Pycnogenol: benefits, contraindications, where it is found

 , Nutritionist


Il picnogenolo is a polyphenol that is obtained from the bark of French maritime pine, Pinus maritima, consisting of a complex mixture of pro-anthocyanidins (oligomeric and polymeric) with a strong action antioxidant. Let's find out better.

> What is Pycnogenol used for

> The antioxidant action of pycnogenol

> Contraindications and dosage


Bark of the maritime pine



What is pycnogenol used for and where is it found

Le proantocianidine oligomeriche (PAC) are a family of natural polyphenols belonging to the class of bioflavonoids, found in various fruits and plants present in particularly high concentrations in red grape seeds and in French maritime pine bark.

It has an action antioxidant which is enhanced by the remarkable ability to non-competitively inhibit the xanthine oxidase enzyme, promoter of the superoxide anion formation. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins have been shown to be 30 times more effective than vitamin E and classic antioxidants. In particular, they proved to be very effective both in the induction phase and in the propagation phase of lipid peroxidation.

The anti-enzymatic action is tested in vitro on various enzymes, including elastase, collage nase, hyaluronidase, beta-glucoronidase (involved in the replacement of the main components of the extravascular matrix: elastin, collagen, hyaluronic acid) and xanthine oxidase (involved in the formation of superoxide anion). Furthermore, it has been shown that the alpha-1-antitrypsin, inhibitor of proteolytic enzymes, is in turn inhibited by compounds containing active oxygen, thus giving the green light to the enzymatic systems controlled by it, with the result of accelerating the destruction of the extracellular matrix. .

Proantocianidin Than we they block the whole two-level process: preventing the formation of compounds containing active oxygen and limiting the entire enzymatic activity. This hypothesis is supported by pharmacokinetic data which indicate a notable tropism of PACs for tissues rich in glycosaminoglycans, such as blood vessel walls. The result of this combined action is manifested by a notable strengthening of the capillary walls. 


Like pycnogenol, maqui also has antioxidant properties: find out which ones


The antioxidant properties of pycnogenol

The antioxidant action of PACs is particularly useful in:

  • Peripheral venous insufficiency, diabetic and non-diabetic retinopathies, capillary fragility: oligomeric proanthocyanidins have the ability to reinforce the walls through a specific bond with the elastic fibers collagen and elastin, but it is not enough; they perform an inhibitory action against the key enzymes of the capillary endothelium and the surrounding matrix combined with the protection from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases (disorders of peripheral circulation, cerebral and cardiac microcirculation, alteration of platelet aggregation) for the powerful radical-scavenger action in promoting normal platelet function and greater fluidity of the vessels
  • Stimulation of the immune system: protection of macrophages from oxidative damage by free radicals
  • Anti-inflammatory action
  • Skin protection against aging and damage by UV-B rays.


Dosages and contraindications

As an antioxidant and as a preventive for prolonged treatments, 30/45 mg is sufficient, 1 or 2 times a day.


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