Best Pycnogenol Supplements – Top 10 Brands Ranked for 2018

best-Pine-Bark-Extract-supplements

This is our official list of the best pycnogenol supplements on the market. These 10 brands have the best feedback from users and the highest reviews online.

Pycnogenol is a brand name for a type of pine bark extract. It’s commonly used in nutritional supplements and health products. Although they are a bit different, the terms pycnogenol and pine bark extract are often used interchangeably.

What is Pine Bark Extract?

Pine bark extract is standardized by proanthocyanidin content, which is a polyphenol with antioxidant properties. Some are standardized by procyanidin content, compounds in the proanthocyanidin polyphenol family.

Procyanidins are similar to catechins found in green tea, according to Examine.com

The supplement is sometimes used for addressing allergies, asthma, improving athletic performance, treating circulation problems, improving mental function and treating a disease of the retina, according to WebMD. There is not sufficient evidence that pine bark extract is effective at treating other ailments.

It may help treat erectile dysfunction due to its ability to enhance production of Nitric Oxide, according to Examine.com. Nitric Oxide (NO) is a compound produced by the body, and appears to help treat erectile dysfunction.

What is Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol is a brand name for a compound derived from French maritime pine tree bark, according to manufacturer Horphag Research. The active ingredient can also be derived from other sources, such as grape seed and peanut skin.

Described as a unique blend of antioxidants, it has procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids. The product was developed more than 50 years ago, and is sold in over 80 countries. It generally contains between 65%-75% procyanidins.

The product can be added to other supplements as an ingredient, or taken alone. It is Kosher and produced in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified facilities.

Do not confuse Pycnogenol for grape seed extract. Though they have the same molecules, they come from a different source, according to Examine.com.

Pycnogenol vs. Pine Bark Extract

Pycnogenol is pine bark extract – just in a particular branded form. Generic pine bark extract may be derived from different species of pine tree than Pycnogenol, and have a slightly different standardization. A Chinese study found little to no difference between Pycnogenol and two other pine tree extracts in 2012.

Uses of Pine Bark Extract and Pycnogenol

Originating as a supplement to ease aging, the antioxidant properties have been used for a variety of health purposes, some with more evidence than others. Some uses include:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction is a common ailment, affecting 3 million American men per year according to Mayo Clinic. Most studies on Pygnogenol’s effects on ED include use of L-Arginine, and show increase in Nitric Oxide (NO) levels, according to Examine.com. The combined effects seem to notably improve ED symptoms, but further research is needed.

Asthma

Pycnogenol appears to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help manage asthma, a chronic inflammatory disorder, according to WebMD. Taking Pycnogenol daily with prescribed asthma medication seems to decrease symptoms in children and adults. An Italian study found that Pycnogenol improves control of asthma signs and symptoms and lowers the need for prescribed medication.

Seasonal Allergies

Some studies have found taking Pycnogenol prior to allergy-season can reduce symptoms for people born with allergies, according to WebMD. A Canadian study found that the longer subjects took Pycnogenol before birch pollen season, symptom relief improved, with the best results coming from subjects who took it 7-8 weeks ahead of the season.

Diabetes and Insulin Sensitivity

The evidence is mixed when it comes to Pycnogenol’s effects on diabetes and insulin resistance. It appears to improve blood glucose control, according to Examine.com. However, WebMD notes that more research is needed.

Retinal Disease

Pycnogenol is possibly effective for treating retinal disease caused by diabetes, according to WebMD. A study published in an international scientific journal found Pycnogenol has a beneficial effect of progression of retinopathy – visual acuity in subjects taking a placebo progressively worsened, but Pycnogenol subjects showed no deterioration of retinal function.

Mental Function

In young adults and the elderly, Pycnogenol may improve memory and mental function, according to WebMD. More research is needed.

Athletic Performance

Young adults may improve training and athletic performance in difficult, high stress sports by taking Pycnogenol, according to an Italian study. More research is needed.

How to Take Pine Bark Extract/Pycnogenol

Because of different uses, there are a variety of ways to take effective pine bark extract supplements. It can be taken with other supplements for various purposes, and at different dosages.

A Pycnogenol dosage of between 50-450 mg taken daily for a year is likely safe, according to WebMD. Standard pycnogenol supplement dosage is between 100-200 mg, according to Examine.com. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, or ask a doctor how you should take Pycnogenol supplements.

Pycnogenol Side Effects and Precautions

Side effects may include dizziness, gut problems, headache or mouth ulcers. Powerful Pycnogenol supplements may decrease blood sugar too much in diabetics. Due to lack of research, Pycnogenol should be used cautiously or avoided by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What to Look for in a Good Pine Bark/Pycnogenol Supplement

Good pine bark extract or Pycnogenol supplements will clearly indicate the dosage and ingredient content of the product. Make sure to purchase from a reliable manufacturer, such as the ones listed in this guide.

If you prefer to save money, you should look for products made with generic pine bark extracts. However, if you are looking for more premium products, Pycnogenol is highly researched and always made with the exact same antioxidant and polyphenol profile.

Top 10 Pycnogenol Products Compared

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1. Now Foods Pine Bark Extract Veg Capsules

Now Foods Pine Bark Extract Veg Capsules

Now Foods Pine Bark Extract comes from the inner bark of Chinese red pine. It is fortified with green tea extract to boost antioxidant content.

Specs

  • 240 mg pine tree extract
  • 100 mg green tea extract
  • 90% proanthocyanidins
  • Amazon’s choice
  • Inexpensive
  • 90 pills per bottle
  • Serving size one capsule
  • Vegetarian capsules

Who Makes It?

NOW Foods is a leader in the natural supplement industry and has been in business since its founding 50 years ago. Their facilities are Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, and they test their ingredients for quality assurance.

Bottom Line

This is a good pine tree extract supplement at an affordable price. It is manufactured by a reliable brand with a long history in the industry.

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Where to Get It
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2. BulkSupplements Pure Pine Bark Extract Powder

BulkSupplements Pure Pine Bark Extract Powder

BulkSupplements Pure Pine Bark Extract Powder is a pure pine bark extract powder that can be purchased at a wholesale price. It is lab tested for guaranteed purity and potency.

Specs

  • 250 mg pine bark extract powder
  • More than 95% proanthocyanidins
  • 400 servings per container
  • Hundreds of good customer reviews
  • Inexpensive
  • Long-lasting

Who Makes It?

BulkSupplements is a wholesale distributor of supplement ingredients and products. They sell to both consumers, and supplement manufacturing brands.

Bottom Line

This a top pine bark supplement with a high concentration of polyphenols, more than 900 customer reviews and an excellent customer rating on Amazon.

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Where to Get It
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3. Absorb Health Pine Bark Extract

Absorb Health Pine Bark Extract

Absorb Pine Bark Extract is a basic pine bark extract pill at an affordable price. It uses a standard pine bark extract dosage and customers give it good reviews.

Specs

  • 200 mg pine bark extract
  • 95% proanthocyanidins
  • 100 capsules per bottle
  • Serving size one capsule
  • Inexpensive
  • Good reviews

Who Makes It?

Absorb Health is a newer natural supplement brand on the scene but has managed to build a good reputation quickly. The brand focuses on providing natural products at affordable prices.

Bottom Line

This basic supplement provides a great value at a good price. With good customer reviews and a simple serving size of one capsule, this product deserves its spot on the top pine bark extract supplements list.

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Where to Get It
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4. Source Naturals Pine Bark Extract

Source Naturals Pine Bark Extract

Source Naturals Pine Bark Extract is a Masson pine bark extract fortified with calcium. It is in tablet form and sold at an affordable price.

Specs

  • 300 mg Masson pine bark extract
  • 83 mg calcium
  • 95% proanthocyanidins
  • 60 tablets per bottle
  • Affordable
  • Hypoallergenic

Who Makes It?

Source Naturals is a nutraceutical brand specializing in blending herbs, vitamins and minerals to formulate unique health products.

Bottom Line

This blend of pine bark extract and calcium is hypoallergenic and sold at an affordable price by a reliable company.

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Where to Get It
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5. Purity Products Pycnogenol Super Formula

Purity-Products-Pycnogenol-Super-Formula

Purity Products Pycnogenol Super Formula is a Pycnogenol supplement fortified with pomegranate extract, vitamin D and BioAbsorb complex.

Specs

  • 50 mg Pycnogenol
  • 40 mg pomegranate extract
  • 13 mg BioAbsorb complex
  • 65-75% procyanidins
  • 60 capsules per container

Who Makes It?

Purity Products is a nutritional supplement brand that was founded in 1993 specializing in nutraceutical blends.

Bottom Line

This product offers a diverse array of antioxidant sources with high quality pine bark extract.

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Where to Get It
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6. Swanson Superior Herbs Pine Bark Extract

Swanson Superior Herbs Pine Bark Extract

Swanson Superior Herbs Pine Bark Extract is a pure pine bark extract supplement standardized to contain 95% proanthocyanidins. It is one of the least expensive available.

Specs

  • 50 mg pine bark extract
  • 95% proanthocyanidins
  • 100 capsules per bottle
  • Inexpensive

Who Makes It?

Swanson Superior Herbs is a natural supplement brand specializing in herbal products at affordable prices.

Bottom Line

This is a basic pine bark extract supplement, and it is the least expensive on this list. However, it has a lower pine bark extract dosage.

7. Natrol Pycnogenol

Natrol-Pycnogenol

Natrol Pycnogenol is a Pycnogenol pill fortified with additional proanthocyanidins, making it packed full of antioxidants.

Specs

  • 50 mg Pycnogenol
  • 30 mg proanthocyanidins
  • 65-75% procyanidins
  • 60 capsules per bottle
  • Amazon’s Choice
  • Great customer reviews

Who Makes It?

Natrol is a vitamin and supplement producer and supplier that was founded over 35 years ago.

Bottom Line

This is one of the few Pycnogenol-based pine bark extract supplements on the list. As most Pycnogenol supplements are, this is high quality, but more expensive.

8. Vitacost Pine Bark Extract

Vitacost Pine Bark Extract

Vitacost Pine Bark Extract is a basic pine bark extract supplement available at a decent price.

Specs

  • 100 mg pine bark extract
  • 200 capsules per bottle
  • Affordable
  • Free from most allergens

Who Makes It?

Vitacost is a wholesale and discount distributor of vitamins, minerals and supplements.

Bottom Line

Very similar to other simple products on the list, Vitacost Pine Bark Extract offers a good value. It is not as competitively priced as some other inexpensive products, however.

9. Planetary Herbals FS Pine Bark Extract Tablets

Planetary Herbals FS Pine Bark Extract Tablets

Planetary Herbals FS Pine Bark Extract Tablets is a Masson pine bark extract fortified with calcium.

Specs

  • 300 mg Masson pine bark extract
  • 83 mg calcium
  • 60 tablets per bottle

Who Makes It?

Planetary Herbals is a herbal supplement company that specializes in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional herbal medicine.

Bottom Line

This calcium-fortified pine bark extract supplement offers the same dosages as Source Naturals Pine Bark Extract for a slightly higher price.

10. Best Naturals Pine Bark Extract Powder

Best Naturals Pine Bark Extract Powder

Best Naturals Pine Bark Extract Powder is a powdered pine bark extract supplement sold in a large quantity.

Specs

  • 250 mg pine bark extract
  • 95% proanthocyanidins
  • 454 servings per container
  • Inexpensive

Who Makes It?

Best Naturals is a New Jersey-based supplement company that is Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified.

Bottom Line

This product has the most servings per container out of all the supplements on this list. However, it’s a newer product and lacks verified customer reviews.

Austin Meadows

Written by Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is an independent writer and consultant specializing in health and wellness topics. With more than 7 years of experience writing in the natural health industry, Austin strives to deliver accurate, concise and researched based information to his readers. You can find more of Austin's work at Olympic-Creative.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.