Tag Archives: Pycnogenol® (7041) by Douglas Laboratories

Successful Aging – Part 1

agingBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

As the average life span continues to increase, a good thing to remember is that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean the absence of disease.  What most of us would hope for is to be able to physically and mentally enjoy all the years of our lives.  Investing in your health includes regular physical exams and careful screening for potential illnesses.  With the exception of genetic factors, many chronic diseases can be avoided given good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and the adoption of other health maintenance and disease prevention strategies.  In other words, we all have the ability to influence the state of our health by taking action to reduce the risks of developing age-related chronic disease. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of death among American adults are heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease.  Lack of awareness and reluctance to take action when faced with health issues are two of the reasons for poor states of health in men.  Although women tend to be more vigilant when it comes to their health, more often women have less access to health care for financial reasons. 

Heart disease – Heart attacks are the major cause of sudden, unexpected death among both men and women.  The major risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and genetics.  While genetic factors cannot be controlled, there are life-long strategies that can help minimize risks.  For starters, focus on taming stress, spending less time on the couch, and maintaining a healthy weight.  With age comes an increased risk for heart disease, so if you want to live longer and better, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels need to be watched and managed.  Taking a few extra steps such as exercising regularly, consuming a diet of nutrient-rich foods, and not smoking can all help to lower your risks. 

Stroke – According to the National Stroke Association, up to 80% of all strokes can be prevented by working to reduce personal risk. High blood pressure, often labeled “the silent killer” because it can be asymptomatic, is the most common cause of stroke.  Untreated high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke as it puts unnecessary stress on blood vessel walls, weakening the vessels and damaging major organs.  Smoking doubles the risk, as it contributes to clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and damaged artery walls.  High cholesterol, diabetes, excess weight and excessive alcohol consumption are all contributing factors in measuring stroke risk. 

Cancer –  The first line of defense against cancer is diet, exercise and avoidance of tobacco products.  According to Thomas A. Sellers, PhD, Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, as many as 70% of known causes of cancers are avoidable and related to lifestyle.  The National Cancer Institute states that cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases that are influenced by our genes, our lifestyles and our environment.  Scientists believe that cancer preventative factors include a diet high in cancer-protective fruits and vegetables, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides, second hand smoke and chemicals. 

Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease – CLRD, which includes chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.  COPD causes serious long-term disability and the death of 120,000 Americans each year.  Smoking is the primary risk factor along with repeated exposure to harsh chemicals or fumes, air pollution, allergens or other lung irritants, and lack of nutrition.  With no known cure, early diagnosis and treatment can make a measurable difference in slowing the progression of the disease and improving the quality of life.  As with all chronic disease, prevention should be the goal. 

These life threatening chronic diseases are connected by their common intermediate, preventable risk factors, including obesity, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and higher than normal blood sugar.  In summation, if you want to age in the healthiest possible way, reduce your risk factors with these six basic steps: 

  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Do not use tobacco products and avoid second hand smoke
  • Eat whole foods, high in nutrients and low in sugar
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all
  • Reduce stress and get sufficient rest

Products to support successful aging include:

Pycnogenol (7041)

Pycnogenol® (7041) by Douglas Laboratories provides one of the most powerful natural free- radical scavengers available.  Pycnogenol® is a useful aid in preventing oxidative damage,  provides support for arterial health, and plays an important role in lung and cardiac health. 

Vessel Care (New Formulation)
Vessel Care by Metagenics aids in the maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels, supporting overall cardiovascular health. 
L-Arginine Capsules 750 mg
L-Arginine 750 mg by Designs for Health supports healthy coronary microcirculation in those with high cholesterol levels and prevents the creation of blood clots that can lead to heart attack or strokes. 
Maxi Fiber Powder
Maxi Fiber Powder by Bio-Design provides water soluble dietary fiber.  Dietary fiber that keeps bowels functioning well may help to prevent bowel cancer and reduce cholesterol levels. 

For Healthier Aging, Consider Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol1By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Pycnogenol® is a registered trademark name for a proprietary extract made from the bark of the French maritime pine tree grown exclusively in the natural, unspoiled Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France.  Millions of acres of these pine trees, grown without pesticides or herbicides, are cultivated over a period of 30 – 50 years.  This special pine bark extract contains concentrated active procyanidins, bioflavonoid compounds and organic acids.  Pycnogenol®, with its unique blend of active compounds, has four basic properties.  It’s a powerful antioxidant, it has natural anti-inflammatory properties, it stimulates the generation of collagen and hyaluronic acid and it aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide, which supports the dilation of blood vessels and arterial health. 

Every day our bodies generate harmful free radicals as a result of normal cellular energy production, the presence of environmental toxic heavy metals, the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, an unhealthy diet of processed or fried foods and oxidative stress.  Free radicals are also caused by external factors such as environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, ultraviolet rays, and chemicals, pesticides, and toxins in our everyday environment.  Free radicals weaken tissues and organs, leaving the body less able to defend itself against premature aging and degenerative diseases such as cancer and arteriosclerosis. 

Extensive research has shown that Pycnogenol® is a powerful and effective antioxidant.  Pycnogenol® is believed to counteract free radical damage by stimulating the cells to double their anti-oxidative power and by its ability to corral free radicals in the blood stream before they can cause damage.  The super-antioxidant ability of Pycnogenol® helps to boost the immune system and strengthen blood vessel walls and capillaries.  Better circulation is supported by the prevention of blood clotting and stress-induced constriction of the arteries. 

Visible signs of skin aging include wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and collagen destruction.  Pycnogenol® binds and protects collagen and restores good blood circulation in tiny skin capillaries.  It helps to prevent inflammation by supporting healthy skin protein levels and by blocking UV light’s damaging effects.  Pycnogenol® has also shown to have favorable effects on uneven skin pigmentation, typically seen on facial areas with high sun exposure. 

Pycnogenol® is believed to help offset a stressful lifestyle by counteracting increased blood pressure.  For those who sit most of the time while working or traveling, it helps to reduce leg pain and heaviness as well as fluid retention by combating reduced circulation.  For those with diabetes, pycnogenol seems to improve eyesight, slow or prevent worsening of retinal disease, and reduce micro-bleeding in the retina. 

Pycnogenol is believed to protect against aging by combating the following contributors:

Oxidant stress – Oxidant stress contributes to neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.  Pycnogenol reduces free radical production and scavenges free radicals, aiding in the prevention of oxidant-related diseases.

Membrane damage – Cell and mitochondrial membrane damage is implicated in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure.  Pycnogenol helps to stabilize membranes and protects against toxic injury, rupture and leakage.

DNA damage – DNA cell damage can result in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis.  Pycnogenol’s antioxidant powers help to reduce DNA cell damage.

Inflammation – Inflammation is involved in every chronic age-related disease including kidney disease, arthritis, cancer and osteoporosis.  Pycnogenol helps to fight inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory cytokine molecules and switching off of a central inflammation-generating system. 

Glycation – Proteins and fats become glycated when sugar molecules bond to them, triggering abnormal function, oxidation and inflammation.  Glycation contributes to obesity, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and cancer.  Pycnogenol helps to prevent glycation by lowering blood sugar levels and preventing intestinal absorption of sugars. 

Over 40 years of extensive scientific research has been dedicated to substantiating the health benefits of Pycnogenol® and assuring its safety and efficacy.   As a science-based proprietary botanical extract, Pycnogenol® is protected by several U.S. and international patents. 

Some of the best selling Pycnogenol® supplements at Professional Supplement Center include:

Pcynogenol® 50 mg by Pure Encapsulations promotes vascular health and provides powerful antioxidant support.  Also available in 100 mg capsules. 

Pycnogenol® (7041) by Douglas Laboratories provides 25 mg of pure French maritime pine bark extract.  Also available in 50 mg tablet form.

Bio-Cyanidins by Biotics Research provides superior botanically based antioxidant support with Pycnogenol® and grape seed extract. 

O.P.C.-100 (100 mg pycnogenols) (SF745) by Thorne Research contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins from grape seed extract, providing health benefits for collagen fibers, reinforcement of vascular structure and support for retinal connective tissues.