Pycnogenol is a trademarked dietary supplement, made from the extracts of bark from pine trees in the French Mediterranean. It is 70% composed of procyanidin, a class of condensed tannin flavonoids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies suggest that flavonoids may inhibit reactive compounds of nitrogen or oxygen and the enzymes involved in the production of free radicals, as well as having an effect on cellular signalling pathways in the immune cells. and in brain cells after suffering a stroke.
Preliminary research has shown that procyanidins, in particular, have anti-inflammatory mechanisms that may inhibit the activity of inflammatory enzymes and secrete anti-inflammatory mediators. Many diseases may be inflammatory in origin, including coeliac disease, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disorders, so dietary supplement of pycnogenol may have a positive effect in addressing these conditions.
Pycnogenol has been used with some effect in reducing inflammation from asthma and hay fever, improving circulation and athletic performance, increasing cognitive function and memory and relieving symptoms associated with menopause such as depression, anxiety and tension headaches.
Other active ingredients in pycnogenol are believed to have anti-ageing properties such as increasing production of collagen and antioxidant activity in the skin, maintaining good eyesight and improving circulation.