Pinus pinaster, pinus maritima, pine bark extract
Part of the plant used: french maritime pine bark (Pinus pinaster, synonym Pinus maritima)
Pycnogenol contains bioflavonoids that are thought to have significant antioxidant activity. In fact, this product is considered to be a potent free radical scavenger. Available as a dietary supplement, pycnogenol may enhance circulation, reduce inflammation and protect collagen against natural degradation. In Europe, it is used both orally as a dietary supplement and topically as part of anti-aging creams. In Canada, pycnogenol is available in capsules usualy standardize with 70% proanthocyanidins.
Used doses: 100 to 120 mg 3 times daily. Lower dose of 45 to 90 mg daily seems to be effective.
Used doses: 200 mg daily for 30 days.
Used doses: 50 mg 3 times daily
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that pycnogenol is effective in any other indication, including topically.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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