There has been a lot of research in Pycnogenol over the last 40 years and with more than 450 scientific publications, Pycnogenol is considered one of the best researched ingredients available on the market. The vision in the 60s was to create a concept of healthy ageing. Charles Haimoff developed such a substance, Pycnogenol.
We will give you all the necessary information in our Pycnogenol test 2021 so that you know better about this extract from the bark of the French maritime pine. The field of application for Pycnogenol is very broad.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Pycnogenol: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for Pycnogenol
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about Pycnogenol answered in detail
The most important facts
- Pycnogenol is extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine and has antioxidant properties. They are mainly needed to keep the skin elastic and hydrated.
- The capsules can help with various diseases and complaints. The field of application of Pycnogenol is very broad.
- Pycnogenol capsules can also be taken as a preventive measure. A daily dose of 100 mg is recommended.
The Best Pycnogenol: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for Pycnogenol
When buying Pycnogenol, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:
By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and ask to see the manufacturer's certificates if necessary.
The dosage of Pycnogenol varies greatly depending on the field of application and the disease. You should therefore find out exactly what the recommended dose is before taking it.
For general, preventive purposes, about 100 mg of the extract should be taken. There is also no scientific evidence against taking Pycnogenol over a longer period of time.
Pycnogenol is sold as capsules. One capsule is normally 100 mg and thus corresponds to the recommended daily intake for prevention.
Pycnogenol capsules are high-dose and usually 100 mg. One capsule a day has a preventive effect against various diseases.
Depending on the supplier, there are big differences in price, even though the packs are the same size and the capsules have the identical weight. You can therefore make sure to choose a cheaper product, because the effect is the same for all products.
Packs of 60 capsules of 100 mg each are usually offered. However, there are also larger packs with more capsules. This has the advantage that you save money in the long run and have a large supply of capsules at home.
If you do not take one capsule a day, a large pack makes little sense, as the capsules will otherwise expire. In such cases, it is therefore advisable to choose a normal pack size.
In principle, Pycnogenol should be taken during meals.
Studies have regularly found that the effect is enhanced when the bark extract is combined with the following ingredients:
- Amino acids
It is important that the ingredients are of high quality.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about Pycnogenol answered in detail
In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of Pycnogenol and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.
What is Pycnogenol and how does it work?
Pycnogenol has various effects, which we will describe in the following points. First, we will show you a summary table to give you an overview.
|Venous insufficiency||May help relieve pain and reduce leg heaviness. (2)|
|Osteoarthritis||Symptoms of osteoarthritis may be reduced. (4)|
|Hypertension||Blood pressure can be lowered by taking Pycnogenol daily. (6)|
|Tinnitus||In a study it was shown that after taking Pycnogenol for six months it may be possible to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. (7)|
|Thrombosis prophylaxis||Taking Pycnogenol before and during a long-haul flight may have a preventive effect on thrombosis. (8)|
|Skin elasticity||Pycnogenol may have an effect on your skin elasticity, similar to anti-ageing products. (9)|
|Menstrual pain||In one study, the pain of some patients was reduced. (10)|
The details of this study can be found in the source, a short summary of the effect is presented in the following points.
Due to the breakdown of vein walls, the legs swell, varicose veins appear and in the most severe cases it even leads to venous thrombosis.
Patients with chronic venous insufficiency can be helped by taking Pycnogenol. The pain can be reduced and the legs can become lighter. The placebo effect can be ruled out here, this was proven in a study conducted in 2000. (2)
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common diseases of old age and is therefore becoming increasingly important for the health system. With arthrosis, the cartilage is increasingly worn out and the joints suffer. (3)
Pycnogenol offers an option to save on treatment costs for osteoarthritis. The extract can help to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis when taken regularly. In addition, it is possible that in a period of three months, the ability to walk is improved. In a 2008 study, patients improved their walking distance by 130 metres, from 68 to 198 metres. (4)
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and is one of the leading causes of death in adults. Almost every third adult in Germany has a known, diagnosed high blood pressure. (5)
Pycnogenol may have positive effects on blood pressure. 549 participants in a study were given between 150 and 200 mg of Pycnogenol per day. The blood pressure was lowered by a total of 3.22 mmHg (millimetres of mercury) or 3.11 mmHg. (6)
According to a study conducted in 2014, taking Pycnogenol helps against tinnitus. Pycnogenol can help to improve the symptoms. It has also been shown that after six months of taking 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily, one can be tinnitus symptom-free. (7)
The risk of thrombosis on long-haul flights was significantly reduced in a study when passengers took 200 mg of Pycnogenol before departure and another 100 mg after the first 6 hours of flying. Thus, it was shown that the extract can also help in thrombosis prophylaxis. (8)
Pycnogenol can protect the skin from enzymatic degradation. In one study, it was shown to improve hydration as well as skin elasticity. These effects were clearly seen in women who struggled with dry skin at the beginning of the study. (9)
Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhoea)
Pycnogenol may help women who suffer from dysmenorrhoea. The pain was greatly reduced during three cycles. Group B, who took 100 mg of Pycnogenol daily, were able to reduce their pain from a 9 to a 2 on the visual analogue scale (VAS). (10)
When and for whom is it useful to take Pycnogenol?
What are the side effects of Pycnogenol?
Nevertheless, before taking Pycnogenol, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist about whether you should take the food supplement.
In addition, you should not take Pycnogenol during the first three months of pregnancy. No study refers to this statement. In principle, however, medicines, drugs and food supplements should be avoided during pregnancy.
How should Pycnogenol be dosed?
|Use||Dosage per day|
|ADHD||1 mg / kilogram body weight|
|Anti-ageing||20 - 80 mg|
|Osteoarthritis / arthritis||100 - 150 mg|
|Asthma||2 mg / kilogram body weight|
|Hypertension||100 - 200 mg|
|Cholesterol||120 - 150 mg|
|Diabetes||50 - 200 mg|
|Diabetic retinopathy||20 - 160 mg|
|Erectile dysfunction||120 mg + L-arginine|
|Menstrual cramps||30 - 60 mg|
|Menopausal symptoms||200 mg|
|Muscle complaints / cramps||200 mg|
|Platelet formation||25 - 200 mg|
|Venous insufficiency||150 - 360 mg|
These dosages are not official and may vary from person to person. To be sure, please consult a doctor or pharmacist to be sure you are taking the correct amount.
What are the alternatives to Pycnogenol?
Basically, Pycnogenol is already given as an alternative to various medicines. Since this extract is naturally obtained from sea bark, it is readily seen as a natural alternative to chemical medicines.
There are other ways of obtaining a similar extract. For example, there is OPC from grape seeds or pine nuts. These have a similar effect to the original pycnogenol.
If you have symptoms that do not go away with Pycnogenol, please consult a doctor and talk to him about the current situation.
Image source: chajamp/ 123rf.com
Pycnogenol®. Offizielle Beschreibung. Horphag (2020)
Arcangeli P. Pycnogenol in chronic venous insufficiency. Fitoterapia. 2000 Jun;71(3):236-44. doi: 10.1016/s0367-326x(99)00164-1. PMID: 10844161.
Söder, S., Aigner, T. Arthrose. Pathologe 32, 183–192 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00292-011-1419-1
Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Errichi S, Zulli C, Errichi BM, Vinciguerra G, Ledda A, Di Renzo A, Stuard S, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Errichi S, Gizzi G, Ippolito E, Ricci A, Cacchio M, Cipollone G, Ruffini I, Fano F, Hosoi M, Rohdewald P. Treatment of osteoarthritis with Pycnogenol. The SVOS (San Valentino Osteo-arthrosis Study). Evaluation of signs, symptoms, physical performance and vascular aspects. Phytother Res. 2008 Apr;22(4):518-23. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2376. PMID: 18386255.
Neuhauser H., Kuhnert R., Born S. 12-Monats-Prävalenz von Bluthochdruck in Deutschland. Journal of Health Monitoring, 57-63 (2017 2(1)). https://doi.org/10.17886/RKI-GBE-2017-007
Zhang Z, Tong X, Wei YL, Zhao L, Xu JY, Qin LQ. Effect of Pycnogenol Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Iran J Public Health. 2018 Jun;47(6):779-787. PMID: 30087862; PMCID: PMC6077626.
Luzzi R, Belcaro G, Hu S, Dugall M, Hosoi M, Cacchio M, Ippolito E, Corsi M. Improvement in symptoms and cochlear flow with pycnogenol in patients with Meniere's disease and tinnitus. Minerva Med. 2014 Jun;105(3):245-54. PMID: 24988090.
Cesarone MR, Belcaro G, Rohdewald P, Pellegrini L, Ippolito E, Scoccianti M, Ricci A, Dugall M, Cacchio M, Ruffini I, Fano F, Acerbi G, Vinciguerra MG, Bavera P, Di Renzo A, Errichi BM, Mucci F. Prevention of edema in long flights with Pycnogenol. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2005 Jul;11(3):289-94. doi: 10.1177/107602960501100307. PMID: 16015414.
Marini A, Grether-Beck S, Jaenicke T, Weber M, Burki C, Formann P, Brenden H, Schönlau F, Krutmann J. Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in women. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2012;25(2):86-92. doi: 10.1159/000335261. Epub 2012 Jan 21. PMID: 22270036.
Maia H Jr, Haddad C, Casoy J. The effect of pycnogenol on patients with dysmenorrhea using low-dose oral contraceptives. Int J Womens Health. 2014 Dec 11;6:1019-22. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S75389. PMID: 25525393; PMCID: PMC4266261.
vitamine-ratgeber.com. Pinienrindenextrakt (z.B. Pycnogenol®).