What You Should Know
Pycnogenol is an extract from pine trees in France used as an ingredient in natural supplements. The official Pycnogenol website claims the extract was used in the 1500s to treat the effects of scurvy and a diminished immune system. The description goes on to claim Pycnogenol may increase blood vessel dilation, bind to collagen and elastin and work in the body as an antioxidant. As if these claims were not enough, the literature goes on to link Pycnogenol to skin health, heart health, reproductive health, lung health and more. The manufacturers of the ingredient seem to think Pycnogenol is the super ingredient of the century.
List of Ingredients
Water extract from a French pine tree.
Pycnogenol is a supplement that is used as an ingredient or as a branded supplement for a given company. All Pycnogenol supplements we could find included calcium with the fine bark extract, but there is no reference on the official website as to why the extract needs to be taken with calcium. The claims made by the manufacturer are not supported with clinical research that we could find on the official website. What we did find was a list of potential side effects associated with taking Pycnogenol. These include stomach discomfort, dizziness, nausea, headache and gastro-intestinal pain or discomfort.
We looked through some of the stores listed as selling Pycnogenol and there were only two uses we could find. Some natural doctors suggested using the extract to stop nosebleeds or ease bruising. The other use was in anti-aging skin creams. We could not find one supplement from the official Pycnogenol website that used the ingredient for vasodilation. We looked outside the list of retailers on the website and found most of the supplements were sold as antioxidants. There is no link to weight loss and Pycnogenol.
The price for Pycnogenol will range from $5 to more than $30 depending on the strength. Some supplements have only 25mg and others have 100mg. The higher the strength; the higher the price.
- Pycnogenol may be a strong antioxidant.
- The supplement is relatively inexpensive.
- The official website for Pycnogenol does not list any of the 35 studies it claims support the product.
- Most of the supplements sold online are nothing more than Pycnogenol and calcium.
Pycnogenol makes a lot of huge claims and supports none of them on the consumer side of the official website. As an ingredient, other supplement companies buy the ingredient and then smack some calcium in the bottle and make a new label and sell the supplement as their own. There are no weight loss benefits to Pycnogenol so the dieter may want to skip the supplement.