Pine Bark Extract; Pycnogenol is investigated for its general health and anti-diabetic properties and its ability to enhance Nitric Oxide, which appears to significantly help erectile dysfunction
Pycnogenol is a patented formulation of Pine Bark Extract which is standardized to 65-75% Procyanidin compounds by weight. Procyanidins are chain-like structures consisted of catechins similar to some found in green tea (the green tea catechins that do not have ‘gallate’ in their names). Pycnogenol is similar to Grape Seed Extract and Cocoa Polyphenols as those are the three most common sources of Procyanidins
Most of Pycnogenol’s benefits appear to be catered towards blood flow (with the common mechanism being related to Nitric Oxide being increased) and towards blood glucose control. The former exerts cardioprotective effects and may help with erectile dysfunction, while the latter appears to be anti-diabetic mostly.
There are many human trials conducted on Pycnogenol, but a good deal of them have industry funding (which, although it does not appear to influence the results, should be noted) and surprisingly the breadth of the studies with Pycnogenol is met with a seeming lack of study replication. The one topic that appears to have been replicated numerous times is the topic of erectile dysfunction, but currently all studies are confounded with the inclusion of L-Arginine so the effects of Pycnogenol per se are still unknown