In 1534, a French ship led by explorer Jacques Cartier became stranded in ice near Quebec, Canada. Cartier?s crew suffered from scurvy due to a lack of vitamin C. His crew recovered after a First Nations man gave them a brew to consume from pine bark and needles.

Four centuries later, a French researcher, Jacques Masquelier heard the story of Cartier and rediscovered the benefits of pine bark extract. Masquelier found pine bark had higher amounts of flavonols and bioflavonoids similar to the substances in fruits and vegetables.

Today, Canadian pine bark extract is a nutritional supplement used for its antioxidant properties which are believed to be effective for a wide range of healing and preventative purposes. The reason ? Canadian pine bark extract contains amazing naturally occurring chemicals called proanthocyanidins.

An increasing body of evidence indicates pine bark also has favorable pharmacological properties primarily composed of procyanidins and phenolic acids offering beneficial effects on physiological functions. Results from ongoing clinical research are confirming and extending previous observations.

Primary Uses of Pine Bark
1) Pine bark extract oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) from several sources are shown to help lower cholesterol, and decrease the risk and severity of atherosclerosis, plus relieve hypertension by lowering high blood pressure.

2) It improves the circulatory system by strengthening capillaries and veins.

3) Positive results of clinical studies of pine bark extract OPCs have been published for osteoarthritis, gynecology and diabetes.

4) Preliminary results suggest pine bark extracts are able to reduce menopausal symptoms in peri-menopausal women, relieve symptoms of dysmenorrhea, and improve osteoarthritic symptoms.

5) Pine bark extract OPCs as a dietary supplement help strengthen and repair tissues made of collagen, a protein that builds blood vessels, skin, and connective tissue.

6) It keeps blood platelets from sticking together and forming hazardous blood clots.

7) Pine bark prevents oxidation of low- density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and shields DNA from harmful effects of free radicals.

8) A small human study found a single high dose of pine bark extract in the form of a bioflavonoid mixture was effective in reducing platelet clumping in smokers for more than three days, which would be expected to reduce blood clotting.

9) The ability of pine bark extract to reduce viability and induce apoptosis in HeLa cells suggests the presence of compounds with antitumor properties.

10) Recent studies have shown that PBE has a strong antioxidant effect and exerts ameliorative effects on cardiovascular, skin, cognitive, and menstrual disorders, as well as in the context of other diseases and disease processes such as diabetes and inflammation.

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