pine bark extract and your skin

Antioxidant protection, collagen protection, water retention, cellulite

Pine bark polyphenols from the red / maritime pine (Pinus maritime / Pinus pinaster), has been widely researched and has been found in numerous studies to fight free radical damage (antioxidant), protect collagen, boost circulation and fight water retention. 

Pine bark extract is rich in a group of compounds called "low molecular weight procyanidins" or  "oligomeric procyanidins". Procyanidins are plant chemicals primarily found in apples, maritime/red pine bark, cocoa beans, grape seed & skin, red wine, bilberries, cranberries, black currants, green & black tea. Procyanidins have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, connective tissue-protecting and blood vessel-protecting action. Oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) are compounds formed from a small number (less than four) of catechin and epicatechin molecules, making them the most absorbable and bioactive type of procyanidins.



For all these reasons, red pine bark extract is great as an active ingredient in anti-cellulite, leg wellness, skin firming and under-eye creams [the Celluence® leg wellness/cellulite creams are the only creams in the world to contain 95% pure red pine bark polyphenols in a highly bioavailable form, PLUS 39 more natural actives for maximum results].


5+ ways Red pine bark extract...

...helps fight collagen deterioration, poor circulation, skin aging and cellulite



Review paper suggests pine bark extract for the treatment of varicose veins

The loss of vascular integrity is associated with the pathogenesis of varicose veins. Several botanical extracts (horse chestnut/aesculus, butcher's broom/ruscus, gotu kola, flavonoids and pine bark) have been shown to improve microcirculation, capillary flow and vascular tone, and to strengthen the connective tissue of the perivascular amorphous substrate. Oral supplementation with may prevent time-consuming, painful, and expensive complications of varicose veins and hemorrhoids

[Source: Hemorrhoids and varicose veins: a review of treatment options]



Pycnogenol (red pine bark extract) is as effective as hesperidin/diosmin (Daflon) for the healing for venous ulcers and swelling reduction

Comment: The venotonic and circulation-enhancing medication Daflon (450m Diosmin + 50g hesperidin) has been effectively used for decades for the relief of poor circulation and vein disease in general. This new paper shows that just 50mg of Pycnogenol, a branded red pine bark extract, has the same effect of vein ulcer healing and circulation improvement / oedema reduction.

Source: Effect of Pycnogenol on the Healing of Venous Ulcers.

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Venous ulcers are common complications of chronic venous insufficiency that result in severe physical and mental suffering to patients. The oral administration of diosmin/hesperidin has been used as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the effect of pycnogenol and diosmin/hesperidin on the healing of venous ulcers. METHODS: This longitudinal, prospective, randomized clinical trial was conducted with 30 adult patients with venous ulcers from a vascular surgery outpatient clinic of a university hospital. The patients were randomly allocated to two groups: group 1 (n=15) was treated with pycnogenol (50 mg orally, three-times daily), and group 2 (n=15) was treated with diosmin/hesperidin (450/50 mg orally, twice daily). They were assessed every 15 days for 90 days. During follow-up visits, photo-documentation was obtained and the ulcer area and circumference of the affected limb were measured. Friedman's test and the Mann-Whitney test were used to compare ulcer areas and circumference of affected limbs between and within groups at the different time points. The level of significance was set at 5% (P<0.05) for all tests. RESULTS: Both the pycnogenol and diosmin/hesperidin treatments had a similar effect on the healing of venous ulcers and led to a significant decrease in the circumference of affected limbs (P<0.0001). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that pycnogenol has an adjuvant effect on the healing of venous ulcers, similar to diosmin/hesperidin.



Management of Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency in a Comparative Registry with Nine Venoactive Products in Comparison with Stockings.

Abstract: The aim of this registry study was to compare products used to control symptoms of CVI. Endpoints of the study were microcirculation, effects on volume changes, and symptoms (analogue scale). Pycnogenol, venoruton, troxerutin, the complex diosmin-hesperidin, Antistax, Mirtoselect (bilberry), escin, and the combination Venoruton-Pycnogenol (VE-PY) were compared with compressions. No safety or tolerability problems were observed. At inclusion, measurements in the groups were comparable: 1,051 patients completed the registry. Best performers : Venoruton, Pycnogenol, and the combination VE-PY produced the best effects on skin flux. These products and the combination VE-PY better improved PO 2 and PCO 2 . The edema score was decreased more effectively with the combination and with Pycnogenol. Venoruton; Antistax also had good results. Considering volumetry, the best performers were the combination PY-VE and the two single products Venoruton and Pycnogenol. Antistax results for edema were also good. The best improvement in symptoms score were obtained with Pycnogenol and compression. A larger decrease in oxidative stress was observed with Pycnogenol, Venoruton, and with the VE-PY combination. Good effects of Antistax were also observed. Parestesias were lower with Pycnogenol and with Antistax. Considering the need for interventions, the best performers were Pycnogenol, VE-PY, and compression. The efficacy of Pycnogenol and the combination are competitive with stockings that do not have the same tolerability in warmer climates. A larger and more prolonged evaluation is suggested to evaluate cost-efficacy (and non-interference with drugs) of these products in the management of CVI. The registry is in progress; other products are in evaluation.



Venotonic actives, such as rutin, gotu kola, diosmin and pine bark extract reduce oedema, cramps, restless legs on lower legs

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a common condition caused by valvular dysfunction with or without associated obstruction, usually in the lower limbs. It might result in considerable discomfort with symptoms such as pain, itchiness and tiredness in the legs. Patients with CVI may also experience swelling and ulcers. Phlebotonics are a class of drugs often used to treat CVI. This is an update of a review first published in 2005. OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy and safety of phlebotonics administered both orally and topically for treatment of signs and symptoms of lower extremity CVI. SEARCH METHODS: For this update, the Cochrane Vascular Trials Search Co-ordinator (TSC) searched the Specialised Register (August 2015), as well as the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2015, Issue 7). The reference lists of the articles retrieved by electronic searches were searched for additional citations. We also contacted pharmaceutical companies and searched the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal for ongoing studies (last searched in August 2015). SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy of rutosides, hidrosmine, diosmine, calcium dobesilate, chromocarbe, Centella asiatica, disodium flavodate, french maritime pine bark extract, grape seed extract and aminaftone in patients with CVI at any stage of the disease. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed the quality of included RCTs. We estimated the effects of treatment by using risk ratios (RRs), mean differences (MDs) and standardised mean differences (SMDs), according to the outcome assessed. We calculated 95% confidence interval (CIs) and percentage of heterogeneity (I(2)). Additionally, we performed sensitivity analyses. MAIN RESULTS: We included 66 RCTs of oral phlebotonics, but only 53 trials provided quantifiable data (involving 6013 participants; mean age 50 years) for the efficacy analysis: 28 for rutosides, 10 hidrosmine and diosmine, nine calcium dobesilate, two Centella asiatica, two aminaftone, two french maritime pine bark extract and one grape seed extract. No studies evaluating topical phlebotonics, chromocarbe, naftazone or disodium flavodate fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Moderate-quality evidence suggests that phlebotonics reduced oedema in the lower legs compared with placebo. Phlebotonics showed beneficial effects among participants including reduced oedema (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.78; I(2) = 20%; 1245 participants) and ankle circumference (MD -4.27 mm, 95% CI -5.61 to -2.93 mm; I(2) = 47%; 2010 participants). Low-quality evidence reveals no difference in the proportion of ulcers cured with phlebotonics compared with placebo (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.13; I(2) = 5%; 461 participants). In addition, phlebotonics showed greater efficacy for trophic disorders, cramps, restless legs, swelling and paraesthesia, when compared with placebo. We identified heterogeneity for the variables of pain, itching, heaviness, quality of life and global assessment by participants. For quality of life, it was not possible to pool the studies because heterogeneity was high. However, high-quality evidence suggests no differences in quality of life for calcium dobesilate compared with placebo (MD -0.60, 95% CI -2.15 to 0.95; I(2) = 40%; 617 participants), and low-quality evidence indicates that in the aminaftone group, quality of life was improved over that reported in the placebo group (MD -10.00, 95% CI -17.01 to - 2.99; 79 participants). Moderate-quality evidence shows that the phlebotonics group had greater risk of non-severe adverse events than the placebo group (RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.41; I(2) = 0; 3975 participants). Gastrointestinal disorders were the most frequently reported adverse events. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Moderate-quality evidence shows that phlebotonics may have beneficial effects on oedema and on some signs and symptoms related to CVI such as trophic disorders, cramps, restless legs, swelling and paraesthesia when compared with placebo but can produce more adverse effects. Phlebotonics showed no differences compared with placebo in ulcer healing. Additional high-quality RCTs focused on clinically important outcomes are needed to improve the evidence base.

[Source: Phlebotonics for venous insufficiency]



Red pine bark extract boosts circulation, prevents oxidative damage

Red / maritime pine bark extract is well-known for it's circulation boosting, vein and capillary supporting and antioxidative action, so it could be an ideal leg wellness / cellulite cream ingredient 

Source: Well-Known Antioxidants and Newcomers in Sport Nutrition: Pycnogenol 

Abstract: Pycnogenol (also referred to as picnogel or pycnogel) is the registered trade name for a natural extract from the bark of a French maritime pine (Pinus Pinaster). It is a standardised extract composed of a mixture of flavonoids, mainly phenolic acids, catechin, taxifolin and procyanidins, and each component exerting a unique biological effect (Packer et al. 1999). Recommended doses of pycnogenol range widely and depend on the treatment aim. For example, to combat chronic venous insufficiency, recommended doses range from 150 to 360 mg·day–1, whereas others have recommended approximately 75–90 mg·day to prevent oxidative tissue damage. In a majority of clinical trials, the duration of supplementation is generally months. Side effects of pycnogenol supplementation are minimal (Gleeson et al. 2012). Studies indicate that pycnogenol components are highly bioavailable. Interestingly, pycnogenol displays greater biologic effects as a mixture than its purified components do individually, indicating that the components interact synergistically (Packer et al. 1999). Pycnogenol supplementation has been reported to have a wide range of health benefits, including improved cognitive function, endothelial function, blood pressure regulation and venous insufficiency (Maimoona et al. 2011, Gleeson et al. 2012). Pycnogenol also acts as an antiinflammatory and antioxidant agent (Packer et al. 1999, Devaraj et al. 2002, Williamson and Manach 2005). The antioxidant effect of pycnogenol is attributed to the high procyanadin content (Grimm et al. 2004). Pycnogenol has also been reported to have cardiovascular benefits, such as a vasorelaxant activity, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibiting activity and the ability to enhance the microcirculation by decreasing capillary permeability (Packer et al. 1999). There are a limited number of studies in the current literature about the effects of pycnogenol on exercise performance, exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammatory response. In a previous study (Pavlovic 1999), examining the effect of pycnogenol on endurance performance demonstrated a significant increase in endurance performance in recreationally trained athletes. Mach et al. (2010) demonstrated that pycnogenol-rich antioxidant cocktail improves time to fatigue by increasing the serum NAD+ levels. In a recent study, Bentley et al. (2012) showed that an acute single dose of pycnogenol supplement is able to improve endurance performance in trained athletes. Additionally, Vinciguerra et al. (2006) demonstrated that pycnogenol ingestion reduces the number of events in subjects with cramps and muscular pain without causing negative effects. However, additional experiments are required to confirm these results, to examine the optimal timing and dose amount of this supplement, as well as to establish the physiological mechanisms that explain the increased time to exhaustion during intense endurance exercise.