Pine Bark Extract Slows Aging Skin

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No longer relegated to holding Christmas tree lights or feeding squirrels, a certain pine tree has been clinically proven to improve human skin on a molecular level for the first time.

Researchers from the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, in Dusseldorf, Germany, studied 20 women aged 55 to 68 who were given 75 milligrams daily of the supplement Pycnogenol, which is created from the bark extract of the French maritime pine tree. During the 12-week study, the scientists monitored skin elasticity, hydration and fatigue.

At the end of the study, the women experienced a 44 percent increase in hyaluronic acid production, 25 percent greater skin elasticity, 8 percent better hydration, 3 percent fewer wrinkles and a 6 percent improvement of skin smoothness.

“This study provides skin-physiological and, for the first time, molecular evidence that Pycnogenol supplementation benefits human skin by increasing skin hydration and skin elasticity,” the authors reported in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. “These effects are most likely due to an increased synthesis of extracellular matrix molecules such as hyaluronic acid and possibly collagen.” The supplement was well-tolerated by all of the women studied.

Pycnogenol is readily available in most drug stores and a month’s supply costs about $20. Is this a supplement you’d be willing to add to your regimen?

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