What is it?
French Maritime Pine Bark Extract (PBE) is an extract from the bark of the French Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster) containing a variety of procyanidins and phenolic acids, also known as oligomeric proanthocyanidin compounds (OPCs), which protect against oxidative stress in cells by doubling the intracellular synthesis of anti-oxidative enzymes and by acting as a potent scavenger of free radicals – in short, very potent antioxidants.
What does it do?
Natural slow-release action The simplest of the antioxidants in PBE are absorbed quickly and can begin working in the body within 30 minutes, whilst the more complex are broken down by gut bacteria and released into the bloodstream some six hours later, staying active for up to 14 hours.
- Improves control of blood sugar
- Helps to reduce blood pressure
- Improves blood flow to capillaries, so helps target eye damage caused by type 2 diabetes
Its effects on nitric oxide production provide numerous health benefits including:
- Cardiovascular health
- Diabetes complications
- Exercise performance
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic inflammation
- Autoimmune diseases
- Smoking-induced platelet aggregation
- Beneficial effects on asthma and allergies, inflammation, osteoarthritis symptoms
PBE has been shown to be effective in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, where one-way valves that keep blood from flowing backward in the veins don’t work like they should, causing some blood to travel backwards and blood to pool in the veins. This can result in pain and swelling and eventually ulcers and open sores, and even deep vein thrombosis. PBE also increases nitric oxide production, relaxing maintaining blood vessels.
Why supplement with it?
PBE has been proven to provide numerous and wide-ranging health benefits. We would urge you to do some research via search engines.
What type to take?
There is a standardised Maritime Pine Bark Extract called Pycnogenol, the name of which has been trademarked, but there are many more extracts. It is important to verify that the bark of Pinus pinaster has been used and that the OPC content is as high as possible, preferable at least 95%. Due to worldwide variations in soil nutrient levels, there may be some advantage to sourcing this product from trees grown in Southwest France.
50-360mg daily in one dose
- French maritime pine bark treatment decelerates plaque development and improves spatial memory in Alzheimer’s disease mice.
Paarmann K, Prakash SR, Krohn M, Möhle L, Brackhan M, Brüning T, Eiriz I, Pahnke J. Phytomedicine. 2018 Nov 29;57:39-48. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.11.033.
- Pleiotropic Effects of French Maritime Pine Bark Extract to Promote Healthy Aging.
Rejuvenation Res. 2018 Nov 7. doi: 10.1089/rej.2018.2095.