This is a war within us being waged as part of our biological chemistry. Mini-explosions resulting in inflammation and damage are caused by oxidation. There are a number of supplements to help prevent these toxic reactions. One powerful one is called pycnogenol. This substance has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It disarms the bomb of oxidation by defusing the instability.
Unstable energy inside our body is made of electrons. Antioxidants prevent an electron riot by having a calming effect which stabilizes the body. The process is known as “quenching.” Examples of oxidation are the browning of an apple and the rusting of metal. In the case of the apple, if we use vitamin C as an antioxidant, the browning reaction is stopped. You can see this when you cut an apple up for a fruit salad and pour some orange juice (vitamin C) on it to prevent the development of ugly discoloration in the flesh.
Pycnogenols (pronounced pik-nah-gen-all) are extractions of French maritime pine bark. They are also found in grape seed and peanut skins. Supplements have been shown to help with diseases like asthma and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). The term refers to damaged leg valves. CVI results in problems such as severe itching, swelling of the legs and ankles, pain, discoloration and varicose veins.
These antioxidants have also been used to help with circulation and eye problems in diabetic patients. Some of the anti-aging skin products use pycnogenols with skin protectors like UV-A and UV-B blockers. They work together to keep the skin looking younger and more resilient to damage.
Skin aging results in wrinkles, thinning and dark pigmented spots called lipofuscin. This is age-related accumulated cellular garbage. When seen in the retina of the eye this trash is the cause of macular degeneration.
Pycnogenols can also increase blood flow. It also stimulates the immune system. So caution for those on a prescription anticoagulant or immunosuppressants after an organ transplant. Consult with your health care professional before deciding to purchase this product.
Side effects of pycnogenols are mainly GI in nature with nausea, vomiting and upset stomach. Take this product after a full meal to lessen chances for these problems. Other negative effects include rash, headache, dizziness, mood changes, lack in energy and mouth ulcers.
The major problem with taking many nutritional products are that you can’t guarantee consistency. What is on the label may significantly differ from what is actually in the supplement. A great site to check on the safety, strength and purity of a nutritional supplement is:
It is a pay site but worth every penny. This is non-biased, up to date evaluation of many popular brands of nutritional products on the market.
Getting safe antioxidants are as easy as picking up some berries, apples, various colored peppers and tomatoes. The more colors of the rainbow in your diet, the more protection from future diseases. Eat variety to live well in the future.