Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Pycnogenol vs Pine Bark Extract


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#1 bigtourist

  • Registered User
  • 12 posts
  • 1
  • Location:Pittsburgh, PA

Posted 01 April 2009 - 05:56 PM


I just very recently started taking NSI's Pycnogenol. Too early to tell if it is really making a difference, but Im trying to determine if it makes more sense to be using the brand name or the generic.

I suppose the real question is whether OPC is the whole story of what youre getting or not. I have done lots of searching both here and on google about this and cant find a definitive answer.

The brand name Pycnogenol® that NSI sells is standardized to 65-75% OPC and sells for approx 30 cents/pill (This percentage is not listed on the Vitacost website, but it is on the bottle). NSI also has a generic Pine Bark Extract that comes from "certain pine trees", that is standardized to 95% OPC which sells for 10 cents/pill.

I am trying to determine if the trademark is causing the price to raise that substantially that you would get an inferior product for a higher cost, or whether the higher OPC% is really an indication that there are other properties missing from the product that are necessary for the full benefits.

Any clarification on this would be greatly appreciated!

.bigtourist

#2 nameless

  • Registered User
  • 2,265 posts
  • 135

Posted 01 April 2009 - 08:55 PM

I personally don't trust NSI branded supplements and certainly don't trust them for non-patented ingredients. I'd worry about solvents used in generic pine bark, where it came from, or if there was even pine bark in the capsules to begin with.

Healthy Origins makes a Pycnogenol supplement at approx. the same price as NSI. As does Swanson's. Although I wouldn't say either are exactly high-end brands, I'd consider both more reputable than NSI.

Grapeseed instead of Pycnogenol is another option. It's certainly a lot cheaper.

sponsored ad

  • Advert

#3 pkands

  • Registered User
  • 15 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Shelton, WA

Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:32 AM

NSI Pine bark extract is from a different species of tree than Pycnogenol. As the studies have been done using pycnogenol, it is not clear about the benefits of NSI pine bark extract.

#4 aim1

  • Registered User
  • 90 posts
  • 5

Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:52 AM

NSI Pine bark extract is from a different species of tree than Pycnogenol. As the studies have been done using pycnogenol, it is not clear about the benefits of NSI pine bark extract.


I am looking at my bottle of Pycnogenol purchased from NSI. It is labeled Pycnogenol with a registered trademark and it mentions the Hophag company which has the patents on Pycnogenol. I don't think they would be able to sell it for very long without a law suit. I don't understand all this NSI bashing on this web site.
And as far as results go, I wouldn't be without it.

#5 bigtourist

  • Registered User
  • 12 posts
  • 1
  • Location:Pittsburgh, PA

Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:34 PM

pkands, where did you determine it was made from a different species pine tree? was that information from NSI? im wondering if they just arent allowed to name the tree in their description b/c of trademark infringement, or whether it really is a different tree.

aim1, i currently have the trademarked Pycnogenol from NSI, but the question is about their other generic product that is just named Pine Bark Extract 95% OPC

As for the NSI bashing, I understand people have been told by Vitacost that the products are not cGMP certified. Im not sure why the FDA has a regulation for supplements thats optional, it sounds more like a suggestion than a regulation then. NSI claims they follow the practices, but just dont have the stamp, though that does sound really sketchy. NSI lists the sources of their ingredients (http://www.gonsi.com...information.cfm)

Then there is this comment in a Vitacost newsletter from 10/24/2008. I wonder if there is anyway to find out which products are being manufactured in the NC facility they are referring to at the end of this: http://www.vitacost....ighty-Vitamin-C

I am also proud to report the majority of NSI products are now being manufactured in our new $13 million dollar state of the art North Carolina facility using the most technologically advanced pharmaceutical grade equipment. NSI also invested about $1 million dollars in a new scientifically advanced lab to test for potency and purity. This facility was designed from the ground up to meet the new FDA GMP (good manufacturing practices) and regulations.



#6 jessicantique

  • Registered User
  • 104 posts
  • 0

Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:19 PM

I understand people have been told by Vitacost that the products are not cGMP certified. [...] NSI claims they follow the practices, but just dont have the stamp, though that does sound really sketchy. NSI lists the sources of their ingredients (http://www.gonsi.com...information.cfm)

Then there is this comment in a Vitacost newsletter from 10/24/2008. http://www.vitacost....ighty-Vitamin-C

I am also proud to report the majority of NSI products are now being manufactured in our new $13 million dollar state of the art North Carolina facility using the most technologically advanced pharmaceutical grade equipment. NSI also invested about $1 million dollars in a new scientifically advanced lab to test for potency and purity. This facility was designed from the ground up to meet the new FDA GMP (good manufacturing practices) and regulations.

i know there'r some complaints previously regarding NSI 's customer services and some kind of scams, but not related to product quality. i sometimes buy from NSI , both NSI and other brands at vitacost. can someone provide me the links, if any, regarding other people's bad review on them? thanks.
i am a international customers, i found they provide the best prices on many brands, also a large number of supplements, that sometimes i can't find at iherb...

Edited by Michael, 24 July 2009 - 06:23 PM.
Trim quote


#7 pycnogenol

  • Registered User
  • 1,164 posts
  • 71
  • Location:In a van down by the river!

Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:38 PM

I personally don't trust NSI branded supplements and certainly don't trust them for non-patented ingredients. I'd worry about solvents used in generic pine bark, where it came from, or if there was even pine bark in the capsules to begin with.

Healthy Origins makes a Pycnogenol supplement at approx. the same price as NSI. As does Swanson's. Although I wouldn't say either are exactly high-end brands, I'd consider both more reputable than NSI.



Thank you, nameless. That pretty much sums it up for me as well. NSI are really good at marketing their questionable products though. :~

This is the Pycnogenol brand I'm currently taking:

http://www.iherb.com...x?pid=1729&at=0

I buy the Now Foods brand too. Might try the Natural Factors brand one of these days.

Edited by pycnogenol, 03 April 2009 - 11:15 PM.


#8 nameless

  • Registered User
  • 2,265 posts
  • 135

Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:37 PM

Now, Country Life, and Natural Factors are all considered good companies. But if looking for good deals for pycnogenol, you could also go with:

Healthy Origins, Pycnogenol, 100 mg, 60 Veggie Caps - 29.95 (Iherb)
or Swansons, 100mg 30 caps: 14.95 -- better deal when they have it on sale

Or try an alternative, like Now Enzogenol or again, grapeseed extract. I expect most of the benefits pycnogenol has can be found in grapeseed anyway -- very similar OPCs. I'd go with Enzogenol or grapeseed over generic pine bark, if price is a big issue.

As for what's wrong with NSI -- they aren't cGMP certified, a number of people here have commented on odd things in their capsules, or other problems (like shipping opened supplements). NSI marketing alone is enough to put me off.

Edited by nameless, 03 April 2009 - 11:38 PM.


#9 pkands

  • Registered User
  • 15 posts
  • 0
  • Location:Shelton, WA

Posted 04 April 2009 - 02:55 AM

pkands, where did you determine it was made from a different species pine tree? was that information from NSI? im wondering if they just arent allowed to name the tree in their description b/c of trademark infringement, or whether it really is a different tree.


It was "white pine" and I must have seen it on the vitacost website but it is no longer there. It has been several months.

#10 krillin

  • Registered User
  • 1,516 posts
  • 54
  • Location:USA

Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:51 AM

I expect most of the benefits pycnogenol has can be found in grapeseed anyway -- very similar OPCs.

Grapeseed is better.

http://www.imminst.o...&...st&p=222295

#11 jessicantique

  • Registered User
  • 104 posts
  • 0

Posted 04 April 2009 - 07:23 AM

i would like more inputs on the NSI products.....


yes, in the scale they provide the supplement, i do cannot find any information on the manufacturing quality control of their sources.... even though i guess they are mostly from china.
i am currently staying in hongkong, it's really stupid that i am buying from the US supplier while actually they are sourcing from china. those raw materials are shipped from china to the US and then shipped to my home in Hongkong.,...

#12 pycnogenol

  • Registered User
  • 1,164 posts
  • 71
  • Location:In a van down by the river!

Posted 26 September 2009 - 01:49 PM

Dropped the Now Foods for the more expensive Country Life brand Pycnogenol 100 mg strength (100% pine bark extract; 85-90% total polyphenols equal to 85-90 mg)

#13 prophets

  • Registered User
  • 1,779 posts
  • 157
  • Location:US

Posted 26 September 2009 - 04:04 PM

i wrote one author of a study on pycnogonel and asked him if i could have his paper and wanted his input on the best vendor (he tested multiple ones). he said they all come from the same source and exhibit the same characteristics. just buy any brand. have you noticed a difference?

#14 K Complex

  • Member, LeadEngineer
  • 4,671 posts
  • 508
  • Location:Dimension X
  • yes

Posted 26 September 2009 - 05:37 PM

i wrote one author of a study on pycnogonel and asked him if i could have his paper and wanted his input on the best vendor (he tested multiple ones). he said they all come from the same source and exhibit the same characteristics. just buy any brand. have you noticed a difference?


It would have been great, if you could have found out if there's a difference between pycnogenol and pine bark extract.

#15 nameless

  • Registered User
  • 2,265 posts
  • 135

Posted 26 September 2009 - 05:39 PM

Since Pycnogenol is a branded supplement, it'd make sense that it's the same everywhere. Unless the company was really unreliable or shady, all they are doing is putting the same exact ingredient in a capsule as everyone else.

A couple of corrections to my old post above: NSI is now GMP certified, although I probably still wouldn't recommend them. And I'm not sure if a non-branded pine bark or grape seed would have the same benefits as pycnogenol would. I guess it depends as to what benefits a person is looking for.

#16 wiserd

  • Registered User
  • 107 posts
  • 3

Posted 27 November 2009 - 09:44 PM

I've taken Country Life's resveratrol with pine bark extract, grape seed extract and grape skin extract. I've gotten a noticeable increase in endurance (maybe 10 -20% more pushups) from it. Grape skin extract seems to work synergistically with resveratrol. I don't get these effects from mixes without pine bark extract, so I wonder if that's part of the effect.

#17 ensun

  • Registered User
  • 55 posts
  • 0

Posted 27 November 2009 - 09:57 PM

As for what's wrong with NSI -- they aren't cGMP certified


Yes, actually, they are now.

#18 ParrotSlave

  • Registered User
  • 4 posts
  • 0

Posted 10 March 2010 - 04:07 AM

Regarding the NSI bashing, perhaps there is more reason than has been revealed in this thread. An unrelated NSI product (turmeric) tested by the independent group consumerlab.com found that that herb exceeded the acceptable limit for lead (>18.70 mcg per day), although the actual lead content was not given. This was reported in consumerlab.com's 2/6/08 newsletter. I do buy things from Vitacost, but I am deeply concerned about the fact that when I questioned them about that particular issue, they completely ignored my email.

The only way I can envision Vitacost selling products at prices as low as they do--and I compare with Puritan's Pride (limited selection, but always high marks from consumerlab.com), Swanson, iHerb and others--is that they must be using Chinese sources. They have not answered my email queries about the source of their herbs. The fact that their "manufacturing" facility is in North Carolina is meaningless; the question is, where do the materials that they encapsulate originate? The first hit on Google just now for "pine bark extract bulk" gave me a company that sells Chinese bulk material for between $53 and $85 a kilo, depending on the quantity you want. It's reasonable to assume that Vitacost buys on the open market from sources like that. They are in business to make money; if source #1 is selling at $53 a kilo, and source #2 is selling at $100 a kilo, which one do you think they're going to buy--especially when they don't reveal source information to consumers.

I don't want to bash China, but I have actual lot analyses of several Chinese bee products from a few years ago that show unbelievably high levels of lead and mercury, and its other contaminated exports, such as ethylene glycol toothpaste and melamine pet products, as well as lead and cadmium contaminated toys and jewelery, makes one highly suspicious of anything originating there.
See also "Toxic heavy metals and undeclared drugs in Asian herbal medicines," abstract at sciencedirect.com.

If you ever get a chance, watch CNN's special "Planet In Peril" from a couple of years ago; if you had seen that, you would probably never buy anything Chinese again. Separate from the heavy metal question is the question of pesticide contamination, neither of which seem to be of concern to the PROC's rulers. If you want to buy without paranoia, but deplete your wallet more rapidly, the Life Extension Foundation is very proud not to use Chinese sources. Supplement labels should be required to list country of origin and, if different, country of processing (if, say, an herb originates in China but the extract is made in Mexico, both countries need to be listed) of the ingredients.

I have no reason to believe that Vitacost's products that contain trademarked materials, like pycnogenol, are anything other than what they purport to be, and I feel confident buying them (I think.) That heavy metal issue I mentioned was 2 years ago, and logic would dictate that Vitacost must be paranoid about the issue recurring, and if anyone with a mind had any power at that company, surely they would have instituted some kind of safeguard, although intelligence doesn't always make it to corporate boardrooms.

Regarding the pycnogenol/pine bark question, lacking any experimental evidence, i.e., scientific studies, the most cost-effective way to go that would also give you some security regarding the possibility that the generic pine bark extract is nowhere near as good--and in point of fact, we don't know, it might actually be better--would be to take some of the generic pine bark extract every morning, and take the "real" pycnogenol in the evenings. To be even safer, with the generic, buy it and hold on to it for a year or so before you use it to give time for any recall or contamination event to hit the news.

Edited by ParrotSlave, 10 March 2010 - 04:26 AM.


#19 MrSpud

  • Registered User
  • 233 posts
  • 56
  • Location:eternity

Posted 10 March 2010 - 04:34 AM

I believe that there are some generic pine bark extracts that meet the same specifications as Pycnogenol. I believe that there is a USP monograph for Maritime Pine Bark Extract that both Pycnogenol and some generics meet the specs for. I have no idea whether Vitacost's product contains Maritime Pine Bark USP or just any old pine bark extract though.

#20 Dorho

  • Registered User
  • 354 posts
  • 52

Posted 10 March 2010 - 06:54 AM

Pycnogenol is made from Pinus maritima bark. Source Natural's pine bark extract is derived from Pinus massoniana, and I assume that applies to the pine bark extracts of most of the companies that don't mention their source. I would be concerned of the safety of a Pinus massoniana product, especially if the pine is grown in China, where regulation of the safety of food products is very poor.

According to Wikipedia, Pinus massoniana is native to a wide area of central and southern China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, and northern Vietnam.

Edited by Dorho, 10 March 2010 - 07:05 AM.


#21 gregandbeaker

  • Registered User
  • 184 posts
  • 6
  • Location:Minnesota

Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:46 PM

Pycnogenol is made from Pinus maritima bark. Source Natural's pine bark extract is derived from Pinus massoniana, and I assume that applies to the pine bark extracts of most of the companies that don't mention their source. I would be concerned of the safety of a Pinus massoniana product, especially if the pine is grown in China, where regulation of the safety of food products is very poor.

According to Wikipedia, Pinus massoniana is native to a wide area of central and southern China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, and northern Vietnam.


To be clear though, Source Natural's pycnogenol product does list Pinus Maritima as its origin:

http://www.sourcenat...roducts/GP1264/

#22 wydell

  • Registered User
  • 503 posts
  • -1

Posted 16 March 2010 - 04:16 AM

To be clear, there is only one pycnogenol brand. Pycnogenol is a brand name of pine bark extract. I think it is likely that there are pine bark generic versions that are just as high in quality

#23 niner

  • Member, Moderator
  • 14,617 posts
  • 3,546
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 16 March 2010 - 06:41 AM

If you ever get a chance, watch CNN's special "Planet In Peril" from a couple of years ago; if you had seen that, you would probably never buy anything Chinese again. Separate from the heavy metal question is the question of pesticide contamination, neither of which seem to be of concern to the PROC's rulers. If you want to buy without paranoia, but deplete your wallet more rapidly, the Life Extension Foundation is very proud not to use Chinese sources. Supplement labels should be required to list country of origin and, if different, country of processing (if, say, an herb originates in China but the extract is made in Mexico, both countries need to be listed) of the ingredients.

Wouldn't it be better if every single lot of raw material, regardless of country of origin or processing, was analyzed for heavy metals, pesticides, and other likely contaminants? Not everything from a developed country will be clean, and not everything from the developing world will be bad. I hope that some of the high cost of pycnogenol is being used to make sure it is clean.

#24 J. Galt

  • Registered User
  • 125 posts
  • 32
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 11 November 2010 - 02:48 PM

Hi everyone. I've been lurking around the forums for a couple of weeks now but this is my first post.

Regarding Pinus massoniana, used in many generics (like at purebulk.com, for example), I found an interesting study that might be relevant here:

http://docs.google.c...slnGfJs09RcEpXA

Edited by J. Galt, 11 November 2010 - 02:59 PM.

  • like x 1

#25 J. Galt

  • Registered User
  • 125 posts
  • 32
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 11 November 2010 - 03:01 PM

Also, for what it's worth, LiveStrong.com says:

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.


Read more: http://www.livestron.../#ixzz14zCxaAKv

Edited by J. Galt, 11 November 2010 - 03:01 PM.


#26 FunkOdyssey

  • Registered User
  • 3,358 posts
  • 624
  • Location:Manchester, CT USA

Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:19 PM

Also, for what it's worth, LiveStrong.com says:

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.


Read more: http://www.livestron.../#ixzz14zCxaAKv


I highly doubt this is true. In addition to differences in composition that result from differing species of pine tree, there are different extraction methods used, including both mechanical and chemical methods. The sum of these differences could easily produce "pine bark extracts" varying widely in strength and composition.

Pinus massoniana bark extract has antioxidant properties in an in vitro study, that's good. Pycnogenol has 223 published studies, including many successful clinical trials. Not remotely comparable.
  • like x 1

#27 shadowhawk

  • Member
  • 3,046 posts
  • -18
  • Location:Scotts Valley, Ca.

Posted 12 November 2010 - 11:05 PM


Also, for what it's worth, LiveStrong.com says:

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.


Read more: http://www.livestron.../#ixzz14zCxaAKv


I highly doubt this is true. In addition to differences in composition that result from differing species of pine tree, there are different extraction methods used, including both mechanical and chemical methods. The sum of these differences could easily produce "pine bark extracts" varying widely in strength and composition.

Pinus massoniana bark extract has antioxidant properties in an in vitro study, that's good. Pycnogenol has 223 published studies, including many successful clinical trials. Not remotely comparable.


I agree. Having tried both products there seem to be a real difference. Pycnogenol seems best to me, though it costs more.

#28 MaximumLife

  • Registered User
  • 15 posts
  • -3

Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:12 AM

I agree. Having tried both products there seem to be a real difference. Pycnogenol seems best to me, though it costs more.


Umm for what reason does it seem best to you ? what placebo effect are you talking about ? or do you have some hard facts on how this effects you ?

Thanks

#29 shadowhawk

  • Member
  • 3,046 posts
  • -18
  • Location:Scotts Valley, Ca.

Posted 13 November 2010 - 10:27 PM


I agree. Having tried both products there seem to be a real difference. Pycnogenol seems best to me, though it costs more.


Umm for what reason does it seem best to you ? what placebo effect are you talking about ? or do you have some hard facts on how this effects you ?

Thanks


I have tried both extensively thinking they are both pine extracts. I thought it may be all about branding and that was the reason for the higher costs. Could there be a placebo effect to the brand? These are all questions I asked myself.

I think there is a difference between the effect of the two. I am most interested in the effect on blood sugar though there are many other benefits and issues involved. Do a test on yourself. Try different ones for yourself for a couple months each. Then choose the best one for you.

sponsored ad

  • Advert

#30 golgi1

  • Registered User
  • 193 posts
  • 41
  • Location:Cloud 7

Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

I just purchased purebulk's generic brand for $17 shipped for 100 grams. I just couldn't bring myself to pay for pycnogenol the first time around. its just so damn expensive, Although I know that I often wind up paying more when I try to go 'cheap' first and the quality isn't there. I wonder why another French company, or somebody else, hasn't grown and marketed generic pine bark extract from the same species.

Anyway, upon reading about heavy metals in pine bark of chinese trees due to nearby manufacturing, I'm now worried about the purity of what I have. However, China is a large country and this may be a clean extract. The CofA on purebulks website lists "heavy metals" at 8.0 ppm. Lead and cadmium are less than 1.0 and.1 respectively. I have no idea what safe is, or what would be normal for pine bark extracts from other locations/species. I am wondering if I can trust purebulk to sell a relatively clean product, to have a trustworthy CofA on file, and if 8.0ppm is acceptable.

Any insight would be appreciated.




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users