnogenol is encapsulated in the USA using Pycnogenol raw material originating from Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France. There are no other ingredients in our

Healthy Origins

Pycnogenol does not contain sugar, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, egg, or milk. There are no artificial colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Vegetarian formula.

During the summer months

products may arrive warm but Amazon stores and ships products in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations, when provided.

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2. NOW Supplements, Pycnogenol 100 mg

NOW Supplements, Pycnogenol 100 mg (a Unique Combination of Proanthocyanidins from French Maritime Pine) with Amla, 60 Veg Capsules
BrandNOW
Item FormCapsule
Dosage Form1-500
Age Range (Description)Adult
Material FeatureVegetarian, Vegan
Item Weight0.11 Pounds
Unit Count60 Count
Item Dimensions LxWxH1.88 x 1.88 x 3.44 inches

Pycnogenol is an extract of the bark of the French maritime pine that consists of a unique combination of proanthocyanidins. Pycnogenol is a potent free radical scavenger, supports a healthy, balanced immune system response, and promotes the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and nitric oxide.* Clinical and non-clinical studies have demonstrated that Pycnogenol can help to maintain healthy eyes, skin, and joints, and can support normal vascular structure and function.* Pycnogenol is a registered trademark of Horphag Research Ltd. Use of this product is protected by U.S. patent #6,372,266 and other international patents. Take 1 capsule 1 to 2 times daily.

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FREE RADICAL SCAVENGER*/WITH 240 mg AMLA EXTRACT

NOW Pycnogenol 100 mg supports a healthy, balanced immune system response, and promotes the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and nitric oxide.*

HEALTHY VASCULAR FUNCTION*/BALANCED IMMUNE RESPONSE

Clinical and non-clinical studies have demonstrated that Pycnogenol can help to maintain healthy eyes, skin, and joints, and can support normal vascular structure and function.* Take 1 capsule 1 to 2 times daily.

CLASSIFICATIONS/CERTIFICATIONS

Non-GMO, Kosher, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Made without Gluten, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan/Vegetarian

GMP Quality Assured

NOW closely adheres to both mandatory U.S. FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) regulations and voluntary Natural Products Association (NPA) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulations. Good manufacturing practices ensure compliance with sanitation, processing, documentation, and testing requirements that are designed to promote consistent, highly reproducible product quality and safety.

Packaged in the USA by a family owned and operated company since 1968; Caution: For adults only. Consult physician if pregnant/nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

During the summer months products may arrive warm but Amazon stores and ships products in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations, when provided.

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3. Nutra Champs Pycnogenol Pine Bark

Pycnogenol Pine Bark - Premium Supplement with 200mg Herbal Complex for Circulation, Blood Flow & Nitric Oxide Production - Superior Absorption & Results with Black Pepper Extract
BrandNutraChamps
Item FormCapsule
Diet TypeVegan
Dosage FormCapsule
FlavorNutraChamps
Color60
Allergen InformationGluten Free
Material FeatureVegan
Unit Count60 Count
Model NameNutraChamps

Nutra Champions is proud to introduce handcrafted Pycnogenol Pine Bark! This premium global ingredient is carefully crafted and formulated into a high-potency, super fruit dietary supplement that serves as the perfect complement to any active lifestyle. Pycnogenol Pine Bark offers uncompromising quality, backed by our full 200% money-back guarantee.

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Made in USA with Premium Global Ingredients. cGMP Quality Manufacturing.

Boost Blood Flow & Circulation

Are you looking for benefits that boost performance in the gym, office, or bedroom? Look no further than Pycnogenol! Studies have shown this patented extract from French Maritime Pine Bark can have significant impacts on nitric oxide levels in the body, which are responsible for vasodilation and improving blood flow — above & below the belt.

Nature’s Most Powerful Antioxidant

Over the course of each and every day, free radicals roam aimlessly within our bodies, wreaking havoc on our cells. Antioxidants are the body’s defense against these harmful free radicals — and Pycnogenol is the cream of the antioxidant crop!

Premium Patented Pine Bark Extract

Our Pycnogenol capsules come loaded with additional circulation stars beetroot concentrate, cayenne pepper, and grape seed extract. All of these ingredients have been clinically shown to improve blood flow, keeping you going longer and harder when you need it most.

Better Absorption & Benefits with Black Pepper

NutraChamps premium Pycnogenol blend includes black pepper extract for increased bioavailability and results. Black pepper increases your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, ensuring that you reap all the incredible benefits that Pycnogenol has to offer.

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4. Viva Naturals Pycnogenol 100mg from French Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Pycnogenol 100mg from French Maritime Pine Bark Extract - Healthy Blood Circulation Supplements, Antioxidant Protection, Joint Support and Immune Support (60 Veggie Capsules)
Special IngredientsPycnogenol
BrandViva Naturals
Specific Uses For ProductHormone Support
Product BenefitsAntioxidant Support, Immune Support, Heart Health, Healthy Inflammatory Response, Joint Support, Skin HealthAntioxidant Support, Immune Support, Heart Health, Healthy Inflammatory Response, Joint Support, Skin Health.
Item FormCapsule
Diet TypeVegetarian
Dosage Form100 mg
FlavorUnflavored
Age Range (Description)Adult
Allergen InformationGluten Free, Dairy Free

Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all) is made from French maritime pine bark extract (Pinus pinaster), and contains powerful nutrients called procyanidins (a group of bioflavonoids, also found in some fruit). This highly studied blood flow supplement has been shown to help defend against free radical damage, and support a healthy cardiovascular system, immune system, joints, skin, and more.*

Pycnogenol is free of pesticides and sourced from a protected pine forest in southwestern France, grown under strict French forestry legislation. Plus, our vegetarian capsules are free of gluten and soy, to help you feel great about your choice.

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Supports Healthy Circulation

Pycnogenol, made from French pine bark extract, has been shown to support the health of your heart, circulation & cardiovascular system.* If you’re looking for circulation supplements to help healthy blood flow, look no further.

Powerful Antioxidant Protection

Help maintain cell integrity and protect yourself from the harmful effects of oxidation.* A potent antioxidants supplement, Pycnogenol contains powerful nutrients that help stop these cell-damaging molecules in their tracks.

Supports Joint Health & Healthy Skin

Pycnogenol has been shown to support joint health and healthy levels of C-reactive protein, promoting a healthy inflammatory response.* Plus, it helps support healthy, glowing skin.* One study found that skin elasticity and hydration both significantly increased after 6 weeks of Pycnogenol supplementation.

Supports A Balanced Immune System and Women’s Health

With a broad range of health benefits, Pycnogenol helps support a healthy immune system.* It’s also a popular supplement for supporting women’s health.* Head to toe support in one easy to swallow capsule.

Clinically Studied Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Pycnogenol has been clinically studied and researched in over 400 publications. Our vegetarian capsules contain 100mg Pycnogenol per serving and are non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free. Plus, there’s a 2 month’s supply in every bottle.

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5. Life Extension Pycnogenol French Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Special IngredientsPycnogenol® dried French Maritime pine extract (bark) [std. to 65% procyanidins]
BrandLife Extension
Specific Uses For ProductAnti-Aging & Longevity Supplements, Blood Pressure & Vascular Health Supplements, Eye Health Supplements, Inflammation Management SupplementsAnti-Aging & Longevity Supplements, Blood Pressure & Vascular Health Supplements, Eye Health Supplements, Inflammation Management Supplements.
Product BenefitsPromotes a healthy inflammatory response, Helps maintain already-healthy glucose levels, Provides powerful antioxidant protection, Supports vascular health & healthy circulation promotes a healthy inflammatory response, Helps maintain already-healthy glucose levels, and Provides powerful antioxidant protection, Supports vascular health & healthy circulation.
Item FormCapsule
Diet TypeVegetarian, Gluten Free
Dosage FormCapsule
ColorTan
Allergen InformationGluten Free, Non-GMO
Material FeatureGMO Free

Pycnogenol® has a long history of clinical research. For a healthy heart, eyes, cells, DNA, and lifespan, there are few nutritional supplements that have been studied as extensively. Pycnogenol® helps the body fight normal aging by supporting vascular health and healthy circulation.

It also provides powerful antioxidant protection and helps inhibit inflammatory factors to support whole-body health. Antioxidant & blood sugar support: Pycnogenol® has demonstrated an ability to help maintain already-healthy glucose levels.8 It also bolsters the body’s antioxidant defenses with powerful phytonutrient compounds, inhibiting the free-radical activity that can be damaging to cells, tissue, organs, and DNA, as well as inhibiting stress on delicate vascular walls and more.

Vascular health & circulation: Pycnogenol® supports endothelial and arterial health by helping to inhibit inflammatory factors called cytokines. It also encourages healthy nitric oxide levels in the arteries, which supports endothelial function and arterial blood flow and has been shown to promote a healthy inflammatory response and platelet function. Now available as a single-nutrient supplement: We believe in this extract’s health benefits so much, that we’ve incorporated it into our arterial, circulatory, and ocular health formulas, but you can also add Pycnogenol® to your supplement regimen with this stand-alone product.

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VASCULAR & CIRCULATORY HEALTH

Pycnogenol, an extract of French maritime pine bark, has a long history of clinical research—there are few nutritional supplements that have been studied as extensively. Pycnogenol helps support vascular health by encouraging healthy nitric oxide levels in the arteries, which supports healthy arterial blood flow.

LONGEVITY

Pycnogenol bolsters your body’s antioxidant defenses, inhibiting the free-radical activity that can affect cells, tissue, organs, and even DNA. That’s why Pycnogenol is in our arterial, circulatory, and ocular health formulas—and now, this stand-alone product.

SUPPORTS ALREADY-HEALTHY BLOOD SUGAR

Pycnogenol helps maintain already-healthy blood sugar levels. It also helps inhibit inflammatory factors to support arterial as well as whole-body health. So give Pycnogenol a try—and fight back against Father Time!

INGREDIENTS MATTER

Sourced using only the finest raw ingredients with the purity and potency your body deserves. The majority of our products are non-GMO, gluten-free, and manufactured in the USA—and a Certificate of Analysis is available for every product we produce.

LIVE YOUR HEALTHIEST LIFE

For over 40 years, we’ve been developing advanced, effective formulas made with the highest standards and based on the latest scientific findings. We believe the answers to a healthier, richer life are within reach, and that rigorous scientific research is the path to get us there. Our formulations are created using the ingredients and dosages used in the studies that inspired them, ensuring that maximum bioavailability and efficacy are achieved.

6. Pure Encapsulations – Pycnogenol 50 mg

Pure Encapsulations - Pycnogenol (Pine Bark Extract) 50 mg - Hypoallergenic Supplement to Support Cognitive Function and Cardiovascular Health - 120 Capsules
BrandPure Encapsulations
Product BenefitsHypoallergenic
Item FormCapsule
FlavorBark
Allergen InformationGluten Free
Item Weight0.1 Pounds
Unit Count120.00 Count
Item Dimensions LxWxH3.3 x 1.8 x 1.8 inches

Pure Encapsulations was built with the purest of hearts and a plan to improve the wellness and wellbeing of others. This heartfelt commitment now extends to the planet as we move forward in sustainability initiatives and continue to support incredible organizations dedicated to leading the charge for a greener future.

Highlighted Features

  • Antioxidants: Pycnogenol is a pine bark extract with antioxidant properties for vascular health.*
  • Vascular Integrity: Supports the health of blood vessels, overall vascular health, stabilization of collagenous membranes and vascular integrity. It also promotes vascular function by modulating nitric oxide levels.*
  • Superoxide Radical Scavenger: In addition to facilitating vitamin C regeneration and preserving vitamin E, Pycnogenol is a hydroxyl and superoxide radical scavenger.*
  • Pure Quality: Our supplements are made with only premium ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers and guided by our nutritional experts, then carefully manufactured and tested to verify their potency and purity.
  • Pure Difference: What makes us different isn’t just our process or what goes into our supplements — what we leave out matters, too. Pure Encapsulations products are FREE FROM wheat, eggs, tree nuts & peanuts, gluten, artificial colors, flavors & sweeteners, coatings and shellacs, GMOs, and unnecessary binders, fillers & preservatives.

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Health Benefits of Pycnogenol

With only a little bit of research, it’s easy to see that there’s a whole slew of benefits of pycnogenol. But how much of this is marketing puffery, and how much is science? Read on!

Pycnogenol Skin Benefits

Many people like to use pycnogenol for skincare. But does science back up the hype? Research over the past few decades has started to verify pycnogenol’s skin benefits. Here’s a brief overview.

Skin Hydration and Elasticity

Several studies have found that pycnogenol can help with healthier skin by boosting hydration and elasticity.2

One study looked at the skin’s response to supplementing pycnogenol in 20 healthy women.3 Their skin was examined with several testing methods before and after the 12-week trial. By the end, pycnogenol had significantly improved hydration and elasticity of the skin. Interestingly, this effect was strongest in women who had dry skin before the trial.

Pycnogenol and Psoriasis (Scaly, Flaky Skin)

Psoriasis is a skin condition in which dead skin cells rapidly build up in patches. Symptoms include flaky, scaly, itchy, dry, bumpy, and/or reddened skin. A few studies have indicated that pycnogenol may help with psoriasis.

One study examined the effects of pycnogenol on subjects with moderate to severe psoriasis. 4 After a 12-week trial, there were significant decreases in symptoms in the pycnogenol group compared to the control. Notably, they showed a greater reduction in psoriasis surface area and severity. There was also significantly less flaking and significantly more skin moisture in the pycnogenol group.

Black seed oil, an extract from a Middle Eastern herb, has similarly been shown to reduce psoriasis symptoms. Refer to our complete black seed oil guide for more information.

Pycnogenol and Melasma (Dark Splotches on Skin)

Melasma is a skin condition manifested by dark splotches, often on the face. These darker areas are the result of hyperpigmentation, typically caused by increased sun exposure.

Many users of pycnogenol claim that the woodsy extract is able to alleviate these dark patches associated with melasma. Supporting these claims, there is indeed some research to suggest pycnogenol may help with melasma.

One notable study looked at the effects of pycnogenol on thirty women suffering from melasma.5 Each subject took 75 milligrams of pycnogenol per day for 30 days. The research measured the total areas of melasma, as well as pigmentation level (skin shade). At the end of the trial, the total melasma surface area had decreased by roughly 25%, and pigmentation had also decreased (i.e., lighter skin).

These findings suggest pycnogenol may be effective in treating melasma, with visible improvements in as little as 30 days. It’s also worth noting that 75 milligrams of pycnogenol daily is a low dose compared to many other studies. Further research is needed to determine whether higher doses are more effective.

Pycnogenol and Erythema (Skin Redness)

Erythema, commonly known as skin redness, can have a lot of different causes. From sunburn to chafing clothes, to genetic factors, most people will experience skin redness from time to time. Some research indicates pycnogenol may help reduce erythema.

One study examined the effects of pycnogenol on ultraviolet-induced redness (essentially, sunburn).6 The study found that with increased pycnogenol supplementation, significantly more ultraviolet light was needed in order to cause redness. Put simply, the skin was more resistant to sunburn. This was observed with doses of 1.10 milligrams and 1.66 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for 4 weeks each.

Brain Health: Pycnogenol’s Nootropic Benefits

Pycnogenol is fairly popular as a nootropic supplement, a class of supplements that improve cognitive function. Here are a few ways research has shown that pycnogenol works as a nootropic supplement.

Memory

One study examined the effects of pycnogenol supplementation in healthy elderly individuals.7 Subjects took 150 milligrams of pycnogenol daily for 3 months. Throughout the trial, they demonstrated improvement in several cognitive areas, including both short-term and long-term memory.

Another study performed on healthy elderly subjects similarly found an improvement in memory.8 After taking 100 milligrams of pycnogenol daily for 12 months (by far one of the longest trials), subjects reported significantly improved long-term memory. This was reported via a standardized cognitive performance questionnaire.

Another study, this time with students aged 18-27, similarly found memory-boosting effects with pycnogenol.9 After 8 weeks of supplementation, those that took pycnogenol scored statistically better on cognitive tests than a control group. Notably, the pycnogenol group demonstrated better memory.

Focus

In one of the studies cited above, pycnogenol was also associated with a boost in focus.10 In healthy elderly subjects, 150 milligrams of pycnogenol daily resulted in a significant increase in focus and attention.

Similar findings were noted in the above-cited study on students.11 After 8 weeks of pycnogenol supplementation, students demonstrated increased sustained attention compared to a control group.

Cognitive Protection

Neurological damage from oxidative stress plays a big part in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. As such, pycnogenol’s antioxidant effects have been examined in the context of this disease.

One animal study did find that pycnogenol may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.12 In rats, pycnogenol and vitamin E were supplemented in order to reduce artificially-induced, controlled levels of oxidative stress. After 2 weeks, the control rats demonstrated significant cognitive decline. The pycnogenol rats, on the other hand, demonstrated much less decline.

A very interesting study found that pycnogenol may help protect the brain following a traumatic brain injury.13 Regardless of dose, the researchers found that administering pycnogenol via IV injection significantly reduced indicators of brain trauma in rats. They concluded that pycnogenol may exhibit neuroprotective effects following brain trauma. Other animal research has led to similar findings.14

Effects on ADHD

One study examined the effects of pycnogenol in 61 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).15 For 4 weeks, one group took 1 milligram of pycnogenol daily per kilogram of bodyweight. The other group was given a placebo. The results showed that pycnogenol significantly reduced hyperactivity while improving focus and hand-eye coordination. Furthermore, the subjects relapsed back to their original condition within one month after discontinuing pycnogenol. These findings suggest pycnogenol may be effective against ADHD symptoms in children.

Other Health Benefits

Pycnogenol has been praised as a way to support a lot more than just skin and brain health. Here’s a brief overview of its other research-backed benefits.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Several studies have indicated that pycnogenol may be able to reduce the risk of heart disease.16

One test tube study found that pycnogenol was able to stimulate nitric oxide production.17 Nitric oxide, in turn, decreases levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in the body. It also inhibits plaque buildup in the arteries. All of this indicates that pycnogenol may lead to a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease.

A human study found that pycnogenol may be able to reduce high blood pressure.18 The 12-week, the 58-subject study examined the effects of 100 milligrams of pycnogenol daily compared to a control. The study found a mild reduction in blood pressure, indicating that pycnogenol may be effective against mildly high blood pressure.

A meta-analysis of three trials examined the effects of aspirin vs. pycnogenol on blood platelet clumping in smokers.19 Platelet aggregation leads to blood clots, which are helpful for stopping the bleeding but are dangerous when they occur in veins and arteries. Smoking increases platelet aggregation, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease.20

The meta-analysis found that pycnogenol was effective in reducing blood platelet clumping. Furthermore, while aspirin significantly increased bleeding time due to decreased clumping, pycnogenol didn’t. The researchers found that one 200-milligram dose of pycnogenol was able to reduce smoking-induced blood platelet clumping for over 6 days. These findings suggest that pycnogenol may reduce blood clot-related heart disease risk, particularly in smokers.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Several studies have found that pycnogenol may be effective in reducing swelling and inflammation.2122

One such study specifically examined blood flow and swelling in the legs of forty subjects.23 Twenty of the subjects took 300 milligrams of pycnogenol daily for 60 days. Compared to the control group, pycnogenol was associated with a significant reduction of pain and swelling when measured at both 30 and 60 days. Roughly 60% of the pycnogenol-treated subjects had no swelling at all by the end of the trial. No such changes were noted in the control group.

These findings indicate that pycnogenol may be effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. In addition, it may be effective in reducing pain associated with these symptoms. Further research is needed on pycnogenol’s effects on swelling in other areas of the body.

Another study examined the effects of pycnogenol on 100 subjects with knee pain (osteoarthritis).24 For 3 months, one group supplemented 150 milligrams of pycnogenol daily while the other took a placebo. Following treatment, the pycnogenol group demonstrated a significant reduction in pain, while the control group had no change. These findings further suggest that pycnogenol may be effective in reducing pain and inflammation.

Antimicrobial Effects

A few studies have shown that pycnogenol can be effective in fighting hostile microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi.

One notable study examined the effects of pycnogenol against 23 different pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms.25 The study found even in concentrations as low as 0.025%, pycnogenol was able to counteract the growth of all 23 microorganisms. This indicates that pycnogenol may be effective in killing or suppressing disease-causing microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi.

Antioxidant Effects

Several studies have found that pycnogenol contains antioxidant compounds.2627 One such study noted significant antioxidant effects in subjects taking 150 milligrams of pycnogenol daily for 6 weeks.28 Such findings indicate that pycnogenol may be effective in free radical scavenging. This, in turn, would reduce the risk of oxidative stress, which can manifest symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and cognitive deficits.

Accelerated Wound Healing

One study examined the effects of pycnogenol on standardized wounds inflicted on rats.29 Gel was applied to the wounds as researchers monitored the wound size and level of scabbing. One group was treated with a gel containing 1% pycnogenol, one with 2% pycnogenol, one with 5% pycnogenol, and one without pycnogenol.

The gel-only group healed in an average of 15.4 days. The 1% pycnogenol group healed 1.6 days faster. The 2% group healed nearly 3 days faster than the control. The 5% pycnogenol group did heal faster than all others, but there was less of an increase over the 2% group. Furthermore, the pycnogenol groups were left with smaller scars following healing. These findings suggest that pycnogenol may be effective in wound healing and scar prevention.

Effects on Asthma

A few studies have suggested that pycnogenol may be effective against asthma symptoms.

One study sought to examine the effect of pycnogenol on asthma.30 Twenty-two patients completed the 8-week study. For the first 4 weeks, one group was given 1 milligram of pycnogenol daily per pound of bodyweight. The other group was given a placebo. For the last 4 weeks, the regimen was switched. The study found that pycnogenol was effective in reducing symptoms and biological markers of asthma. The researchers’ conclusion was that pycnogenol may be effective in managing chronic asthma.

Another study examined the effects of pycnogenol on 60 asthmatic subjects from 6-18 years old.31 Over the 3-month trial, subjects taking pycnogenol demonstrated significant improvement in asthma symptoms compared to the control. Furthermore, they were able to lessen or discontinue the use of inhalers more often than the control group. These findings indicate that pycnogenol may be effective against childhood asthma.

Diabetic Symptoms and Conditions

Although it’s no cure for diabetes, pycnogenol has been shown to have an effect on certain diabetic symptoms and conditions.32

For example, pycnogenol has been shown to lower glucose levels in diabetic subjects.33 In one study, researchers examined whether pycnogenol inhibits alpha-glucosidase (noting that pycnogenol itself does not increase insulin secretion).34 Put simply, alpha-glucosidase breaks down starches and sugars, increasing blood glucose levels.

The study did find that pycnogenol inhibited alpha-glucosidase. With lower levels of alpha-glucosidase, lower blood sugar levels were noted. This indicates that pycnogenol may be effective against hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in diabetic individuals.

Another example is diabetic retinopathy, a condition caused by damaged blood vessels in the back of the eyes. Symptoms start with very mild vision problems, but can eventually lead to blindness.

One promising meta-study examined the effects of pycnogenol on slowing diabetic retinopathy. Researchers analyzed five different trials examining a total of 1,289 subjects. Their conclusion was that these studies overwhelmingly indicate that pycnogenol is effective in slowing and/or halting diabetic retinopathy. In some cases, vision actually improved.

Pycnogenol and Erectile Dysfunction

Some research indicates that pycnogenol may have an effect on erectile dysfunction.

As discussed above, pycnogenol has been shown to increase levels of nitric oxide in the body. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by low levels of nitric oxide. Because of this, one study sought to examine the effects of pycnogenol and l-arginine on erectile dysfunction.36

The design of the study could have been more thorough, but its results are promising. Forty men with self-reported erectile dysfunction underwent a 3-month trial. During the first month, they took only 1.7 grams of l-arginine daily. There was no statistically significant improvement in symptoms. In the second month, subjects began taking 80 milligrams of pycnogenol daily. At this point, 80% of the men reported normal erection. After taking 120 milligrams during the third month, 92.5% of the men reported normal erection. These findings suggest pycnogenol may be effective in treating erectile dysfunction.

For more information on l-arginine and its impact on fertility and sexual health, refer to our complete l-arginine guide.


Pycnogenol Dosage

Based on current research, the ideal dose for pycnogenol is 100 to 300 milligrams per day. Although there is currently no official recommended dosage, most studies on this supplement have used a daily regimen within that range.

It’s important to note that even at the ideal dosage, most people will likely not notice any beneficial effects for some time. Most research on pycnogenol has noted positive effects after several weeks of supplementation. As such, a new regimen of pycnogenol should last at least several weeks.

Pycnogenol Side Effects

Reported side effects of pycnogenol are mild when supplemented in appropriate doses, according to user reports and the above-cited studies. These symptoms may include digestive discomfort, nausea, vertigo, and headaches.

Unpleasant digestive side effects of pycnogenol are more likely on an empty stomach. Pycnogenol contains high levels of tannins, which can cause nausea on an empty stomach. (Tannins are also the primary reason drinking plain green or black tea while fasting can cause nausea.) As such, it’s best to take pycnogenol with food.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that the best pycnogenol is a safe, effective way to improve your general health. It does have several short-term side effects, including headache and possible allergy symptoms. However, for the most part, users do not experience anything major. As a result of its benefits in multiple areas of human health, it’s definitely a supplement that we recommend trying out.

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