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Pycnogenol - a powerful antioxidant from pine tree extract

Pycnogenol is an antioxidant 20 times more effective than Vitamin C and 50 times stronger than Vitamin E. As an antioxidant, it has the capacity to destroy free radicals which can damage tissues and lead to degenerative conditions.

What is Pycnogenol?

PYCNOGENOL is the brand name for an extract made from the Maritime pine tree. You can also get grape seed extract, which has similar properties to the extract from the Maritime pine tree. Ask for a fact sheet on the grape seed extract, which Ideal Health stocks, called Vitis.

Its action in the body is as a powerful antioxidant, which does a similar job to vitamin C in the body. Having said this though, as an antioxidant, Pycnogenol is 20 times more effective than vitamin C in the body and 50 times stronger than vitamin E. The main active ingredient is called proanthocyanidin or more commonly known as OPC.

Is Pycnogenol safe and how long has it been around for?

Yes, Pycnogenol is very safe. It has 25 years of laboratory research and clinical study. The history of Pycnogenol starts in 1534, when a French explorer with a crew of over 100 men realised he was going to lose this crew due to scurvy if he didn't do something to help them. This man then met an Indian who explained what could be done to help his men. He directed the Frenchman towards a tree, which he identified with the name Anneda. He explained how you could concoct a mixture from the bark and needles of the tree. The extract was then drunk and the remainder of the bark and needles was made into a poultice and placed on the aching joints of his crew. The Frenchman experimented on 2 of his crew and they recovered within 1 week. This was really the starting point, but it wasn't until about 1986 that its powerful free radical scavenger effect was discovered.

What are free radicals?

These are a group of highly reactive chemical substances that radically destroy living structures, particularly our immune system. These invaders are rampant in our environment today, due to pollution, chemicals and other toxins.

Put very simply, these free radicals will rust and crackle our body, by means of uncontrolled oxidation. Normally speaking, our immune system should get rid of free radicals. But because there are so many of these invaders invading our body all the time, our immune system has a hard job neutralising these. As well as this, a lot of people have a weakened immune system.

How do you take Pycnogenol?

It comes in a capsule or tablet, so it is easy to take. Evidence shows that most people who take Pycnogenol notice an almost immediate effect in the body. The dosage depends on your body weight, so every company's product dosage will vary with the strength of the product. Vitis is simply taken once a day.

What health problems can someone take Pycnogenol for?

Anyone would benefit from taking this product, but particularly those who are interested in living a longer healthier life or those who are already suffering from illness, such as:

Circulatory problems
Heart disease
Blood pressure problems
Problems relating to the prostate gland
HIV and
just to name a few

Ideal Health stocks Solgar's Pycnogenol, Nutra Life Enzogenol and ENZO Enzogenol

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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