Joint Pain Forum – News you can use!
The bark that heals
If you look closely at the bark of a pine tree, what's most evident
between the concentric circles of bark that have grown over the years
is its reddish-brown hue, a colour derived from a natural powder-like
substance found in the tree's bark.
Extracted from between each layer, this substance is what makes up
Pcynogenol, a pine bark extract. The source of raw bark material that
goes into Pcynogenol is grown in Europe's largest pine tree forest in
Bordeaux, France, in a monoculture environment that does not use
pesticides and fertilisers to prevent cross-contamination.
Pcynogenol is known to be beneficial to health as it contains the
antioxidant flavanoids, which is a compound also commonly found in the
peel of fruits. This substance acts as a protective barrier against
bacteria and makes up the natural immune system of a pine bark tree.
These properties are also what make Pcynogenol a good source of
antioxidants that help in combating ailments such as high blood
pressure, arthritis and high blood glucose levels.
Nutritionist Louisa Zhang said: "Pcy-nogenol is one of the
better-researched substances, with studies on it conducted in
universities in countries such as Germany, the United States and
Studies have shown that the extract inhibits
inflammation in the body. When compared against the use of placebo
drugs for the management of pain in arthritis sufferers, patients on
Pcynogenol reported feeling less pain.
Pcynogenol also contains many phytonutrients (plant
nutrients) and organic or fruit acids, according to Ms Zhang. "One of
these acids, Ferulic acid, in particular, has been shown to have
anti-inflammatory action and improves capillary malleability."
The extract has also shown promise in improving skin
quality and elasticity, as it binds to the collagen fibres in the skin,
helping the enzymes produce more collagen and protecting cells against
free radical damage from the environment.
Studies have also linked Pycnogenol, which is used in
finished products like pharmaceuticals, food and drinks, with
beneficial properties like its ability to improve blood flow.
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