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Pycnogeneol

Discussion in 'Antivirals, Antibiotics and Immune Modulators' started by Hugocfs, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Hugocfs

    Hugocfs Senior Member

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    Just wondering if anyone has had any luck (good or bad) with using pycnogenol? I am looking for something to help w/ cfs (ebv and hhv6 reactivated) and to lower bad cholesterol. Also, if you know of any good souces of pycnogenol that are relatively inexpensive, it would be appreciated.
     
  2. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    It can help with brain fog/ADD-ish symptoms sometimes. It's never been much help for me with the body fatigue, as have not any antioxidants other than Co Q-10 - surprisingly, for a disorder that's supposedly drive in part by oxidative stress. And I think the co q-10 was acting more as an energy co-factor than an antioxidant. I'm sure richvank would say that indicates that the methylation cycle needs to come back online to increase intracellular anti-ox.

    Anyway, last time I bought pycnogenol I got "Healthy Origins" brand. I believe it was less expensive than most of the others, and HO appear to be quality supplements. Pycnogenol can be really expensive!
     
  3. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    I believe it's one of those substances that push the immune balance more towards TH-2, and for this reason I avoid it. Same goes for GSE.
     
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Pycnogenol from grapes (not pine bark) has had the biggest initial impact of any supplement I have ever taken. Unfortunately it didn't last, but that might have been due to the fact I was broke and so lowered the dosage to save money.

    What did it do? Twenty minutes after I took four capsules it felt like a fizz bomb went off in my stomach. I FIZZED. This then spread out from my stomach, down and up, until everything fizzed. It was like I was mainlining soda water. This was intense, and almost painful, but after it died down a little I felt really really good for the first time in a long time.

    I have had a lot of trouble getting hold of real pycnogenol from grapes, and its expensive. The cheaper grape seeds are just not as good in my experience.

    Restveratrol is the latest grape extract to be investigated that I am aware of. I never noticed a big response, but have only taken it at low doses.

    Bye, Alex
     
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  5. warriorseekspeace

    warriorseekspeace

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    I added pycnogenol about 4 months ago, and thought I could tell a notable improvement right away, which has lasted. I didn't know you could get it from grapes, so I take one that comes from Pine Bark extract. I take Swanson's, 100mgs, 90 caps, I think was under 20 bucks, which lasts me 3 months. I may have been able to tolerate this only because I had been on my other treatments two years, and some over one year, and had been having some improvements in immune function, so I don't know if everyone would tolerate it, of course.
     
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    The difference between the grape version and the pinebark version is that the grape pycnogenol can cross the blood brain barrier, or so my ME doctor tells me - I have not researched this.

    Pycnogenol is a French discovery, and was the first attempt to explain the French Paradox involving red wine. Pine bark is cheaper, but not quite the same chemical. That does not mean its bad, only that its not as good, at least for the brain.

    Bye, Alex
     
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  7. warriorseekspeace

    warriorseekspeace

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    Thanks, Alex. Do you have a link to where I might find this? Swanson's has several brands which are all from Pine Bark Extract. I also take grapeseed extract, by the way, which has something called "polyphenols" in it, supposedly, whatever that is. LOL.
    WaSP
     
  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Grape seed extract will contain some pycnogenol. It will also have some resverotrol, a related and possibly more powerful chemical. Alas I have been unable to buy grape derived pycnogenol locally in a very long time - it might exist out there somewhere, but I am not sure of that. The reason is simple. It was much more expensive than the pine bark form. In time everybody switched brands and the stores took it off their shelves - too expensive for a product almost nobody used. The pine bark form is cheaper but that means it can be afforded at higher doses if money is tight. The grape seed extract should also balance it a little.

    For those of you interested in pycnogenol, you might also look to try resveratrol.

    I have not investigated the possible Th2 shift from pycnogenol. It increases Th2 cytokines - but so do curcumin and resverotrol. Its also possible the net effect is not Th2 at all, as these supplements should improve immune function and might well not be Th2 inducing in whole animals.

    Green tea for example is a Th2 inducer, but it might have other properties that put the immune system back into balance. Only whole animal studies in the immunology of this might be reliable, and I would prefer human studies to be sure.

    Bye, Alex

    PS Just to make things complicated, grape seed might be a Th1 inducer:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC119947/
     
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  9. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I took resveratrol years ago. It caused a very severe inflammatory free radical reaction in my neck arteries and chest, and presumably brain/head. Apparently as a nitric oxide donor or booster it upset some delicate vascular equilibrium - that was my best guess, anyway. Was kind of scary, actually, as well as considering what oxidative damage it might have caused. It took a few weeks to diminish fully.
     
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Pycnogenol can also boost nitric oxide, but it has a binary method of doing it. At one dose (and I forget the dose, it was low though) it does not, but at high dose it does. If you know you react badly to resverotrol, then you will probably react badly to pycnogenol. So it could cause vasodilation I suspect, which is bad if you have severe OI. However, both of these inhibit NFkB so that should also reduce inflammation. The problem is inflammation is not one mechanism, its many. It depends on what kind of inflammation is the issue, I suspect.

    Bye, Alex
     
  11. warriorseekspeace

    warriorseekspeace

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    I forget why I started Pycnogenol, haha. Something about making the blood cells move around freely. That sounded good to me. I must have heard something else about it first though, which made me look up Pycnogenol. The grape seed extract, I started becuase it helped my Grandma's osteoarthritis (Heberdon's nodes went down some, she said) and I was feeling the arthritic changes in my spine.
     
  12. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Exactly, Alex! Different mechanisms of inflammation exist. This didn't even feel inflammatory in the sense of being "hot," but as best I can recall, more like a stinging pin-pricky feeling throughout the veins/arteries. Thought for sure it was some kind of NO radical, but of course it's all just speculation as to what really happened.

    Interestingly I had a similar reaction, but felt more nerve-based rather than vascular, from green tea one time. Not really sure what that one was, either, something related to xanthine oxidase, I thought at the time, a really painful and agonizing kind of burning/stinging effect throughout my neck and upper spinal area, at the top of my back. To me that plus the resveratrol episode suggested to me that the anti-oxidant system was really messed up.

    I drink green tea now in small amounts though, and it seems fine. I can take pycnogenol w/out those kinds of effects, too, although I don't tend to b/c I have a gastric ulcer and pyc *really* burns it. But just goes to show that sometimes these supps can have different effects not only in different people, but in the same people at different times. And regardless also if they are "anti-oxidants" or not. Had bad effects from a lot of anti-oxidants, actually, including a lot of more exotic stuff like astaxanthin. That one messed up my immunity, as I recall - have had so many adverse reactions to stuff it's hard to keep them all straight, lol.
     
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