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Biomedical Reviews

Pycnogenol: a nutraceutical for venous health

Om P. Gulati


Recent studies utilizing highly sophisticated methodology and techniques were able to provide a new insight into the molecular mechanism of the biological activity of various botanical extracts. The present review provides an update of the multifaceted biological profile of the nutraceutical Pycnogenol® in venous health, using a target oriented approach in light of pathophysiology of chronic venous insufficiency. Pycnogenol is French maritime pine bark extract produced by extraction of the outer bark of Pinus pinaster Ait. Subsp. atlantica. Pycnogenol has strong antioxidant profile proven by in vitro and in vivo studies in animals and further confirmed in clinical trials. Its strong antioxidant profile, vasodilator activity, antithrombotic effect and its collagen stabilizing property make it a unique health product. It reduces edema of legs and lowers chances of developing deep venous thrombosis and skin ulceration. These properties further qualify Pycnogenol to be a useful food supplement for venous health particularly in chronic venous insufficiency. Developing new combination products using synergistic approaches are the future trends of research and development to prove efficacy in conditions which involves oxidative stress, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, thrombogenesis, and ulceration.

Biomedical Reviews 2008; 19: 33-43.

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About The Author

Om P. Gulati
Horphag Research of Geneva

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