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Pycnogenol: Antioxidant Superstar? (Part 1)
August 6, 2007
Pinus pinaster, more commonly known as Pycnogenol, is a lesser-known antioxidant that has quietly hit the nutrition supplement scene. Pycnogenol is extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine, grown in coastal southwest France. This supplement contains a handful of phytonutrients, including proanthocyanidins, bioflavonoids, and organic acids. And while you may not have heard too much about this supplement, its list of possible health benefits is quite impressive. Let’s take a look.
Pycnogenol may play a role in eye health, too, by preventing or slowing down the progression of diabetic retinopathy. In France, Pycnogenol is commonly prescribed to people with retinopathy. The theory is that the proanthocyanidins in this supplement strengthen small blood vessels in the retina, making them more elastic, which helps improve circulation. A study with 30 people who had diabetic retinopathy showed promising results. Participants were given 50 milligrams of Pycnogenol three times daily, while a control group of 10 people took a placebo. After two months, the folks in the Pycnogenol group had either no worsening of their retinopathy or showed some improvement compared to the placebo group, whose retinopathy progressed.
Next week, we’ll look at the role of Pycnogenol in fighting deep vein thrombosis and asthma, as well as side effects and dose recommendations for the supplement.
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