Pycnogenol is registered trademark name for a French maritime pine bark extract known as Pinus pinaster. Because it is rich in antioxidants, Pycnogenol is becoming popular as a natural supplement for the circulatory, vascular and immune systems.
Studies about Pycnogenol point to improved blood flow as a major benefit from taking Pycnogenol supplements. The mechanism is similar to increased levels of Nitric Oxide in the body, where the blood vessels are dilated in effect. Because of its vasodilation effects, Pycnogenol may be beneficial for people suffering from allergies, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), erectile dysfunction, varicose veins and other conditions associated with constricted blood vessels. Narrowed blood vessels lead to inefficient blood circulation, which can have a detrimental effect on the human body. Although it does not treat disease directly, Pycnogenol supplements may help ease the effects of impaired vascular and circulatory systems, more specifically insufficient blood circulation and constricted blood flow.
Pycnogenol contains about 65 to 75% Procyanidin compounds, which are chain-like arrangement consisted of catechins similar to green tea. Catechins are flavonoid phytochemical compounds that are considered as potent antioxidants. They are abundant in green tea and are present in black tea, apple, grapes, chocolate, berries and red wine in smaller amounts. These catechins are also found in the bark extract of Pinus pinaster.
So what if Pycnogenol is rich with antioxidants? What exactly it gives to our body? Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation or inhibit reactions promoted by oxygen or peroxides called free radicals. They are high-energy particles that ricochet wildly and damage cells by stealing an electron from a nearby molecule. When our body is infested with free radicals, our healthy cells are damaged. This phenomenon leads to medical conditions, diseases and premature ageing. How does the body get exposed to free radicals? Internal source of free radicals are byproducts of normal metabolism while external sources are UV light exposure, cigarette smoking, habitual alcohol drinking, environmental toxins (air pollution, pesticides, asbestos, etc.), and excessive exercising.
Since Pycnogenol may increase immune function, it is not advisable to take alongside supplements or medications that suppress the immune system. Pycnogenol is a good choice for people looking to support a stronger immune system, and healthy circulatory and vascular systems.
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