Pine Bark Extract and Pycnogenol

Pinus_pinasterOne of the most often asked questions we get is: What is the difference between Pycnogenol and Pine Bark Extract?

Pine Bark Extract (Pinus pinaster) is harvested from maritime pine tree bark. Though there haven’t been many clinical studies at this time, early lab results show possible benefits such as:

  • Pine Bark Extract may lower the blood sugar levels of some diabetic patients.
  • Pine Bark Extract possibly reduces swelling from a circulation disorder called chronic venous insufficiency.
  • Pine Bark Extract may have antioxidant properties.

The active ingredient in Pine Bark Extract is a naturally-occuring chemical called proanthocyanidins. There are many brands that contain this chemical (in differing compounds) and they all serve the same essential function.

So what’s the difference?
Pycnogenol is a registered brand name that refers to the same chemical harvested using a method patented in 1951 by Dr. Jacques Masquelier. Pycnogenol is Pine Bark Extract harvested from a tree in France in such a way that it costs four or five times as much as other brands.

(Pine Bark Extract; American Cancer Society; )


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