Benefits of Pycnogenol
Some of the many possible benefits of Pycnogenol include treating asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although more research is needed to determine if Pycnogenol is effective for all of these uses, there is stronger evidence that it can treat asthma, chronic venous insufficiency, and retinopathy. The manufacturer does not recommend that children under the age of six years old use Pycnogenol.
Pycnogenol® is a patented extract that is used in numerous dietary supplements. It is made from the French maritime pine tree and is claimed to be useful for treating a wide variety of medical conditions. Specifically, people claim that Pycnogenol is beneficial for preventing and/or treating the following conditions:
- Chronic venous insufficiency (a condition that involves leg swelling, varicose veins, pain, itching, and other skin changes)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Retinopathy (an eye condition commonly caused by diabetes)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis)
- Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction or ED)
- High cholesterol
- Male infertility
- Heart attacks or strokes
- Leg cramps
- Pregnancy pains (such as back pain, pelvic pain, and leg cramps)
- Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea).
Pycnogenol is also said to improve athletic performance.
As with any dietary supplement, Pycnogenol is probably not beneficial for every single possible use. Of all the uses that the supplement is claimed to treat, the strongest evidence is for treating asthma, chronic venous insufficiency, high blood pressure, and retinopathy. There is not enough evidence to know for sure if Pycnogenol is effective for the other uses.
(Click Does Pycnogenol Work? for more information.)