Has anyone here tried Pycnogenol, a dietary supplement over the counter? If so, what were your results?
Has anyone tried Pycnogenol?: Has anyone... - Cure Parkinson's
Has anyone tried Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is a trademarked name for pine bark extract, and there is little to no difference between the two in terms of composition or effects. You might use pine bark extract or pycnogenol to help treat a variety of medical conditions, including chronic venous insufficiency, retinopathy or erectile dysfunction. Before you take pycnogenol or pine bark extract, consult your doctor to discuss the proper dosage and potential health risks.
it’s an expensive recent addition to my stack. I’m not sure what it’s doing for me as yet. 60 days in.
... so, at this point, you do not notice the slightest difference after 60 days?
My experience with PBE is that the label dose is generally too low to see much if any benefit. Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE) has similar effects at less cost, but again, most label dosages are too low for noticeable effect.
A relevant quote from the study :
' We found that GSSE was effective in protecting dopamine neurons from 6-OHDA toxicity by reducing apoptosis, the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammation. Furthermore, we found that GSSE treatment efficiently protected against neuronal loss and improved motor function in an in vivo 6-OHDA model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Altogether, our results show that GSSE acts at multiple levels to protect dopamine neurons from degeneration in a model of PD. '
Having tested and used both, my personal preference would be for GSPE.
I’ve never heard of either of these supplements. Can you provide more details on how much you take, when, with/without food, brand, etc.? Thanks.
Pine Bark Extract (PBE) and Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE) are available from most online supplement suppliers. I used both for their anti inflammatory and anti oxidative stress features. Both have many studies to support their use for different health issues. In the case of PBE, you will find that studies generally use a patented form called Pycnogenol, which is derived from a specific pine tree, French maritime pine tree, Pinus pinaster. I believe the reason that Pycnogenol is the form mostly used for studies is because it is a known quantity and it is standardized, which is very useful when it comes to studies to make it easier to replicate their results. So it is not that Pycnogenol is better than other varieties of PBE. Pycnogenol is patented and is more expensive than other PBEs.
Here is a link to a PBE study (RCT) using it in traumatic brain injury patients resulting in significantly less death of the patients in the PBE group :
Here is a relevant study quote :
' The survival rate was higher by 15% in the intervention group compared to control group. Oligopin supplementation in TBI patients in ICU reduced inflammation and improved the clinical status and malnutrition score and thereby reducing the mortality rate. '
Of note in the above study is the relatively low dose used of 150 mg/day of PBE. In contrast, I have used over 2000 mg per day of PBE.
The following review of studies of GSPE in middle aged and elderly women showed multiple positive health effects :
Here is a very relevant quote from this review of studies :
' We researched the effects of proanthocyanidins for middle-aged and elderly women, finding that it has been revealed in many clinical trials and cohort studies that proanthocyanidins contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, and urinary tract infection, as well as the improvement of menopausal symptoms, renal function, and skin damage. Thus, proanthocyanidins can be considered one of the potent representatives of complementary alternative therapy. '
The above study represents many of the reasons why I take GSPE everyday, but I am not sure why the review only looked at studies involving women, because it has shown many health benefits in men as well.
This is the product I take at the dose listed on the label of 3 capsules for a total of 1200 mg per day :
Here is a link to PBE products :
If you scroll down low enough, you will also see listings for Pycnogenol.
If you have any questions just let me know.
thanks for all the info. Just one more question: how long did you take it before you started to see symptom relief and what symptoms did it relieve?
If you are referring to symptom relief for PD, I do not have PD so I can't comment on that aspect of it. I take GSPE, like I take melatonin at high dose, as a preventative for a multitude of health effects that they have shown in studies, such as cardiovascular disease. Both work as a preventative and treatment. I have written about the cardiovascular protective effects of melatonin in PwP here :
Yes, I've seen that, I just wish it were more.
Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE) is the same thing as regular grape seed extract which is sold it health food stores? I meant to direct this question to chartist
Yes, I generally try to add the proanthocyanidins because they generally contain 80 to 95% proanthocyanidins. This also helps to differentiate it from grapefruit seed extract (GSE) for which it is often confused. PBE also has proanthocyanidins in it.
For those tired of taking pills, grape seed extract comes in powdered form. It doesn't mix well in liquids and is very tannic, but it's quite palatable mixed into peanut butter. amazon.com/BulkSupplements-...
It seems to be helpful: Pycnogenol® supplementation alleviates symptoms of Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment 2022 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/361...
Background: The aim of this pilot registry study was to assess the preventive effect of an 8-week Pycnogenol® (French maritime pine bark extract) supplementation on symptoms, such as cognitive and motor aspects, in subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD).
Methods: The study was based on five types of observations: a. Karnofsky performance scale index; b. oxidative stress markers in plasma (plasma free radicals, PFR); c. the main signs and symptoms, evaluated by a physician; d. face motion and expressions and their symmetry, recorded with a high-speed video camera.
Results: A total of 79 patients were included in the study: 39 controls using only standard management (SM) and 40 subjects supplemented with Pycnogenol® 150 mg/day. At inclusion, the two groups (SM and SM+Pycnogenol®) were comparable for age, symptoms, Karnofsky performance scale rating and for the management of PD. Likewise, oxidative stress and the presence of peripheral edema were also comparable between the two groups. No side effects of supplementation were observed. There were no tolerability problems. At the end of the study after 8 weeks, the Karnofsky performance index was significantly (P<0.05) higher with Pycnogenol® compared to controls. Also, the proportion of patients with a clinically visible peripheral edema decreased significantly over 8 weeks with Pycnogenol® compared to controls (P<0.05). Plasma oxidative stress was significantly lower with Pycnogenol® (P<0.05). The scores of PD main signs/symptoms like tremor, bradykinesia, alterations in cognitive functions, rigidity and speech impairment were significantly lower in the Pycnogenol® group compared to controls (P<0.05). Face expression evaluation showed a marked asymmetry at inclusion. Over 8-week supplementation, facial expression scores for visible and subliminal asymmetry, altered facial responses, altered shoulder motion and altered emotional pattern improved significantly in the Pycnogenol® group compared to controls (P<0.05) where the scores did not change significantly.
Conclusions: In conclusion, according to this pilot registry study, Pycnogenol® supplementation helps patients with moderate, well-controlled PD - under stable treatment - to attenuate most signs and symptoms and life-relational aspects associated with Parkinson-related cognitive impairment.
Please help make sense of the below
the Karnofsky performance index was significantly (P<0.05) higher with Pycnogenol® compared to controls. Also, the proportion of patients with a clinically visible peripheral edema decreased significantly over 8 weeks with Pycnogenol® compared to controls (P<0.05)
The Karnofsky scale is a single variable measuring health / disability on a scale of 0 to 100%. See here for details:
No idea why they used this instead of the UPDRS nor why they focused on edema.