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Pycnogenol (French Maritime Pine Bark Extract) Shown To Improve Visible Signs Of Aging In New Study

January 25, 2012

Natural supplement found to improve skin elasticity by 25 percent and skin hydration by 8 percent

Human skin is the body’s first line of defense and often mirrors the health, nutritional status and age of a person. Over time, skin shows signs of aging due to the gradual breakdown of collagen and elastin. However, skin can be rebuilt and made healthier no matter one’s age. Natural supplement Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, was found to improve skin hydration and elasticity in women in a clinical trial published this month in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.

The study was conducted at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF) in Dusseldorf, Germany and examined 20 healthy women, aged 55 — 68 years. Participants were given 75 mg of Pycnogenol® per day, over a period of 12 weeks. Skin hydration, skin elasticity and skin fatigue were assessed by non-invasive biophysical methods at trial start and after six and 12 weeks. In addition, at the beginning and again after 12 weeks of Pycnogenol® supplementation, each time, a biopsy was obtained to assess gene expression of HAS-1 and COL1A1 and COL1A2. The study found that:

    Pycnogenol® elevated COL1A1 by 29 percent and COL1A2 by 41 percent and increased hyaluronic acid production in skin by 44 percent
    Pycnogenol® enhanced skin elasticity by 25 percent, in addition to skin hydration by eight percent, and was especially noticeable in women who had dry skin from the start, with an increase of 21 percent
    Pycnogenol® decreased skin fatigue considerably
    Pycnogenol® reduced skin wrinkles by three percent and increased skin smoothness by six percent

“To date, Pycnogenol® is the only natural supplement that stimulates hyaluronic acid production in human skin. And, we are encouraged by the molecular evidence confirmed in this study that shows nutritional supplementation with Pycnogenol® benefits human skin,” explains Dr. Jean Krutmann, the lead researcher from the Leibniz Research Institute in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Study results confirmed Pycnogenol® improved skin at a physiological and molecular level. Pycnogenol® increased hyaluronic acid in women by 44 percent after 12 weeks of supplementation. Hyaluronic acid binds large quantities of water in the skin and in other tissues, such as cartilage. An increased amount of hyaluronic acid explains the increased skin hydration, higher elasticity and overall smoother skin appearance found in women taking Pycnogenol®.

“This exciting and technically advanced investigation with women representing actual consumer profiles greatly supports our efforts for targeting the skin beauty category for both dietary supplements and functional foods,” says Victor Ferrari, CEO of Horphag Research, exclusive worldwide suppliers of Pycnogenol®, who welcomes the publication.

According to Ferrari, beauty from within has been a driver in Horphag’s business for the last several years, with Asian markets providing numerous Pycnogenol® products in the skincare field. This study joins a sizable and largely expanding portfolio of already established skin research on Pycnogenol®. It confirms previous indications that Pycnogenol® improves human skin conditions, including promoting glowing skin and reducing the appearance of over-pigmentation and skin inflammation, resulting in a more even complexion.

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