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What Makes Pine Bark Extract An Impressive Superfood?

Pine bark extracts have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. But it wasn’t scientifically explored before 1535 when a French explorer named Jacques Cartier and his crew drank tea made from pine bark and miraculously cured Scurvy, caused by deficiency of Vitamin C. If Pine bark extract cures Scurvy, it must certainly have either vitamin C like properties or should enhance its function.

Cartier’s literature caught the attention of Jacques Masquelier, a researcher, who after extensive research, confirmed the active ingredient in it to be proanthocyanidins like pycnogenols which proved to be a powerful immune support supplement. Since then, it has been an active research area. Here, let’s see what are some scientifically proven health benefits of pine bark extracts.


Benefits of Pine bark extract


● Potent free radical scavenger and antioxidant function 

During the metabolism, our body produces several free radicals which cause harm to our bodies. Exposure to UV radiation can also cause oxidative damage. The pycnogenols and Enzogenols in pine bark extracts help to fight these oxidative damages as well as enhance the power of other antioxidants like Vitamin C, E and glutathione too. It also maintains the balance of the antioxidants in your body by rejuvenating the exhausted antioxidants. This way it prevents oxidative stress which in the long run causes the development of various life-threatening diseases.


● Great anti-inflammatory properties

Pycnogenols have been proven to modulate cellular pathways and boost the production of certain immune components that can ease inflammation. It has been found very effective in treating airway-related inflammations like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Proanthocyanidin-rich pine bark extracts are also found to be effective against joint pain in osteoarthritis. It's a great immune support supplement.


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● Helps to fight infection

It’s found to interfere with the mechanism of viral infections and thus effectively prevent them. The Epstein-Barr virus that causes various ailments including nasopharyngeal cancer, human’s most dreaded HIV- Type 1 virus, and even helicobacter pylori causing peptic ulcers are some among several viruses pine bark extracts give a tough time to. It also enhances the production of infection-fighting cells in your body, thus helping to ward off infections and rendering immune support.

 What Makes Pine Bark Extract An Impressive Superfood

● Promising Anti-cancer effects

Proanthocyanidin has antitumor effects and inhibits tumor migration as well. It also promotes natural cell death and enhances the production of immune cells, especially monocytes and lymphocytes which further fights carcinogenesis.


● Significant cardioprotective properties

Pycnogenol helps to nourish the vascular cardiac muscles and discard the waste products. It checks on several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, glycosylated hemoglobin, clot, and plaque formations. Enzogenol prevents atherosclerosis, improves endothelial function, and helps to maintain blood pressure. Overall, it has noteworthy cardioprotective effects.


● Great neuro protective activities

The exact mechanism through which it has such great neuroprotective effects is yet to be discovered but as far as we know, it’s because of its ability to enhance cerebral blood flow and circulation, speeding up neurological function and antioxidant activity. Most neurological conditions are results of oxidative damage to the brain, but being a good antioxidant, pine tree bark extract can help with it.


● Helps with harmful fat accumulation

By some complex mechanism, pine bark supplements prevent the deposition of fats liver, arteries, and adipose tissues which may eventually cause fatty liver, atherosclerosis, and obesity respectively. This also helps to prevent diet-induced insulin resistance as per scientific studies.


Does it have any side effects?

Pine bark extracts are regarded as safe for human consumption for long periods in recommended amounts which would be around 20-100 mg. A short-duration dose of up to 300 mg has also been proven to be safe. Even at a very high dose, it didn’t show any harmful side effects. Yet, older adults, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and children should seek professional advice before going ahead.

It’s best to take pine bark extracts supplement orally for harnessing most of its health-promoting effects. Are you planning to include this wonderful health supplement in your routine? Comment below!