Pine bark extract is a natural supplement that is derived from the bark of pine trees. It contains natural compounds that are known for their antioxidant properties.
Pine bark extract has been studied for its many potential health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, boosting cognitive function, and promoting healthy skin.
In this article, we provide an in-depth explanation of what pine bark extract is, its most notable benefits, and potential drawbacks so that you can make an informed decision as to whether their natural supplement is right for you.
What is pine bark extract?
Pine bark is a natural extract originating from pine trees that grow along the coast of South-West France (Pinus pinaster). The extract is made by grinding up the bark and extracting the beneficial compounds, which are called proanthocyanidins.
Proanthocyanidins are a type of flavonoid that are known for their antioxidant properties. They may help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Pine bark extract can also be used as a natural remedy for other health conditions, such as high blood pressure and osteoarthritis. Of course, as with any natural remedy, it’s best to chat with your doctor first, to ensure that pine bark extract is safe for you.
What is pine bark extract good for?
Pine bark extract is a natural supplement that has gained popularity for its potential health benefits. Four of the most notable benefits of pine bark include its powerful antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to boost cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation and improve cognitive functioning.
Powerful antioxidant properties
Pine bark extract contains a variety of compounds, including oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), which are a type of flavonoid with strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of various diseases.
Pine bark extract has been shown to be a potent scavenger of free radicals, which makes it a potentially valuable supplement for promoting overall health and well-being. Additionally, some research suggests that pine bark extract may be even more powerful than other well-known antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E.
Improves cardiovascular health
While more research is needed, pine bark extract has been shown to improve cardiovascular health in a number of ways. First, it has been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure, potentially helping to lower it in people with high blood pressure. In one study, participants with metabolic syndrome who took pine bark extract experienced a significant reduction in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
In addition, pine bark extract has been found to have beneficial effects on blood flow. It may help to improve circulation by promoting the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. This effect may be particularly beneficial for people with conditions that affect blood flow, such as peripheral artery disease.
Pine bark extract contains high concentrations of polyphenols and other antioxidant compounds. These compounds help to scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to inflammation.
In addition, pine bark extract may help to regulate the activity of certain enzymes and pathways involved in inflammation, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and the COX-2 enzyme.
Finally, pine bark extract may help to reduce inflammation by modulating the immune system. Research suggests that it may help to balance the activity of different immune cells, promoting a more anti-inflammatory response.
Boosts Cognitive Function
Pine bark extract may boost cognitive functioning in a few different ways. One of the main mechanisms is its ability to increase blood flow to the brain. By promoting the production of nitric oxide, which helps to relax blood vessels, pine bark extract may help to increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which is essential for optimal brain function.
In addition, pine bark extract has been found to have neuroprotective effects, which may help to prevent or slow the progression of certain age-related cognitive decline. Lastly, pine bark extract may help to enhance memory and cognitive function by improving neurotransmitter signalling.
Benefits of pine bark extract for the skin
Pine bark extract supplements offer multiple benefits for your skin. As you can see from the above-listed benefits, this extract has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which can contribute to young, healthier-looking skin.
Additionally, pine bark extract also binds with hydroxyproline, a key amino acid in collagen and elastin production. It also increases the synthesis of hyaluronic acid to improve water retention in the dermis.
Clinical trials have also shown that pine bark extract can help alleviate pigmentation and promote an even complexion. It is believed that the antioxidants in pine bark help to give the skin natural protection against UV rays which increases the production of melanin (and the resulting pigmentation).
At Rejuvenated, we have personally taken it for over 30 years and have included safe levels of pine bark in our H3O Night Repair Capsules. We recommend taking it in conjunction with our Collagen Shots at night in order to get the best results.
What are the side effects of pine bark extract?
While pine bark extract is generally considered safe, some individuals may experience side effects, particularly at high doses. Some of the potential side effects that can be caused by pine bark extract include gastrointestinal discomfort, allergic reactions, (mild) blood thinning, headaches, dizziness and low blood pressure.
Be sure to talk to a healthcare provider before taking pine bark extract, especially if you are taking any medications or have a medical condition.
Conclusion: Is Pine Bark Extract Right for You?
Incorporating pine bark extract into your daily routine can be an excellent way to promote overall health and well-being. Its potent antioxidant properties and ability to boost cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, and improve cognitive function are just a few of the many benefits it has to offer.
However, as with any natural remedy, it’s crucial to chat with your doctor first, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking any medications. By taking the necessary precautions, you can safely and effectively add pine bark extract to your daily routine and experience its many health benefits.