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Pycnogenol Overview

Pycnogenol is obtained primarily from the bark of the French baritone pine tree. It’s an essential oil extracted from the bark after it’s been harvested. Pycnogenol can also be manufactured in various ways. Peanut skins or grape seeds can be used to make it. The manner pycnogenol is shipped around the world has also changed as a result of this. [1]

What You Need To Know About Pycnogenol? Benefits, Side Effects & More

Proanthocyanidins, also present in almonds, apples, cocoa, grapes, tea, wine, and some berries, are a natural source of numerous antioxidants present in pycnogenol.

Pycnogenol is used to treat allergies, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), circulatory problems, diabetes, endometriosis, erectile dysfunction (ED), high blood pressure, muscle soreness, menopausal symptoms, osteoarthritis, ringing in the ears, painful menstrual periods, pain, and retinopathy (eye disease). [2]
Some people use pycnogenol-containing skin lotions as “anti-aging” products.


Origin of Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is made as a chemical and then bottled in large quantities.

This means that purchasers need to locate the appropriate vendor. It’s bottled and sold through a variety of internet stores, which adds to the overall experience.
It’s never been easier to get this supplement online. Consumers should read reviews to gain a new perspective on how well the supplement works for certain conditions.

Potential Pycnogenol Benefits

Health Benefits Of Pycnogenol

Health Benefits Of Pycnogenol

1. For Skin

There are many benefits of pycnogenol for skin, including the reduction of aging symptoms. [3]

Pine bark extract improved skin hydration and elasticity in postmenopausal women, according to research. The participants in the trial took a best pycnogenol supplement, which was most helpful in women who had dry skin. Pycnogenol was also discovered to boost hyaluronic acid and collagen production, both of which are included in many popular anti-aging products.

Another study discovered that using a pycnogenol gel on a wound sped up the healing process. Scars were also decreased in size. [4]

2. For ADHD

Pycnogenol has been shown to assist children in controlling their ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms, in addition to its skin-healing effects. According to a study, children who took a pycnogenol supplement daily for four weeks had significantly lower levels of hyperactivity. It also seems to increase their attentiveness, attention span, and visual-motor skills.

Another study looked at the impact of pycnogenol’s antioxidant activity on oxidative stress, which is regarded as one of the non-genetic causes of ADHD. [5]

The antioxidant levels of children who received a pycnogenol supplement for one month were healthy. While these findings are encouraging, more research is needed to comprehend the impact of antioxidant levels on ADHD symptoms completely.

3. May Help Neuroprotective Effect

According to the research, pycnogenol may assist in reducing nerve cell damage after a traumatic brain injury. Pine bark extract’s capacity to alleviate oxidative stress and inflammation is suggested to be the reason for this. More research is needed to fully comprehend these findings and the role of pycnogenol in reducing head trauma damage. [6]

4. Improves Heart Health

The effects of pycnogenol in treating cardiovascular risk factors linked with menopause were investigated in a study. After taking pycnogenol for eight weeks, perimenopausal women saw a reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Both of these are considered risk factors for heart disease at high levels. The women also had normalized blood pressure and fasting glucose levels, which can lower the risk of heart disease. [7]

5. May Treat Metabolic Syndrome

According to a review, pycnogenol can help with metabolic syndrome and related conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. [8] According to the study, pycnogenol may:

  • lower blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • reduce blood pressure
  • reduce waist size
  • improves the function of the kidney

6. Cognitive Function and Brain Fog

Pycnogenol appears to be a viable nootropic for various people, including students, middle-aged professionals, and those suffering from mild cognitive loss such as brain fog.

Researchers believe it may improve sustained attention [9] , mood, memory [10], executive functions, mental performance [11] and reduce oxidative stress after several weeks of research.

7. Exercise Performance & Recovery

According to studies, pycnogenol may help improve athletic performance [12] by preventing the rise in free radicals after exercise, leading to muscle fatigue [13]and injury.

8. Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

The combination of L-arginine and Pycnogenol may aid in the treatment of erectile dysfunction by increasing nitric oxide levels, which may enhance blood flow in men. [14]

Pycnogenol Side Effects

Although this is a natural supplement, it does require some chemical processing before it can be sold. When used as directed, the product is relatively safe.
The maker will provide instructions on how to use the product safely. As part of the packaging, there includes a list of possible adverse effects.

Pycnogenol Dosage recommendations vary widely and are dependent on the treatment goal.

The needs for this supplement will vary depending on the manufacturer. When customers use it, it may take some time to experience certain effects. Adults will need to take more of the supplement to see any results.

Pycnogenol Interactions

Because this is a natural product, there aren’t many adverse effects to worry about. Pycnogenol is an antioxidant that can also stimulate the circulatory system.
If a patient is already taking a drug that has these side effects, they should be cautious. Taking pycnogenol to control these health consequences may be risky and perhaps dangerous. Consult with your doctor before you begin with the use of the supplement.

Pycnogenol FAQ’s

Q: What is Pycnogenol Good for?

A: Pycnogenol can help with:

  • Allergies,
  • Asthma,
  • Diabetes,
  • Erectile dysfunction (ed),
  • Ringing in the ears,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Improving athletic endurance,
  • Improving male fertility,
  • Muscle soreness,
  • Menopausal symptoms, [15]
  • Maintaining healthy skin,
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Painful menstrual periods,
  • Pain,
  • Slowing the aging process, among other things.

Q: Is Phcnogenol the Same as Pine Extract?

A: Yes! Pycnogenol is a brand name for pine bark extract, and there is little to no difference in composition or effects between the two. Pine bark extract or pycnogenol can be used to treat a range of medical issues. [16]

Q: What is Pycnogenol?

A: Pycnogenol is frequently sold as a dietary supplement. It’s a standardized extract made up of catechin, phenolic acids, procyanidins, and taxifolin, among other flavonoids. [17]

Proanthocyanidins, also present in apples, almonds, cocoa, grapes, some berries, tea, and wine, is a natural source of numerous antioxidants.

Q: Can Pycnogenol Help Me Sleep?

A: Pycnogenol has been proven to be particularly useful in the treatment of insomnia/sleep disorder symptoms and vasomotor. [18]

Q: How Do I Use the Ordinary Pycnogenol?

A: Apply before oils or heavier creams, either alone or after water-based serums. Alternatively, combine with other treatments to boost their antioxidant capacity. If irritation occurs, discontinue use and seek medical advice. On undamaged skin, use only as advised. It is recommended that you test your product on a patch before using it.

Q: Is Pycnogenol Good for the Skin?

A: Yes, it’s suitable for people with all skin types. [19]

Q: Is Pycnogenol Worth Taking?

A: Pycnogenol can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Pycnogenol may be beneficial to the heart and arteries. It appears to lower blood pressure and improve leg blood flow. It may also help to prevent blood clots and coronary artery disease. [20]

There’s a lot of evidence that pycnogenol can aid with diabetic eye problems. [21]

Final Verdict

Pycnogenol is a beneficial supplement for people who want to improve their circulation.

It’s a relatively new breakthrough that’s also pretty simple to make. Suppliers are praising the advantages it provides.
Given the favorable feedback, this is a supplement that health enthusiasts should have on their shelves.

Read Also: Benefits of Epimedium

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21 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] Rohdewald P. A review of the French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), a herbal medication with a diverse clinical pharmacology. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Apr;40(4):158-68. doi: 10.5414/cpp40158. PMID: 11996210.
[2] Rohdewald PJ (2016) Relief from Menopausal Symptoms by Non-hormonal Treatment with Pycnogenol® (French Maritime Pine Bark Extract). J Genit Syst Disor 5:4. doi:10.4172/2325-9728.1000163
[3] Pycnogenol: A Miracle Component in Reducing Ageing and Skin Disorders:
[4] Rachael L. Moses, Thomas A. K. Prescott, Eduard Mas-Claret, Robert Steadman, Ryan Moseley, Alastair J. Sloan, Evidence for Natural Products as Alternative Wound-Healing Therapies, Biomolecules, 10.3390/biom13030444, 13, 3, (444), (2023).
[5] Verlaet AAJ, Maasakkers CM, Hermans N, Savelkoul HFJ. Rationale for Dietary Antioxidant Treatment of ADHD. Nutrients. 2018;10(4):405. Published 2018 Mar 24. doi:10.3390/nu10040405
[6] Stephen W. Scheff, Mubeen A. Ansari, Kelly N. Roberts, Neuroprotective effect of Pycnogenol® following traumatic brain injury, Experimental Neurology, Volume 239, 2013, Pages 183-191, ISSN 0014-4886,
[7] Luzzi R, Belcaro G, Hosoi M, Feragalli B, Cornelli U, Dugall M, et al. Normalization of cardiovascular risk factors in peri-menopausal women with Pycnogenol®. Minerva Ginecol 2017;69:29-34. DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.16.03913-7
[8] Martha-Estrella García-Pérez, Pierre-Betu Kasangana, Tatjana Stevanovic, Bioactive Molecules from Myrianthus arboreus, Acer rubrum, and Picea mariana Forest Resources, Molecules, 10.3390/molecules28052045, 28, 5, (2045), (2023).
[9] Belcaro G, Luzzi R, Dugall M, Ippolito E, Saggino A. Pycnogenol® improves cognitive function, attention, mental performance and specific professional skills in healthy professionals aged 35-55. J Neurosurg Sci. 2014 Dec;58(4):239-48. Epub 2014 Mar 28. PMID: 24675223.
[10] Belcaro G, Dugall M, Ippolito E, Hu S, Saggino A, Feragalli B. The COFU3 Study. Improvement in cognitive function, attention, mental performance with Pycnogenol® in healthy subjects (55-70) with high oxidative stress. J Neurosurg Sci. 2015 Dec;59(4):437-46. PMID: 26635191.
[11] Luzzi R, Belcaro G, Zulli C, Cesarone MR, Cornelli U, Dugall M, Hosoi M, Feragalli B. Pycnogenol® supplementation improves cognitive function, attention and mental performance in students. Panminerva Med. 2011 Sep;53(3 Suppl 1):75-82. PMID: 22108481.
[12] Vinciguerra G, Belcaro G, Bonanni E, Cesarone MR, Rotondi V, Ledda A, Hosoi M, Dugall M, Cacchio M, Cornelli U. Evaluation of the effects of supplementation with Pycnogenol® on fitness in normal subjects with the Army Physical Fitness Test and in performances of athletes in the 100-minute triathlon. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2013 Dec;53(6):644-54. PMID: 24247188.
[13] Vinciguerra G, Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Rohdewald P, Stuard S, Ricci A, Di Renzo A, Hosoi M, Dugall M, Ledda A, Cacchio M, Acerbi G, Fano F. Cramps and muscular pain: prevention with pycnogenol in normal subjects, venous patients, athletes, claudicants and in diabetic microangiopathy. Angiology. 2006 May-Jun;57(3):331-9. doi: 10.1177/000331970605700309. PMID: 16703193.
[14] Stanislavov R, Nikolova V. Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine. J Sex Marital Ther. 2003 May-Jun;29(3):207-13. doi: 10.1080/00926230390155104. PMID: 12851125.
[15] Luzzi R, Belcaro G, Hosoi M, Feragalli B, Cornelli U, Dugall M, Ledda A. Normalization of cardiovascular risk factors in peri-menopausal women with Pycnogenol®. Minerva Ginecol. 2017 Feb;69(1):29-34. doi: 10.23736/S0026-4784.16.03913-7. PMID: 28116886.
[16] Iravani S, Zolfaghari B. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical effects of Pinus pinaster bark extract. Res Pharm Sci. 2011;6(1):1-11.
[17] Robertson NU, Schoonees A, Brand A, Visser J. Pine bark (Pinus spp.) extract for treating chronic disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020;9(9):CD008294. Published 2020 Sep 29. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008294.pub5
[18] Kohama T, Negami M. Effect of low-dose French maritime pine bark extract on climacteric syndrome in 170 perimenopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Reprod Med. 2013 Jan-Feb;58(1-2):39-46. PMID: 23447917.
[19] Marini A, Grether-Beck S, Jaenicke T, Weber M, Burki C, Formann P, Brenden H, Schönlau F, Krutmann J. Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in women. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2012;25(2):86-92. doi: 10.1159/000335261. Epub 2012 Jan 21. PMID: 22270036.
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Michael Wight

Michael Wight is a health enthusiast and blogger. He contributes to different websites in the health and fitness niche.