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What is the History and Health Benefits of Pycnogenol?
March 24, 2012 07:51 AM
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is a name of a product which is prepared from a tree French Pine also known as French Maritime Pine. Pycnogenol is a trademark name sold as a nutritional supplement. This supplement is mainly used for asthma and a condition known as chronic venus insufficiency. It is a water extract of the bark of the French Pine found in the coastal south west of France. Pycnogenol contains unique flavonoid compounds in high concentration. These compounds at such high levels of concentration have proven to be useful and beneficial on inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, aging and healing of wounds.
History and Discovery of Pycnogenol:
Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant made from a combination of natural antioxidants and phytonutrients. Since it is biologically made it is technically a bioflavonoid. A French scientist by the name Professor Masquelier gave the name Pycnogenol which is a scientific name for the oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) as well as other bioflavonoids. Pycnogenol is an extract from the French Maritime Pine and grape seed extract. Professor Masquelier along with a Swiss broker Horphag made attempts to commercialize Pycnogenol. Horphag without the consent of Masquelier registered the name Pycnogenol as a patent in the year 1990 which came under the ownership of Horphag in the United States. This caused severe legal disputes in the US. Horphag made huge profits from the intellectual property of Masquelier. This wonderful antioxidant was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1953. In his books Cartier mentioned about the benefits of pine and how it cured and healed chronic diseases. Professor Masquelier discovered Cartier's book and recognized the benefits of these medicines which were rich in bioflavonoids.
Health Benefits of Pycnogenol:
Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant which helps in regulating certain types of acids that gets absorbed in the human body through chemicals and free radicals. Antioxidants help in improving heart health and prevent cancer. Brain diseases like Alzheimer's can also be prevented with the use of Pycnogenol. It prevents the body from absorbing the toxic elements which are responsible for the development of brain diseases. It works as a good preventive tool. Pycnogenol also helps people who suffer from heart disease, which is a very common disease worldwide. It reduces swelling due to heart disease and helps in regulating the blood pressure. Pycnogenol also assists in reducing blood sugar levels in type ll diabetes, administered along with the anti-diabetes drugs.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of Pycnogenol are beneficial in treating asthma. It also improved the tolerance to chemotherapy in cancer patients. Pycnogenol works well as an anti aging product along with Vitamin E, and reduces wrinkles.
Pycnogenol is available in the market in different supplement formulas containing about 20mg to 100mg of Pycnogenol. It is the most extensively researched product and has also passed a number of safety tests. Tests have proved that consuming Pycnogenol at higher dosage for longer periods is safe though there are a few minor side effects. These side effects are gastro intestinal discomfort, nausea, dizziness and headaches. If consumed with certain drugs it can cause major side effects due to drug interactions. Pycnogenol is a great antioxidant supplement which helps in protecting and healing the body from harmful chemicals. Before taking Pycnogenol daily as a supplement it is recommended to consult physicians who can advice on the ideal dosages.
October 15, 2008 09:46 AM
To fight off aging you have to understand what causes it, and the take steps to avoid these causes. It is fairly obvious that all causes of aging cannot be circumvented, but there are things that can be done to keep some of them at bay. Here, we are specifically concerned with the aging of your skin, which is the most visible form of aging. The first aspect of aging to understand is that there are two types: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic aging is natural aging, and is largely genetic. Starting when you are fairly young, normally in the early to mid 20s, intrinsic aging is typified by wrinkling, hair loss or graying of the hair, hollowing of cheeks and other areas where the fat underneath the skin that normally contributes to your physical appearance is lost, and also bone loss that causes your skin to sag due a gradual loss of the structure that sculpts your physical appearance.
The age at which this occurs, and its speed is determined by your genes; although the process generally begins around the mid 20s, the speed with which it progresses is genetically controlled.
This is where grape seed extract can help. Extrinsic aging is not genetic, but environmental. Ten majority of this type of aging is due to exposure to the damaging UV light of the sun, which cause the typical 'leathery' look of the skin of people raised in areas such locations as the hotter parts of Australia and the USA, without the benefit of the native skin pigmentation that filters out these harmful ultra-violet rays.
Other factors that can cause the same degradation of your skin cells are smoking, the way you sleep and gravity. The sun generates free radicals (more on these later) that can destroy skin cells, cause freckles, leathery skin and a blotched complexion and also skin cancer. Smokers are more likely to develop leathery and wrinkled skin than non-smokers, and as the elasticity of your skin reduces, gravity cause jowls to develop and also a more pronounced lower lip.
Even your sleeping position can make you appear to age quicker, particularly using the same sleeping position on your pillow each night that cause what are known as sleep lines, that are really wrinkles that are difficult, if not impossible to remove. However, one of the most relevant factors is pollution, and the effects of car emissions, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, paint fumes and 1001 other forms of chemical pollution that produce free radicals.
Where grape seed extract is involved in fighting off aging is in extrinsic aging is by destroying the free radicals. All substances, from the air to the oceans, are formed of atoms that contain electrons. Stable molecules contain an even number of electrons, or what are known as 'electron pairs'. When a molecule loses one electron it is known as a free radical, whose prime purpose in its very short life is to steal an electron from the nearest molecule. This 'short' lifetime can as long as a day or as short as thousandth of a second: it depends on is size and the degree of steric hindrance to the reaction with the spare electron.
Now that the reasons for aging and the nature of free radicals are better understood it is easier for you understand why grape seed extract can help to fight aging caused by the effects of free radicals on your skin.
Grape seed is a waste product of the wine industry. You cannot make wine from grape seeds, so they are removed from the final product by filtration or sedimentation. It contains a large number of phytonutrients, the most important being polyphenols in the form of flavanoids, lipids and carbohydrates. It also contains proteins that don't have much of an effect on aging. Flavonoids (also spelled flavanoids) are powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals; they are twenty times as powerful as Vitamin E and over fifty times more powerful an antioxidant than Vitamin C.
Both of these vitamins are regarded as strong antioxidants in their own right, which is an indication of how good grape seed extract is at killing free radicals. It's like a combination of Harry Callahan, Paul Kersey, John McClane and the whole of the Magnificent Seven after the scavengers in your body cells. They succeed, and do it in spades!
Not only do the ingredients of grape seed extract kill off free radicals with the efficiency of a Delta Task Force, but are also anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti just about anything else you can think of. However, let's have an even closer look and find out exactly what polyphenols are present in this so-called wonder juice.
Procyanadin was originally named Vitamin P in 1936 by its discoverer, Prof. Jacques Masquelier, and is believed to bond with collagen to protect you from premature aging by retaining and even improving the elasticity of your skin. An added benefit is that it also improves the elasticity of your blood vessels, and so helps to fight off the effects of high blood pressure and places less strain on your heart. The overall effect on your face is to practically give you a chemical face lift and also provide protection from the damaging effect of the UV component of sunlight through its lethal attitude towards the free radicals that UV radiation generates.
Another component of grape seed extract particularly that of muscadine grapes is resveratrol; a phytoalexin that has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can also fight off the effects of aging. Phytoalexins are antibiotics produced by plants that are under attack, and, in addition to helping you age slower, confers other benefits to your body including helping your brain to carry out its work more efficiently.
All in all, grape seed extract confers many benefits to your health and is also believed to possess powerful anti-cancer properties. However, it is for its ability to fight off aging that most people use it as a supplement, and in this respect it has been found to be extremely effective. Any antioxidant is of benefit to your body, but grape seed extract is of particular benefit due its high antioxidant potency.
Build Healthier Skin With Antioxidant Rich Skin Moisturizing Lotions
November 02, 2007 04:32 PM
Antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions can help you to build healthier skin, since they can help to allow the appearance of the fine lines that eventually develop into the wrinkles that you dread.
Most people think about caring for their skin more in the summer when the sun is hot than in the colder winter months, but cold can also dry out your skin since you tend to sweat less. However, the summer brings with it the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun to a greater or lesser degree depending on your climate. Tough leathery skin is generally associated with skin neglect by white skinned people in the hotter areas of the world such as Australia and the southern parts of Florida and California.
You should look after your skin since it is important to you. It not only keeps everything inside that should be kept inside, but also generates vitamin D and contains the temperature control system that your body relies upon. Elephants flap their ears, dogs pant and humans sweat! Without your skin you would be in a bad way, so you should look after it. If you don’t keep it supple it gets dry and hard, wrinkled, itchy and can crack, into which the bugs and viruses needed to make you ill can enter.
All of this occurs when your skin loses its moisture. In order to keep it in tip top condition, and keep yourself looking young and attractive, you should keep it moist through the use of artificial moisturizers if necessary. So why does your skin dry out and how do moisturizers work to help overcome the effects of drying?
In fact the major problems that occur with your skin due to exposure to sun in the summer have nothing to do with drying out. Your skin actually does, as suggested above, become more affected by dryness in the winter when the relative humidity is low. It is in winter that you have to use lip moisturizer because of dry and cracked lips, not summer. However, summer has its dangers, even more than winter.
It is the UV radiation from the sun that damages your skin and can ultimately lead to skin cancer. The UVA and UVB radiation are at different wavelengths and have different effects. The combination, however, causes wrinkles, skin disorders when aging, premature aging, and dry leathery skin. Part of this is believed to be due to the breakdown of the collagen in the skin that maintains its elasticity, free radical damage and inhibition of the immune system.
When UV radiation breaks down collagen it causes the accumulation of abnormal tissue. When this builds up, enzymes are produced that are intended to repair the collagen, but sometimes it does not work properly and produces a disorganized and random accumulation of collagen fibers that eventually result in wrinkles.
Free radicals are chemicals that have a free electron available, rather than having all electrons in pairs as in stable compounds. It is therefore unstable and will steal an electron from healthy tissue and so damage the cell that it takes it from. Eventually, the cells die and genetic material within the cells can be altered. This can cause wrinkling of the skin and underlying tissues or even cancer by changing the DNA and RNA contained within the cell.
The final defense of the body against cell damage is paradoxically apoptosis, which is suicide by the damaged cells to prevent them becoming cancerous. This is what you see when your skin peels after sunburn – it is deliberate action on behalf of the cells of your skin sacrificing themselves to save the body as a whole. UV exposure can prevent this from occurring which is why it can lead to some forms of skin cancer.
However, it is the action of oxidants on the skin that cause most damage. The so-called drying out of skin is largely due to oxidant damage more so than to loss of moisture. The sweat glands in your skin can produce lots of moisture, but nothing can be done about free radicals other than provide the help of antioxidants to kill them off. Antioxidants destroy free radicals with glee, and hunt them down wherever they are. The common antioxidants in your body are vitamins A, C and especially the powerful vitamin E. That is why so many skin creams contain vitamin E, and sometimes also vitamin A.
However, there are many more antioxidants than these. Astaxanthin is one. ‘Asta what?’ I can hear you say, and I am not surprised. It is not very common in health stores, but has been approved by the FDA and in Europe as a food colorant. It is a terpene carotenoid, though does not break down to vitamin A in the human metabolism as other carotenes do. It is claimed to be fifty times more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamin E and acts as an internal sunscreen in the skin by blocking the harmful effects of UV radiation at cellular level.
It is available naturally in krill, salmon, trout, crustaceans and some bird feathers, and is extracted from microalgae. Not all sources are palatable and it is best taken as a supplement, or to protect the skin, in a cream. Another super-antioxidant is pycnogenol. However, be aware of purchasing it under this trade name in the USA, since the term has been hijacked by others who are selling a different product under that name. The true chemical pycnogenol as named by Frenchman Dr. Masquelier is a very strong antioxidant: any others are mere imitations that are not the same product.
Chemically, pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin, a flavanol extractable from grape seed or pine bark. Any product that comes from a different source cannot be pycnogenol. That said, the product is able to strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles through its effect in scavenging free radicals. It stops the free radicals from destroying the cells of the skin and causing premature aging. Whether the chemical is extracted from pine bark or grape seed appears to make no difference. The chemicals are virtually identical, or should be if they are from the right form of pine bark.
The polyphenols in green tea also eradicate free radicals. They too are very strong antioxidants, just one of the remarkable properties of this plant. However, none of these will be of much help unless specifically applied to the skin. If taken internally, they will do a great job of mopping up free radicals in the blood, but very little will actually reach the skin.
In order to build healthier skin, you will have to use antioxidant rich skin moisturizing lotions that apply moisture to your skin, but more importantly also apply these powerful antioxidants. If you really want to maintain good looking wrinkle-free supple skin in sunny climates, then look for one or more of the above substances as an ingredient in your moisturizing lotion.
July 13, 2005 09:51 AM
THE TERM “PYCNOGENOL” - DISPUTED DEFINITIONS
Be aware that the word Pycnogenol is used by some companies as a trade name. Technically it is a generic term for proanthocyanidins in France as intended by Dr. Masquelier. Proanthocyanidins refer to the flavonol class of the bioflavonoid family. Both pine bark and grape seed are viable sources for the compound. Think of it this way: vitamin C can be extracted from a number of sources, likewise proanthocyanidins or Pycnogenol can come from pine bark or grape seed.
It was Dr, Masquelier who named this family of bioflavonoids and actually discove red “Pycnogenol.” He intended the term to refer to this unique and specific category of bioflavonoids. Despite his intent, the word “Pycnogenol” has been trademarked by a variety of companies around the world. It is only in France, where Dr. Masquelier still controls the term, that it is used generically.
FREE RADICALS, CELLULAR CULPRITS AND PYCNOGENOL
It is a scientific fact that most of us will not live out our potential maximum life span. Unfortunately, because of the damage free radical cause within our cellular structures, many of us will die prematurely from one of a wide variety of degenerative diseases. Free radical damage has been associated with over 60 known diseases and disorders.
THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL
July 13, 2005 09:48 AM
THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL
For generations, certain tribes of North American Indians used bioflavonoids extracted from the bark of pine trees for a variety of disorders. Because of its marvelous healing properties, they called this pine the Annedda, or “tree of life.”
PINE BARK: GIVER OF LIFE
These native Americans, who routinely ate deer as their primary source of nutrition, when confronted with a scarcity of meat asked themselves ... where does the deer get its strength? They discovered that deer stripped away pine tree bark and we re able to derive life-giving nutrients from its organic composition. It was also observed that devastating diseases such as scurvy did not afflict those who ate the bark, leaves or needles of this pine tree.
CARTIER’S ENCOUNTER WITH ANNEDDA TEA
In 1535, Jacques Cartier learned of the medicinal value of the bark, which remained relatively unknown until 20 or 30 years ago, when scientists reviewed his notes and commenced research. Cartier became caught in the bitter snows of Quebec, while attempting to navigate the St. Lawrence River. Cartier and his crew subsisted on hard biscuits and cured meat and eventually came down with what was believed to be scurvy. Scurvy is an abhorrent disease which causes a very slow and agonizing death. Several of Cartier’s men died before they were approached by the Quebec Indians who prepared a tea they called “Annedda” from the bark of a certain native pine tree. The men took the tea and used its leaves as poultices. Their recovery was almost immediate. What must have seemed like a miraculous substance was technically, nothing more than vitamin C with bioflavonoids naturally inherent to the pine tree.
MasqueLIER’S SUBSEQUENT DISCOVERY OF PYCNOGENOL
Cartier was resourceful enough to document the incident. Over 400 years later, a French professor, Jacques Masquelier, assigned to the University of Quebec discove red Cartier’s account. Because he was already involved in bioflavonoid research, he became greatly intrigued by pine tree extract. Dr. Masquelier isolated a bio-active substance known as proanthocyanidin.
THE EMERGENCE OF PROANTHOCYANIDIN
After returning to France, Professor Masquelier found that this compound could be extracted from the bark of the French Maritime Pine pinus maritima found in abundance in southern France. Intensive research by Dr. Masquelier led to the discovery of Pycnogenol, which is another name for the group of bioflavonoids known as the proanthocyanidins. Subsequent in-depth testing revealed that these compounds are a nutrient treasure far more valuable that anyone originally thought. In time, the grape seed was found to contain the same compound and today, is considered an excellent source of Pycnogenol in France.
Pycnogenol Complex - The Next Generation of Antioxidant Protection
June 04, 2005 02:14 PM
If there’s one factor that has the greatest negative impact on our health, it is the damage done to our cells by free radicals. These highly unstable molecules disrupt the biochemical processes that regulate life. Although a natural product of oxygen metabolism in the body, free radicals are also produced in vast quantities by modern technology. Our bodies’ natural defenses simply have not been able to keep up with the onslaught of these dangerous products of civilization. On the other hand, technology has offered help by identifying some of nature’s most powerful weapons against free radical attack. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX is an unprecedented combination of these extremely potent plantbased antioxidants, or Plantioxidants™. Consider them your antidote to the industrial revolution.
How free radicals are formed and their effect on the body
Oxygen both makes life, and takes life. The energy that animates us comes from the biochemical reactions that burn oxygen within our cells. And though carefully regulated by the body, this biological combustion, over time, inevitably leads to cellular damage. If oxidation is not carefully controlled, tissues are damaged faster than the body can repair them. This is caused by an excess of over-reactive, electron hungry molecules called oxidants or “free radicals,” which tend to disrupt normal cellular activity. Free radicals attack a cell’s membrane and can even damage its hereditary blueprint (DNA). Since free radicals are a natural result of certain metabolic reactions, the body synthesizes several types of antioxidant enzymes to neutralize them. In addition, we get essential antioxidants from the foods we eat. Vitamins C, E and beta carotene are the ones found most often in our diet. During this century, our environment has become a perpetual source of free radical contamination, primarily from radiation and the chemical pollution in our air, water and food. Today, we are literally overwhelmed with more free radicals than our bodies are accustomed to handling. Fortunately, science has found that certain plants contain special antioxidants that are far more powerful than the vitamins we typically get in our diet. With this knowledge, Source Naturals formulated PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX, the most advanced combination of Plantioxidants available today in one product. Pycnogenol® is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima.
Natural protection against free radicals
Pycnogenol® Complex – A Cornucopia of Health Our knowledge of pine bark goes back nearly 500 years, to when the French explorer, Jacques Cartier, reported that a tea made from pine tree bark by Native Americans saved the lives of his crew who were dying of scurvy. Nutrition scientists have since isolated the extraordinary antioxidant compounds of pine bark. They have also discovered many other unique antioxidants throughout the plant kingdom. Plants have evolved bioflavonoids to protect themselves from free radical damage. One of the most abundant compounds in the plant kingdom, bioflavonoids are found in the pigments of bark, rinds, seeds, leaves and flowers.
Natural antioxidants in Pycnogenol® Complex
The active ingredients of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX are derived from a diverse range of nature’s plenty: pine bark, green tea, turmeric spice, rosemary, grape seeds, milk thistle seeds, bilberries, hawthorn berries and ginkgo leaves. Each of these Plantioxidants is an exceptional free radical scavenger, and each has a tendency to concentrate in a different organ of the body, thus providing targeted protection. And since their primary function is to capture free radicals, these Plantioxidants free up vitamin C, so it can perform its many other vital functions.
Defense Plants The two headliners of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX are the pine bark extract, Pycnogenol®, and an extract from grape seeds, Proanthodyn™. Their unsurpassed antioxidant activity – up to 20 times that of Vitamin C and up to 50 times that of Vitamin E – comes from a high concentration of proanthocyanidins.
Why Pycnogenol® Complex is formulated with extracts of pine bark and grape seed
These highly bioavailable flavonoids are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and can stay in the bloodstream for up to 72 hours. Few other nutritional antioxidants cross this barrier, and none do it as well. Proanthocyanidins therefore offer the brain and central nervous system unparalleled antioxidant protection. In particular, proanthocyanidins may help reduce the formation of lipofuscin, a brown waste material made of free radical-damaged proteins and fats. Over time, lipofuscin deposits form in the brain, heart, and skin. The “age” or “liver” spots that develop on the backs of some elderly peoples’ hands are made of lipofuscin. Because they’re rich in unsaturated fatty acids, cell membranes are the primary site of free radical attack. Proanthocyanidins are able to protect against both water- and fat-soluble free radicals. Also, their chemical structure is incorporated within cell membranes, making proanthocyanidins very effective in preventing damage to the cell’s interior. This is vital, because if a cell’s DNA is disrupted, it could lead to the abnormal reproduction of that cell. For many years now, Europeans have used pine bark and grape seed extracts to maintain vein and capillary health. Proanthocyanidins support the circulatory system by helping to keep collagen and elastin, the essential constituents of vessel walls, from breaking down during times of imbalance. And most importantly, proanthocyanidins can help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Scientists now recognize that it’s not cholesterol itself, but the oxidation of cholesterol that can be problematic.
How Plantioxidants benefit different organs in the body
The Power of Diversity
In addition to the broad protection offered by Pycnogenol® and Proanthodyn, Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX offers an outstanding array of other Plantioxidants. Each has unique abilities to protect the body from oxidants. For several thousand years, Green Tea has been enjoyed in the Orient, not only for its taste, but also as a health tonic. Upon analysis, it contains several strong antioxidants, called Polyphenols, with exceptional free radical scavenging abilities. Polyphenols have been shown to be over 200 times more effective than vitamin E in preventing oxidative damage to brain cells. Source Naturals uses a potent extract of green tea that concentrates 2,000 pounds of fresh green tea leaves into one pound of finished product. This extract has been awarded 30 patents for its protective effects. The ancient Ginkgo Biloba tree has long been prized for its beneficial qualities. Like proanthocyanidins, ginkgo’s compounds are able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, and support cell membrane and capillary integrity. Its particular antioxidant constituents have been associated with superior oxygen transport to the brain. This is important because the brain uses 20% of all inhaled oxygen. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX uses a superior 50 to 1 extract, providing 24% Ginkgoflavoneglycosides and 6% Terpenoids. Bilberries were first studied for their capacity to heighten visual acuity in normal subjects under poor light conditions. In fact, to increase their night vision, RAF pilots ate bilberry jam during WW II. Its antioxidant compounds, Anthocyanosides, have an affinity for delicate eye tissues, where it quenches free radicals and supports capillary strength. Source Naturals utilizes a standardized bilberry extract with 25% anthocyanosides, 80 times more potent than regular bilberry.
The wide range of natural antioxidants in Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX
Milk Thistle Seed Extract has been researched and used for over 20 years in Europe. Its antioxidant compound, called Silymarin, has a special preference for the liver. It’s one of the few nutrients that can support the liver’s natural regenerative processes. By enhancing DNA activity, liver cells can regenerate up to five times faster. Turmeric Extract contains 95% Curcumin, the active ingredient of this traditional East Indian spice. Curcumin promotes the body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase, an important protector of the liver. Curcumin also increases the production and secretion of bile, which is used to remove cholesterol from the body. Quercetin has been well-researched for its free radical scavenging activity. Because of its ability to stabilize cell membranes, quercetin helps prevent damage and discomfort from reactionary (histamine- and leukotriene-related) processes in the body. Source Naturals quercetin has been isolated from plant sources. Rosemary and Hawthorn Berries both contain bioflavonoid antioxidants that have the unique ability to neutralize the hydroxyl radical, a particularly dangerous type of free radical. Hydroxyls are produced by exposure to excessive radiation and pollution from burned fossil fuels. The body has no innate defense system against it. Vitamin C is one of the most active and abundant antioxidants in the body, so it must be frequently replenished. Since it works in conjunction with bioflavonoids, each tablet of Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX contains 500 mg of vitamin C, bound to Magnesium for increased bioavailability.
A World of Help
As we better understand how free radicals affect our health and well being, it’s important that we take advantage of the wonderful protective qualities found in certain plants. These Plantioxidants provide the appropriate means to counteract the destructive effects of excessive free radicals, which have become part and parcel of modern life. Source Naturals PYCNOGENOL® COMPLEX brings the diverse and concentrated power of the plant world into your world of wellness.
PYCNOGENOL ® - The Ultimate Antioxidant
June 04, 2005 02:04 PM
Pycnogenol® is a breakthrough in antioxidant protection that demonstrates how important natural nutrition can be for your health. Antioxidants are a class of biological molecules that function to scavenge and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that cause damage at the cellular level, and which unfortunately are unavoidable. Antioxidants – the most famous of which thus far have been Vitamin C and Vitamin E – work to protect living tissue by neutralizing free radicals, thereby interrupting many of their harmful activities. Pycnogenol®, one of the most powerful antioxidants yet discovered, is the proprietary name of a natural plant product made from the bark of the European coastal pine, Pinus maritima. It is 20 times more potent an antioxidant than Vitamin C, and 50 times more so than Vitamin E.
Free radicals are a real threat
Uniquely vulnerable targets of free radical attack that require a regular supply of antioxidants just to maintain a basic level of function include fatty acids – especially those in cell membranes – and sulfhydral proteins, which form one of the most common types of chemical bonds found in biological organisms. The importance of these substances for overall health cannot be overstated, as they are critical components not only of tissues throughout the body, but most importantly, of the principal regulatory organs – the brain and liver – and every blood vessel. Free radical attack on fatty acids – known as lipid peroxidation – and related destruction of sulfhydral proteins can lead to diminished function of cell membranes and whole organs. This, in turn, can contribute significantly to decreases in quality of life.
Free radicals are believed to be active in the development of cumulative damage to the system, as well as in many of the undesirable effects of aging. Free radicals are constantly being produced due to the natural intake of oxygen and generation of energy by the body’s cells. However, their production is heightened by pollutants such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, solvents, and oxidized cholesterol from foods. Therefore, health scientists suggest we may need to increase our intake of antioxidants either from foods or from supplements – such as Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, Vitamins C and E, Selenium, Cysteine, and now, Pycnogenol®.
Potent antioxidant protection from nature - Pycnogenol®
Originally discovered by renowned scientist Jacques Masquelier, Pycnogenol® is a natural 85% to 95% concentrate of proanthocyanidins extracted from the bark of the Maritime Pine. Proanthocyanidins are a special class of highly bioavailable, water-soluble bioflavonoids with unparalleled free radical scavenging activity. They readily cross the Blood-Brain Barrier to provide antioxidant protection to the central nervous system, and stay in the bloodstream for approximately 72 hours. Thirty years of sound European research shows that proanthocyanidins from Pycnogenol® are highly beneficial with no evidence of adverse effects, even after more than ten years of use. They also show no loss in potency after 12 years of storage.
Better health for an active life
As a potent antioxidant, Pycnogenol® is valuable for protecting the liver from free radical attack. Since the liver is the main detoxifying, nutrient-assimilating, and energy-generating organ of the body, this may mean more potential for activity in your life. Pycnogenol® may also aid recovery for athletes on strenuous workout regimes and in competition.
Healthy capillaries through healthy collagen
A major beneficiary of the protective actions of Pycnogenol® is collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the integrity of “ground substance,” the basic material in functional fluids, mucus linings, and connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and most importantly, blood vessels linings. It is highly vulnerable to free radical attack, and a number of discomforting and depreciating processes are associated with its destruction. There is evidence showing that Pycnogenol® can provide remarkable support for the prevention of collagen destruction, and it has received much attention for its special affinity for capillaries, the smallest blood vessels. Pycnogenol® helps strengthen capillary linings in three key ways. First, Pycnogenol® functions to scavenge the free radicals that may compromise the integrity of collagen. Second, Pycnogenol® contains catechin, which is thought to stabilize collagen by forming hydrogen bonds and cross-linking collagen. Third, Pycnogenol® is Vitamin C-sparing, meaning it can fill in for C in a number of functions; this frees some Vitamin C – required for the synthesis of hydroxproline, a major structural amino acid of collagen – for use in building collagen. People who smoke and women who take oral contraceptives can reduce their heightened risk of Vitamin C depletion by taking advantage of Pycnogenol®’s Vitamin C-sparing activity.
Look to Source Naturals® for 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, & 100 mg tablets of this natural wonder!