pine bark extract, leg wellness & 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 therefore of great importance as active ingredient in anti-cellulite, leg wellness, skin firming and under-eye creams.
PINE BARK EXTRACT CELLULITE CREAMS, BY Celluence®
The pine bark polyphenols used for the Celluence® cellulite creams is of the highest quality and of >95% purity, i.e. it comprises more than 95% active molecule, in a patented, enhanced skin absorption form. We are extremely proud to feature such a high quality, highly purified red pine bark extract in our formulations, together with multiple other natural active ingredients, for maximum synergy and effectiveness. No other cellulite creams offer ALL the important anti-cellulite / leg wellness ingredients, in one package (learn how our creams differ from any other cellulite formulation).
Red pine bark extract: papers & articles
(Disclaimer: please note that the information and the research presented on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute efficacy claims for the Celluence® creams, neither does it constitute or aim to replace medical advice)
French pine bark extract helps improve microcirculation and cardiovascular health
The French maritime pine bark extract is well-known for it's protective effects on microcirculation and blood vessels.
Now a new clinical trial has shown that red pine bark extract protects cardiovascular health in another way: it increases HDL (good cholesterol) while at the same time reducing oxidised LDL (bad cholesterol) and high blood pressure.
The clinical study
For this placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, 24 participants who suffered from mild hypertension took either 150mg of red pine bark extract or placebo for 5 weeks.
At the end of the trial and compared to placebo, the pine bark extract raised HDL/good cholesterol by 14%, improved the ratio of apolipoprotein B-100/A-1 by 10%. (p = 0.046) and also reduced systolic blood pressure and oxidised LDL/bad cholesterol, all major markers of cardiovascular disease.
About red pine bark procyanidins
The pine bark extract used for the study was Oligopin, a branded pine bark extract, 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.
Red pine bark extract is used in supplement form, as well as an active ingredient in quality anti-ageing / anti-cellulite creams, due to it's desirable action on collagen production, microcirculation and fat reduction.
- Paper: Effects of low molecular weight procyanidin rich extract from french maritime pine bark on cardiovascular disease risk factors in stage-1 hypertensive subjects: Randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled intervention trial.
- Abstract: BACKGROUND: Oligopin (OP) is a quantified extract from French Maritime Pine bark (FMPB) with low molecular weight procyanidins. The cardioprotective effects of OP need to be tested in human clinical intervention trials with an appropriate design. PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of subchronic consumption of OP on cardiovascular disease risk factors such as lipid profile, systolic blood pressure (BP) and oxidized-Low Density Lipoprotein (ox-LDL) in stage-1-hypertensive subjects. METHODS: Between February 14 and May 31, 2014, eligible subjects were recruited from the outpatient clinics of Hospital Universitari Sant Joan (Reus, Spain). A total of 24 participants (mean age ± DS; 57.36 ± 11.25; 17 men) with stage-1-hypertension who were not receiving BP-lowering medication and LDL cholesterol < 4.88 mmol/l were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. The subjects received 2 capsules/day with 75 mg of OP or placebo for 5-weeks. RESULTS: At 5-weeks, compared to the placebo, OP raised High Density Lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c) by 14.06% (p = 0.012) and apolipoprotein A-1 by 8.12% (p = 0.038) and reduced the ratio of apolipoprotein B-100/A-1 by 10.26% (p = 0.046). Moreover, at 5-weeks, compared to the baseline, OP reduced the systolic BP by 6.36 mmHg (p = 0.014), and decreased ox-LDL concentrations by 31.72 U/l (p = 0.015). CONCLUSION: At 5-weeks, the consumption of 150 mg/day of OP improve lipid cardiovascular profile and represents one of the scarce ways to increase HDL-c in stage-1-hypertensive subjects.
- 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.
- Source: Phlebotonics for venous insufficiency.
- 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.
- 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.
- Source: Pycnogenol® and Centella Asiatica for asymptomatic atherosclerosis progression.
- Abstract: AIM: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of the nutritional supplements Pycnogenol and TECA (total triterpenic fraction of CentellaAsiatica) on atherosclerosis progression in low-risk asymptomatic subjects with carotid or femoral non-stenosing plaques. METHODS: This was an observational pilot substudy of the San Valentino epidemiological cardiovascular study. The study included 1363 subjects aged 45-60 without any conventional risk factors who had non stenosing atherosclerotic plaques (<50%) in at least one carotid or common femoral bifurcation, allocated into 6 groups: Group 1 (CONTROLS): management was based on education, exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. This same management plan was used in all groups; Group 2 Pycnogenol 50 mg/day; Group 3 Pycnogenol 100 mg/day; Group 4 Aspirin 100 mg/day or Ticlopidine 250 mg/day if intolerant to aspirin; Group 5 Aspirin 100 mg/day and Pycnogenol 100 mg/day; Group 6 Pycnogenol 100 mg/day plus TECA (total triterpenic fraction of Centella Asiatica) 100 mg/day. There was a six monthly follow-up up to 30 months. Plaque progression was assessed using the ultrasonic arterial score based on the arterial wall morphology and the number of plaques that progressed from the non-stenotic to the stenotic group. A secondary endpoint was to evaluate the changes in oxidative stress at baseline and at 30 months. RESULTS: The ultrasonic score increased significantly in groups 1, 2 and 4 but not in groups 3, 5 and 6 suggesting a beneficial effect of Pycnogenol 100 mg.The percentage of plaques that progressed from class IV to class V was 8.4% in group 2, 5.3% in group 3, 4% in group 5 and 1.1% in group 6 (P<0.0001) compared with 16.6% in group 4 (aspirin) and 21.3% in the control group suggesting a beneficial effect of Pycnogenol. The lowest rate of progression was in group 6 (Pycnogenol plus TECA). At 30 months, the oxidative stress in all the Pycnogenol groups was less than in the control group. The oxidative stress was lower in the Pycnogenol 100 mg group than the Pycnogenol 50 mg group (P<0.0001). In the combined group of Pycnogenol and TECA the oxidative stress was less than the Pycnogenol alone (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: Pycnogenol and the combination of Pycnogenol+TECA appear to reduce the progression of subclinical arterial lesions in low-risk asymptomatic subjects. The reduction in plaque progression was associated with a reduction in oxidative stress. The results justify a large randomized controlled study to demonstrate the efficacy of the combined Pycnogenol and TECA prophylactic therapy in subclinical atherosclerosis.
- Source: Hemorrhoids and varicose veins: a review of treatment options
- Abstract: Hemorrhoids and varicose veins are common conditions seen by general practitioners. Both conditions have several treatment modalities for the physician to choose from. Varicose veins are treated with mechanical compression stockings. There are several over-the-counter topical agents available for hemorrhoids. Conservative therapies for both conditions include diet, lifestyle changes, and hydrotherapy which require a high degree of patient compliance to be effective. When conservative hemorrhoid therapy is ineffective, many physicians may choose other non-surgical modalities: injection sclerotherapy, cryotherapy, manual dilation of the anus, infrared photocoagulation, bipolar diathermy, direct current electrocoagulation, or rubber band ligation. Injection sclerotherapy is the non-surgical treatment for primary varicose veins. Non-surgical modalities require physicians to be specially trained, own specialized equipment, and assume associated risks. If a non-surgical approach fails, the patient is often referred to a surgeon. The costly and uncomfortable nature of treatment options often lead a patient to postpone evaluation until aggressive intervention is necessary. Oral dietary supplementation is an attractive addition to the traditional treatment of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The loss of vascular integrity is associated with the pathogenesis of both hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Several botanical extracts 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 Aesculus hippocastanum, Ruscus aculeatus, Centella asiatica, Hamamelis virginiana, and bioflavonoids may prevent time-consuming, painful, and expensive complications of varicose veins and hemorrhoids.