Pycnogenol vs Pine Bark Extract: What's the Difference

Pycnogenol and Pine Bark Extract are both sourced from the bark of the Pinus pinaster tree and contain the same active ingredients. However, Pycnogenol is a trademarked version of the extract, produced by Horphag Research, and is said to be more potent because it goes through a patented extraction process.

Pine Bark Extract is the non-trademarked version of the extract and it may be less potent than Pycnogenol. Both are used for many health benefits, including antioxidant protection, improved circulation, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Pycnogenol vs Pine Bark Extract


In comparison to other pine bark extract supplements, pycnogenol has the support of over 300 research and 100 published clinical trials, which demonstrate its efficacy. Other pine bark extract supplements have very few, and many are based solely on animal models. 

Pycnogenol is an easy choice if you're looking for the highest-quality pine bark supplement with the greatest human clinical data to back it up. 

Regular pine bark extract would be adequate if you wanted to test out a generic pine bark supplement whose potency and effectiveness in preventing and treating disease was unknown.


If you're on a tight budget, consider starting with normal pine bark extract and switching to pycnogenol later. Pycnogenol can be quite pricey.

How Pycnogenol Works

Benefits of Pycnogenol Pine Bark Extract

a. Lowered Blood Glucose

Pycnogenol has been shown to improve glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes. According to one study, pycnogenol supplements can lower both blood sugar and HbA1c markers in people with type 2 diabetes.

b. Relieve Allergic Asthma Symptoms

According to a study, pycnogenol® administration was effective for better control of signs and symptoms of allergic asthma and reduced the need for medication. In the Pycnogenol® group, night awakenings were less frequent, the number of days with PEF<80% was decreased, days with asthma score >1 were lower, the requirement for salbutamol and additional asthma medication less frequent, and consultation of general practitioner and specialist required less commonly. 

c. Fighting Against Skin Aging

Supplementing with pycnogenol improves the moisture and suppleness of human skin. These benefits are most likely brought on by an increase in the production of extracellular matrix molecules like collagen and hyaluronic acid. Thus, taking pycnogenol supplements may be helpful to combat the clinical symptoms of skin aging.

d. Improves Tinnitus

Pycnogenol can be useful for patients with Meniere's disease and tinnitus. A study suggests that pycnogenol can reduce the symptoms of Meniere's disease, it can improve cochlear flow velocity, and improve tinnitus.

e. Improves Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Pycnogenol has anti-inflammatory properties and chondroprotective agents which can provide long-lasting positive effects such as enhanced physical mobility and pain relief for people with mild osteoarthritis. Therefore, the usage of NSAIDs can be reduced, which would lessen their side effects. However, further studies are still needed.

Best Pycnogenol Supplement

1. Viva Naturals Pycnogenol 100mg from French Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Viva Naturals Pycnogenol 100mg from French Maritime Pine Bark Extract


- Supports Healthy Circulation* 
Pycnogenol, made from French maritime pine bark extract, has been shown to support the health of your heart, circulation & cardiovascular system.* If you’re looking for circulation supplements to help healthy blood flow, look no further.*

- Powerful Antioxidant Activities* 
Help maintain cell integrity and promote cellular defense from free-radicals.* A potent antioxidants supplement, Pycnogenol contains powerful nutrients that help support antioxidant-like activities.*

- Supports Joint Health & Healthy Skin* 
Pycnogenol has been shown to support joint health and healthy levels of C-reactive protein, promoting a healthy inflammatory response.* Plus, it helps support healthy, glowing skin.* One study found that skin elasticity and hydration both significantly increased after 6 weeks of Pycnogenol supplementation.*

- Supports A Balanced Immune System and Women’s Health* 
With a broad range of health benefits, Pycnogenol helps support a healthy immune system.* It’s also a popular supplement for supporting women’s health.* Head to toe support in one easy to swallow capsule.*

- Clinically Studied Maritime Pine Bark Extract 
Pycnogenol has been clinically studied and researched in over 400 publications. Our vegetarian capsules contain 100mg Pycnogenol per serving and are Non-GMO, gluten-free and soy-free. Plus, there’s a 2 month supply in every bottle.

4.5 out of 5 - more than 1,400 global ratings

This is a good one but comparable to other average pycnogenol supplements. The price is good for 100 mg. I'm 41 and I've been taking pycogenol for almost 10 years. It helps the hormones, circulation, and the skin quite a lot. I always notice when I take a break from it. I highly recommend it! There is good research behind its benefits.

2. Healthy Origins Pycnogenol (Nature's Super Antioxidant) 100 mg

Healthy Origins Pycnogenol (Nature's Super Antioxidant) 100 mg

- Extensively Researched
Pycnogenol is one of the most thoroughly researched dietary supplements available. Over 135 clinical studies using 10,000+ subjects and 300 scientific publications confirm Pycnogenol's efficacy and safety.

- Broad of Bodily Support
Pycnogenol supports heart health, circulatory health, skin care, eye health, joint care, women's health, cognitive function, respiratory health and provides support during and after exercise.

- Ingredients Matter
Healthy Origins Pycnogenol is encapsulated in the USA using Pycnogenol raw material originating from Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France. There are no other ingredients in our Healthy Origins Pycnogenol does not contain sugar, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, egg or milk. There are no artificial colors, artificial flavors or preservatives. Vegetarian formula.

4.6 out of 5 - more than 2,500 global ratings

I have been taking Pycnogenol for my allergies since the 80's and it is very good for keeping me symptom free.

3. NutraChamps Pycnogenol French Maritime Pine Bark Extract

Pycnogenol French Maritime Pine Bark Extract | Premium Circulation Complex | Blood Flow, Nitric Oxide Production


- Boost Blood Flow & Circulation
Are you looking for benefits that boost performance in the gym, office, or bedroom? Look no further than Pycnogenol! Studies have shown this patented extract from French Maritime Pine Bark can have significant impacts on nitric oxide levels in the body, which are responsible for vasodilation and improving blood flow — above & below the belt.

- Nature's Most Powerful Antioxidant 
Over the course of each and every day, free radicals roam aimlessly within our bodies, wreaking havoc on our cells. Antioxidants are the body’s defense against against these harmful free radicals — and Pycnogenol is the cream of the antioxidant crop!

- Premium Patented Pine Bark Extract
Our Pycnogenol capsules come loaded with additional circulation stars beet root concentrate, cayenne pepper and grape seed extract. All of these ingredients have been clinically shown to improve blood flow, keeping you going longer and harder when you need it most.

- Better Absorption & Benefits with Black Pepper 
NutraChamps premium Pycnogenol blend includes black pepper extract for increased bioavailability and results. Black pepper increases your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, ensuring that you reap all the incredible benefits that Pycnogenol has to offer.

4.3 out of 5 - more than 1,950 global ratings

For circulation, enhanced healthy looking skin and overall well being.....

4. NOW Supplements, Pycnogenol 60 mg 

NOW Supplements, Pycnogenol 60 mg


- Free Radical Scavenger*
Pycnogenol helps to protect the body's tissues from oxidative stress and supports a healthy, balanced immune system response to normal metabolic stress.*

- Healthy Vascular Function/ Balanced Immune Response* 
Scientific studies have shown that Pycnogenol helps to maintain vascular strength and function.* Take 1 capsule 1 to 3 times daily.

- Classifications/Certification
Non-GMO, Kosher, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Made without Gluten, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan/Vegetarian

- GMP Quality Assured
NPA A-rated GMP certification means that every aspect of the NOW manufacturing process has been examined, including our laboratory/testing methods (for stability, potency, and product formulation).

Pycnogenol (French Maritime 60 mg *,Acerola Powder (Malpighia punicifolia) (Fruit) 200 mg *,Rutin Powder (Sophora japonica) (Flower Bud) 240 mg *,Other ingredients: Cellulose (capsule), Cellulose Powder and Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source).

4.5 out of 5 - more than 600 global ratings

I stated adding these because my allergies were getting pretty bad with congestion wearing masks all the time. This helps. I take day and night.

5. Source Naturals Pycnogenol 100 mg Proanthocyanidin Complex

Source Naturals Pycnogenol 100 mg Proanthocyanidin Complex


- For a Healthy Body
Support against free radicals scavengers with this supplement.

- Suggested Use
1 tablet one to two times daily. To build reserves rapidly, start with 1 tablet two times daily, for 7 to 10 days. Decrease use to 1 tablet once daily, as desired.

- Trusted for Over 35 Years
Source Naturals was created in 1982 by CEO Ira Goldberg to support each individual's potential to enjoy optimal health.

- Manufactured in the USA
Our facility is located in Scotts Valley California.

4.5 out of 5 - more than 500 global ratings

This truly does help to keep allergies and asthma at bay. And it's a powerful natural antioxidant. Expensive but works.


a. Who Should Not Take Pycnogenol?

- Auto immune disorders
Pycnogenol may make the immune system more active, which could exacerbate the symptoms of "auto-immune disorders" including multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions. It's advised to stay away from pycnogenol if you have one of these conditions. 

- Bleeding disorders
High dosages of pycnogenol may, in theory, make people with bleeding disorders more likely to bleed. 

- Diabetes
High dosages of pycnogenol theoretically could lower blood sugar levels too much in diabetics. 

- Surgery
During surgery, pycnogenol may prevent blood clots. There is some worry that it might make bleeding during and after surgery more likely. Pycnogenol use should be discontinued at least two weeks prior to the operation.



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