Pine bark, or pycnogenol, is a maritime pine from the southwest of France that also grows in Mediterranean regions. The extract from this pine contains numerous beneficial compounds that support health. Pine bark extract is removed from these trees in a way that is safe and does not harm them or destroy plant materials. 

The beneficial properties of pine bark were discovered centuries ago when explorers in France became aware that they were not getting enough vitamin C. Local natives shared pine bark tea with them, which prompted the further discovery of the additional benefits that pine bark extract had to offer.

Pine Bark Health Benefits

It is the phytochemical compounds in pine bark that allow it to replace lost nutrients. Since this initial discovery, we now understand that pine bark supports overall health, specifically the promotion of urinary tract health. 

Pine bark can promote men’s health and vitality through the support of kidney function, prostate health, and optimal urinary tract health.

The antioxidant power of pine bark has been found to be more powerful than that of vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and alpha-lipoic acid. The benefits you can see from taking pine bark extract include:

♦ Kidney health: Pine bark helps support healthy blood flow to the kidneys, which promotes healthy kidney function. Healthy blood pressure maintenance is important in promoting overall kidney function and by helping to support circulatory activity, pine bark extract ensures the kidney gets the support it needs.

♦ Prostate health: The prostate continues to grow with age, which can be associated with common urinary symptoms. Pine bark extract helps to maintain healthy hormone levels to support optimal prostate size and function.

♦ Urinary tract health: By supporting kidney function, pine bark also promotes healthy urine flow. In maintaining prostate health, the extract also helps to reduce common age-related urinary tract symptoms, to promote quality of life and vitality in men.

Additional health benefits you can see from taking pine bark extract include:

Vitamin C regeneration: Vitamin C supports immune cell function, so you can take on seasonal threats, and a deficiency1 can be associated with fatigue and wounds that heal more slowly. Pine bark extract helps regenerate vitamin C into its activated form to help maintain healthy levels in the body for optimal health.

Cholesterol support: Pine bark helps to support normal cholesterol levels, which supports healthy arterial function and circulation. The extract also reduces occasional oxidative stress to support healthy blood clotting and optimal blood flow. 

Vision support: Pine bark supports healthy blood flow to the eyes to promote vision and healthy eye cell function. 

Blood pressure support: Pine bark promotes healthy arterial integrity, which supports optimal blood flow and pressure, supporting cardiovascular functions. 

Promotes brain health: By helping to reduce occasional oxidative damage to brain cells, pine bark extract can support cognitive functions and neuron health. 

Joint support: The ability to reduce typical oxidative stress allows pine bark to support healthy joints and promote flexibility and mobility while reducing common age-related discomfort.

Approximately 21 million Americans have serious vitamin C deficiency (NHANES).

Taking Pine Bark Supplements

Pine bark extract can be taken by capsule or applied topically. Health professionals recommend starting with small doses, and you can increase the dose as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.

The National Institute of Health advises that adults can take between 50 and 450 milligrams a day, for up to one year. When applied as a skin cream, pine bark can be safely used for a week, and as a skin powder, you can use it for up to six weeks.

Side Effects and Warnings

Pine bark is considered safe for human use, but you should always start with a low dose and always discuss adding pine bark to your routine with your doctor. The possible side effects reported include:

♦ Vertigo
♦ Fatigue
♦ Nausea
♦ Gastrointestinal issues
♦ Headaches
♦ Skin irritation
♦ Mouth ulcers
♦ Lower blood sugar levels

Because of the possibility that pine bark can interfere with certain system functions and medications, it is important to consult your doctor before starting or taking pine bark.

The Bottom Line

Pine bark extract has been used for centuries to help reduce unwanted immune responses and occasional oxidative stress. Pine bark also plays a role in supporting urinary tract health too. There are several important benefits of pine bark for prostate and urinary system health. 

As with all supplements, you need to consult your doctor first to ensure there will be no adverse reactions to any medications or supplements you are already taking. 

Within the recommended doses, pine bark extract is considered safe for adult use and can help you promote urinary tract health and overall well-being