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Objectives: Pycnogenol®, obtained from the bark of the French maritime pine, has attracted the interest of researchers world-wide, more than 300 publications in Medline reflect this scientific interest. This review is an up-date based on clinical findings.
Methods: The update includes publications in scientific journals between 2010 and 2015.
Results: Knowledge of the metabolism of PYC was expanded. Its active metabolite M1 is accumulated via active transport in blood cells and undergoes further intra-cellular metabolism. PYC exerts 4 basic functions: Inhibition of α-glucosidase, stimulation of synthesis of hyaluronic acid and collagen, stimulation of nitric oxide production, inhibition of inflammatory mediators. The effects of PYC in inhibiting inflammatory processes and stimulating endothelial function have been corroborated by new clinical studies. Further insight into the effects of PYC in chronic venous insufficiency and hemorrhoids resulted from ex-vivo experiments and clinical studies. The improvement of local microcirculation terminated tinnitus and Meniere’s disease in 87% of the patients vs 35% in controls. Inhibition of aromatase and growth factors by PYC was correlated with substantial amelioration of endometriosis, 90% of patients became pain free. The spectrum of contributions to women’s health has been broadened by new positive effects on sexual function, evaluated by the Female Sexual Function Index. Erectile function of infertile men, evaluated by the Int. Index of Erectile Function was improved from moderate to normal values. Concentration of sperms increased by 79% to normal levels by administration of combinations of PYC with aminoacids and roburin.
The administration of PYC exerted a significant positive influence on cognitive functions as memory, learning and daily capabilities.
Conclusions: The administration of PYC offers a multitude of health benefits. The improvements seen in vascular health need to be confirmed in further studies. New results regarding benefits in cognitive function may lead to new topics of research with PYC.
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