pine bark extract vs grape seed extract
Mar 10, 2021

Pine Bark Extract vs Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract and pine bark extract, including the proprietary products Pycnogenol®(pycnogenol) and Original OPC1s (OPCs), are brought to the attention of the

CSWG because of widespread consumer use of these substances as dietary supplements.

Based on the structures of identified active ingredients, the phenolic compounds extracted from grape seeds and pine bark would not be expected to be genotoxic.

Indeed, the inventor of pycnogenol states that this product was tested in Salmonella typhimurium and was negative. Substantial health claims for grape seed and pine bark extracts, including some studies showing tumor inhibition, make them attractive materials for further study. Antioxidants, especially polyphenols, in red wine have been proposed as an important contributory factor to the protective effect of regular alcohol use against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Grape seed and pine bark extracts may have the beneficial effects of red wine without its detrimental effects.

Because grape seed and pine bark extracts are dietary supplements, the government cannot compel the manufacturer to test the safety of these materials. Given their potential benefits, an independent demonstration of their safety appears warranted. It should be noted that the manufacturer of Original OPCs claims to have conducted some testing, but the

results were not available for our review.

pine bark extract-1

Difference between pine bark extract and grape seed extract

Both grape seed extract and pine bark are rich sources of the plant flavonoids PROANTHOCYANIDINS (OPCs). The OPCs are the pigment materials which give flavour, colour and aroma to many plants and fruits. The beneficial effects of pine bark were discovered in 1534 when sailors suffering from scurvy, survived by drinking tea made from the bark and needles of pine trees. Masquelier patented the method of extracting OPCs from pine bark in France in 1951 and from grape seeds in 1970. OPCs have been marketed in France for decades where they have been shown to improve retinopathies, venous insufficiency, and vascular fragility. Grape seed extract typically contains 92-95% OPCs while the pine bark extracts vary from 80-85%.

COLLAGEN PROTECTION - OPCs effectively protect collagen structures in several ways. They reinforce the collagen matrix of connective tissue, protect against free radical damage, and inhibit collagen damage caused by inflammation and infection. OPCs have been shown to be effective in cases of psoriasis and the hyper-pigmentation disorder melasma (chloasma).

ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY - OPCs protect against free-radical damage, suggested to be a major cause of the ageing process. The antioxidant effect is 50 times greater than that of vitamin C and E. A major advantage of these molecules is that they are taken up into the cell membranes and protect against both water- and fat soluble free-radicals.

VENOUS SUPPORT - Good clinical evidence has shown OPCs to be effective in treating venous insufficiency, varicose veins, capillary fragility, and disorders of the retina. OPCs appear to improve blood circulation through collagen support and nitric oxide (NO) production.

VISUAL FUNCTION - Studies in healthy volunteers has shown that an intake of 200mg/day of OPCs significantly improved visual performance in dark and after glare tests. A number of European studies have shown that OPCs from pine bark, greatly improved symptoms in patients with diabetic retinopathies, maculopathies, and other visual dysfunctions.

CARDIO-PROTECTIVE - OPCs protect fat and cholesterol from oxidation, thus reducing arterial damage leading to heart disease. OPCs have also been shown to lower cholesterol levels, shrink the deposits in the arteries, inhibit platelet aggregation, and inhibit angiotensin 1-converting enzyme (ACE) - much the same effect as ACE inhibitor drugs used in blood pressure regulation. Data suggests that OPC supplementation is effective in reducing systolic blood pressure in mildly hypertensive patients.


Antioxidants improve sperm mobility and motility.

OPCs stimulate NITRIC OXIDE production in the arteries - an essential process needed for healthy male penile erection. The drug VIAGRA works in the same way through increasing nitric oxide. For optimum effects, OPCs along with ARGININE is suggested in cases of erectile dysfunction.

An intake of 200mg of OPCs has been shown to improve healthy sperm by 100% in 90 days.

Studies using 60mg OPCs have shown up to 80% improvements in pain reduction in those with endometriosis, period pain, and post-operative gynaecological surgery.

BRAIN FUNCTION - As well as their potent antioxidant effects, OPCs help maintain neurotransmitters functioning longer and improve the micro-circulation in the brain. The increase in NITRIC OXIDE may also improve learning ability and memory through its effects as a neurotransmitter. Early evidence suggests that OPCs are effective in Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD). These positive results are due to the effects of increased neurotransmitter lifespan, NO production, and improved brain micro-circulation.

pine bark extract vs pycnogenol

Is pycnogenol the same as grape seed extract?

OPC's prevent “blood sludge” that can cause strokes and heart attacks. OPC’s work like aspirin (only better and safer) to prevent abnormal blood clotting. OPC’s may be a superior answer for those who need thinner blood (like people with arrhythmias), as a safer alternative to coumadin.

OPC's are also called “Pycnogenol”® (a registered trade name) when they are derived from pine bark. The grape seed extract is slightly more potent and less expensive. You will see the terms Pycnogenol®, OPC’s, and grape seed extract used interchangeably.

pine bark extract vs pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is a trademarked name for pine bark extract, and there is little to no difference between the two in terms of composition or effects. You might use pine bark extract or pycnogenol to help treat a variety of medical conditions, including chronic venous insufficiency, retinopathy or erectile dysfunction. Before you take pycnogenol or pine bark extract, consult your doctor to discuss the proper dosage and potential health risks.

For bulk wholesale nutraceutical pricing on Pine Bark Extract Powder or any other fruit, herb, marine, spice & vegetable powder and powdered extract, please contact your ER representative directly or submit a wholesale quote request, contact us at email:


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