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Pycnogenol is a proanthocyanidin extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine.

Pycnogenol is a super antioxidant mad e from the bark of a French pine tree. Research carried at the University of California last year found that Pycnogenol can slow down photo ageing (sun damage) to skin by up to 50 per cent.

The research confirmed that Pycnogenol maintains the skin's healthy structure for longer by binding with collagen and elastin to prevent them from being broken down, while destroying the free radicals that try to attack the skin's structure.

Studies provide data supporting the French Paradox which hypothesizes that intake of proanthocyanidins and other flavonoids from regular consumption of red wines prevents occurrence of a higher disease rate (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes) in French citizens on high-fat diets.

Proanthocyanidins have antioxidant activity and they play a role in the stabilisation of collagen and maintenance of elastin - two critical proteins in connective tissue that support organs, joints, blood vessels and muscle.

Common antioxidants currently used are vitamin C and vitamin E but studies show that proanthocyanidin's antioxidant capabilities are 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more potent than vitamin E.

Proanthocyanidins found in pine bark and grape seed extract work directly to help strengthen all the blood vessels and improve the delivery of oxygen to the cells.
(formerly known as Pinus maritima). It can also be found in sea buckthorn oil.

In the human body, they might act as antioxidants (free radical scavengers).

Studies have shown that OPCs may prevent cardiovascular diseases by counteracting the negative effects of high cholesterol on the heart and blood vessels.

A pine bark extract of OPCs, Pycnogenol, has been shown to improve microcirculation, retinal oedema and visual acuity in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.

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