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Difference between Pycnogenol, Pine Bark Extract & Grape Seed - What are the benefits?

Difference between Pycnogenol, Pine Bark Extract & Grape Seed - What are the benefits?

TABLE OF CONTENT

  1. What are proanthocyanidins?
  2. What are bioflavonoids?
  3. What are the sources of proanthocyanidins?
  4. High quality proanthocyanidins

Pycnogenol® and grape seed and pine bark extracts are used as nutritional supplements and phytochemicals for various diseases (American Botanical Council, 2000; Packer et al., 1999). Grape seed extract is given for general health purposes and to treat microcirculatory maldistribution of blood flow, altered capillary fragility and permeability, and as an anti-inflammatory (American Botanical Council, 2000).

Pycnogenol® is a patented form of pine bark extract that is commonly used as a dietary supplement for capillary health, such as strengthening blood vessel; protect blood vessel lining, reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and platelet aggregation, and improve blood flow. Studies shows that Pycnogenol also helps in preventing Alzhimer’s disease and improve memory

What makes Pycnogenol®l and Grape Seed Extract potent is their high level of Proanthocyanidins content that are normally found in fruits and vegetables.

What are proanthocyanidins (OPCs)?

Proanthocyanidins, more technically oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are classed with the broad group of naturally occurring antioxidant substances found in plants known as polyphenolic flavonoids. The two most common sources of proanthocyanidins are grape seeds (Vitis vinifera) and the white pine (Pinus maritima, P. pinaster) of southern Europe. Proanthocyanidins are very powerful bioflavonoids used as a natural food supplement.  They are 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E. However, researchers found that the OPCs in a patented pine bark extract prolonged the life span of vitamin C by 400 percent in one in vitro study.

What are bioflavonoids?

Found mostly in fruits, vegetable and certain tree barks, Bioflavonoids are complex organic plant compounds, and powerful antioxidants that supports the body’s immunity against inflammation, allergy and infection. Out of over 20,0000 different types of bioflavonoids, OPC’s are the most potent ones.

What are the sources of proanthocyanidins?

Grape seed extract is a superior source of proanthocyanidins. Standardized grape seed extracts are reported to contain 92-95% OPCs (Wholehealthmd.com, 2000). The second highest concentration of OPCs, 80-85%, is found in pine bark (Wellness Web, 2000).  Grape seeds can have 7 to 15 percent more proanthocyanins than pine bark and can be more potent as well as more economical.

Unfortunately, the terms “grape seed extract” and “pine bark extract” have generally been used by companies to make their products more marketable. One thing is certain, generic grape seed or pine bark extracts are not comparable to high quality OPCs; these generic extracts are worlds apart from the composition of high quality proanthocyanidins (OPCs), and so are their health-supporting benefits.

High Quality Proanthocyanidins (OPCs)

With over 450 scientific article and more than 160 clinical studies, Pycnogenol®, French maritime pine bark is one of the most evidence-based natural ingredients in the world, and often referred to as a high quality OPC and a “Super Antioxidant

Pycnogenol® is a well-research compound with a specific and patented manufacturing process. Besides possessing potent and unique antioxidant properties, it​ is a water-soluble flavonoid and represents a natural combination of constant proportions of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids which offers amazing natural properties and multiple health benefits.

Pycnogenol®l has 4 basic properties - it’s a powerful antioxidant, acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, selectively binds to collagen and elastin, and aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide which helps to vasodilate blood vessels.

Multiple U.S. and international patents have been awarded to Pycnogenol®​ which exemplify the ingredients wide range of health benefits and its safety and efficacy with regards to each. Pycnogenol®​ is manufactured with the highest quality through a patented extraction process and is GMP. The ingredient is kosher and GRAS-approved for applications in functional foods and beverages.

Today, Pycnogenol®​ is one of the most researched ingredients in the natural product marketplace with over 10,000 patients being studied in more than 160 clinical studies. Published findings have demonstrated Pycnogenol’s®​ beneficial health effects in cardiovascular and circulatory health, joint health, skin care, blood glucose, eye health and sports nutrition, cognitive function among others.

Whether you choose generic Pine bark extract or Pycnogenol®, they both provide health benefits, but you should just be aware that there may be differences when it comes to getting the results you expect from the supplement.

References:

Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins From Grape Seeds And Pine Bark (online) Available at: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/chem_background/exsumpdf/grapeseeds_pinebark_508.pdf. [Accessed on 16 Aug. 2021]

Esr Studies Of Vitamin C Regeneration, Order Of Reactivity Of Natural Source Phytochemical Preparations (online). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/15216549800202982. [Accessed on 16 Aug. 2021]

Horphag Research (online). Available at: https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Suppliers/Horphag-Research. [Accessed on 17 Aug. 2021]

Pycnogenol®: French Maritime Pine Bark Extract (online). Available at: https://www.pycnogenol.com/home/. [Accessed on 17 Aug. 2021]

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