Pycnogenol is a popular formulation of Pine Bark extract which contains 65-75% Procyanidin compounds by weight. Chemically, Pycnogenol is comparable to Grape Seed extract and Cocoa Polyphenols, and all these three are the most common sources of Procyanidins.Pycnogenol is very beneficial for the human body with no significant side effects. Its work benefits are mostly catered towards blood flow. The product works in the body by increasing the volume of Nitric Oxide in the circulatory system. It also helps a lot in controlling glucose in the blood.
In a Pycnogenolsupplement where 65-70% of Procyanidin is standardized is found to contain the following ingredients –
- Catechin and epicatechin molecules within the range of 0.8 – 2.1% by weight, which include Procyanidin B1.
- Caffeic acid – 1.75mcg/mg or 0.2% by weight
- Ferulic acid – 25mcg/mg or 0.3% by weight
- Taxifolin – 14.35mcg/mg or 1.4% by weight
Besides it also contains, Cinnamic acid, flavonoids, and polyphenolic monomers in small quantities.
How Pycnogenol increases nitric oxide levels in blood?
Pycnogenol is found to increase the nitric oxide level in serum in two authentic ways –
- Due to its extremely high anti-oxidant property, nitric oxide supplied by the supplement itself doesn’t turn to any superoxide. Thus, the half-life of nitric oxide increases remarkably.
- The supplement also stimulates the nitric oxide synthase enzyme in the body, thereby increasing the volume of nitric oxide in blood.
Benefits of Pycnogenol
On regular supplementation with Pycnogenol, following benefits are obtained –
- It inevitably increases the blood flow in the body irrespective of a person’s current medications or state of health.
- It controls blood pressure and blood sugar.
- It helps in vasodilation in the cardiovascular system.
- It significantly reduces blood cholesterol and triglyceride thereby easing the blood flow in and out of the heart.
- Pycnogenol strengthens neurons in the brain and central nervous system.
- ADHD in children remarkably improves on continuous intake of Pycnogenol supplement.
- It increases memory, helps to boost focus, and controls mood swings.
- Most visible symptoms of menopause like irregular periods, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and night sweats etc. are significantly controlled and reduced on regular use of Pycnogenol.
- The supplement increases immunity in children and adult alike. It is also known to reduce inflammation by inhibiting NF-kB activity.
How to take Pycnogenol?
Normal doses of Pycnogenol range within 40-60mg daily, and these have been found to be effective over an extended period. People who want to have quick and intensive effect can take 100-200mg of Pycnogenol on daily. The supplement is also suitable for children too. For children, 1mg/lb. is the most standardized dose of Pycnogenol.
Experts advise twice daily dosing by dividing the above-mentioned doses into two halves. The best times of taking Pycnogenol are after breakfast and dinner. Otherwise, once daily dosing after breakfast can is also recommended for individuals who remain very busy in their jobs or professions outside.