Pine Bark (Pycnogenol)
- Pycnogenol is the US registered trademark name for a product derived from the pine bark of a tree known as Pinus pinaster. The active ingredients in pycnogenol can also be extracted from other sources, including peanut skin, grape seed, and witch hazel bark.
- Pycnogenol is used for treating circulation problems, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, muscle soreness, pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disease of the female reproductive system called endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful menstrual periods, erectile dysfunction (ED), and an eye disease called retinopathy.
- It is also used for preventing disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including stroke, heart disease, and varicose veins.
- Pycnogenol is used to slow the aging process, maintain healthy skin, improve athletic endurance, and improve male fertility.
- Some people use skin creams that contain pycnogenol as “anti-aging” products.
- Pycnogenol contains substances that might improve blood flow. It might also stimulate the immune system and have antioxidant effects.
- Pycnogenol is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in doses of 50 mg to 450 mg daily for up to one year, and when applied to the skin as a cream for up to 7 days or as a powder for up to 6 weeks. Pycnogenol can cause dizziness, gut problems, headache, and mouth ulcers.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Early research suggests that pycnogenol is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in late pregnancy. However, until more is known, pycnogenol should be used cautiously or avoided by women who are pregnant.
- There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking pycnogenol if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Children: Pycnogenol is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term.
- “Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Pycnogenol might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using pycnogenol.
- Bleeding conditions: In theory, high doses of pycnogenol might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding conditions.
- Diabetes: In theory, high doses of pycnogenol might decrease blood sugar too much in people with diabetes.
- Surgery:Pycnogenol might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that it might increase the chance of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using pycnogenol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination:
- Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with PYCNOGENOL:Pycnogenol seems to increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system pycnogenol might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
- Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Condensed Tannins, Écorce de Pin, Écorce de Pin Maritime, Extrait d’Écorce de Pin, French Marine Pine Bark Extract, French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, Leucoanthocyanidins, Maritime Bark Extract, Oligomères de Procyanidine, Oligomères Procyanidoliques, Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins, OPC, OPCs, PCO, PCOs, Pine Bark, Pine Bark Extract, Pinus pinaster, Pinus maritima, Proanthocyanidines Oligomériques, Procyanidin Oligomers, Procyanodolic Oligomers, Pycnogénol, Pygenol, Tannins Condensés.
Source: WebMD, “Pycnogenol”, www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/