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If you regularly get the sniffles, frequently forget minor things or struggle with carb and sugar cravings, one natural herbal supplement —pine bark extract — may prove beneficial.  

Derived from the bark of the French Maritime Pine tree, pine bark (pinus pinaster) hasmany unique health benefits thanks to the abundance of antioxidants. These antioxidants fight inflammatory toxic compounds known as free radicals that can damage your DNA.

Antioxidants support the body’s inflammatory pathways to reduce systemic inflammation and pain. One study showed that pine bark extract, which contains the active ingredient proanthocyanidin, gets to the root cause of inflammation by shutting down the production of certain pro-inflammatory enzymes. It was used back in the day to treat scurvy because it’s also high in vitamin C.

Husband and wife with child between them

 

Pine Bark Extract Benefits

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the reasons you might consider adding pine bark extract to your regular health routine.

  • Supports a resilient immune system. The last thing you want when the seasons start to change is a stuffy runny nose, body aches, fever, and general fatigue. It can really get in the way of your productivity at work or even simply spending time with friends and family. If you are someone who gets regular colds that’s a sign that your immune system is weakened and could use a little support.In one study, pine bark extract was shown to decrease symptoms of a cold while also shortening the duration!

    And of course, rest, nutrient dense foods like bone broth, green leafy vegetables and fruits, and lots of fluids also go a long way to help your body bounce back from a pesky cold.

  • Supports balanced blood sugar levels. Having to constantly worry about and manage your blood glucose levels can be stressful. If you struggle with high blood sugar or diabetes, pine bark extract may support healthy blood sugar levels as well as cardiovascular health when taken in combination with your prescription medications.In one study, 77 diabetic patients took 100 mg of pine bark extract alongside their usual blood sugar medications for 12 weeks and noticed improvements in blood sugar control with little-to-no side effects. 
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    Older woman using liquid extract

     

  • Promotes enhanced brain function. Forgetting small things like where you put your car keys or what time you made dinner plans with friends could be a sign of early cognitive decline. Unfortunately, many things including stress, poor diet, heavy metal toxicity and inadequate sleep can negatively impact your brain health, especially as you age. The high antioxidant levels in pine bark extract can helpsupport reduced brain inflammation and promote enhanced cognitive functioning

  • In addition to the above, pine bark extract has also been used to support erectile dysfunction and certain venous disorders like edema, which is a condition where the lower limbs swell, usually in individuals with high blood pressure. Pine bark extractsignificantly impacts nitric oxide levels in the body, which help improve blood flow, especially when taken together with the amino acid, l-arginine. Healthy hair and skin are also common benefits of regular pine bark supplementation. 

    Pine Bark Dosage & Potential Side Effects

    When taking pine bark extract capsules, it’s recommended to take between 150-300 mg a day. You also want to make sure that you find a high quality supplement that includes at least 85-95% of the active compound proanthocyanidin. Superior Labs Pine Bark Extract contains 95% proanthocyanidin and is sourced with high quality ingredients without harmful fillers, chemicals and artificial ingredients like magnesium stearate, dioxides and other preservatives.

    It’s recommended that those who are on blood thinners like Coumadin avoid taking pine bark extract. It can also potentially interact with certain immunosuppressant and chemotherapy drugs and should be avoided by those with ADHD. Although pine bark extract is generally considered safe, it may cause nausea, dizziness, headaches or an upset stomach and should be taken with caution in those with hypertension.

    Read more about any potential side effects or drug interactions here.

    Always consult your doctor or medical practitioner before supplementing with pine bark extract. 



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