The benefits of pycnogenol (Pick-NAH-jeh-nol) come from its complex mixture of several types of antioxidants. With this unique blend, it can neutralize many different kinds of free radicals, the primary cause of aging.
Pycnogenol is extracted from the bark of French maritime pine trees. It is a significant source of what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), a category of anthocyanins, itself a subcategory of bioflavonoids.
The antioxidants contained in this flavonoid complex are very similar to those present in resveratrol, grape seed extracts, and red wine extracts.
Because it contains many different types of antioxidants, the benefits of pycnogenol cover a very wide spectrum. Whereas other antioxidants protect against specific kinds of free radicals, this one attacks several different kinds of free radicals, making it an exceptionally powerful antioxidant.
Pycnogenol is being extensively researched for its many benefits, including promoting skin and eye health, supporting immune function and proper inflammatory responses. This complex of antioxidants appears to offset many of the diseases associated with aging, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, in ways similar to the less-desirable (in my opinion) method of calorie restriction.Pycnogenol works with other antioxidants in your system.
Pycnogenol works to increase the level of antioxidant enzymes produced by your body: superoxide dimutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione. It can regenerate the network antioxidants vitamin C, and vitamin E after they become oxidated. This means that you get extra antioxidant protection from these nutrients, instead of them being excreted as waste.
Pycnogenol eases joint pain. Several recent studies report that one benefit of pycnogenol is a decrease in joint pain, while improving joint function. This makes it an excellent choice for bodybuilders and athletes suffering from pain in their knees, shoulders or other joints.
More specific benefits of pycnogenol:
Pycnogenol is a very unique supplement. Although many of the bioflavonoids contained in this natural complex are also found in many other fruits and vegetables, there are some that are specific only to pycnogenol. These many diverse nutrients result in a synergy unmatched by any other known dietary supplement. Although many companies sell pycnogenol supplements, they all come from the same source.