Lege Artis Medicinae

[Pycnogenol in the clinical practice of French maritime pine bark extractum]

KISS István, TAVASZY Mariann, FARSANG Csaba

OCTOBER 20, 2011

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2011;21(10)

[Polyphenols, which belong to the group of flavonoids, can be found in a number of plants, and are present in a high concentration in the French maritime pine bark. The authors summarise results of large-scale experimental and clinical studies on pycnogenol, the standardised extract of French maritime pine bark. Pycnogenol decreases production and effects of free radicals (antioxidant effect). It has antiinflammatory properties, and, by the stimulation of eNOSsynthesis, it increases the production of vasodilatory compounds (e.g. NO, prostacyclin) and decreases that of vascoconstrictor compounds (endothelin-1, thromboxane) materials. These changes lead to vasodilation, which results in increased tissue perfusion and decreased blood pressure. Pycnogenol also decreases platelet aggregation and LDL-cholesterol level and increases HDL-cholesterol level. Its antidiabetic effect has also been shown. Consequently, it may substantially decrease cardiovascular risk. In addition to these results, pycnogenol has been also found to have antibacterial and antiviral effects. It has been successfully used in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as in adults with dysmenorrhea, climacterial disturbances, glaucoma or asthma bronchiale.]

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