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Benefits of Pcynogenol for Thyroid Health

Pycnogenol has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could be promising for thyroid health.
Benefits of Pcynogenol for Thyroid Health
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Pycnogenol, derived from French maritime pine bark, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could be promising for thyroid health. With benefits such as inflammation reduction, immune system support, and management of oxidative stress, could Pycnogenol be a helpful supplement for people with hypothyroidism? Let’s take a look at the issue. 

What is Pycnogenol?

Pycnogenol® (Pinus pinaster) is a brand name of French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, trademarked by Horphag Research.  Pycnogenol originated in southwestern France and has gained recognition for its diverse health benefits, including being a potent antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. Pycnogenol is extracted from the bark of pine trees and contains a rich blend of bioflavonoids, including procyanidins, catechins, and taxifolins. These compounds collectively contribute to its therapeutic properties, marking it a promising natural supplement.

The primary role of antioxidants is to combat free radicals and help protect the body from oxidative stress, which is a pivotal contributor to aging, chronic conditions and diseases, and cellular damage. The potential impact on conditions such as Hashimoto’s, where oxidative stress aggravates thyroid health, emphasizes the significance of Pycnogenol’s antioxidant function.

Pycnogenol has also been shown to support skin health by promoting collagen synthesis and enhancing skin elasticity, as well as helping create more hair density and promoting hair growth. A study of 20 healthy postmenopausal women showed that skin elasticity and hydration improved after 12 weeks of using Pycnogenol. In a separate study of hair density, Pycnogenol intake significantly increased hair density by 30% and 23% after 2 and 6 months of use.

Pycnogenol also has cardiovascular health benefits. It helps to improve blood flow by promoting the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes and widens blood vessels. This can lead to lower blood pressure, improved circulation, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke.  Other benefits of Pycnogenol include treating allergies, asthma, osteoarthritis, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), endometriosis, and menopausal and menstrual symptoms. Pycnogenol’s multifaceted benefits can help promote overall well-being.

What are the benefits of Pycnogenol for thyroid health?

While research on the relationship between Pycnogenol and thyroid health is ongoing, some noteworthy advantages of Pycnogenol could be helpful for those with thyroid disease. One of these advantages is the ability to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is often associated with autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s. Pycnogenol also functions as a potent antioxidant necessary for optimal thyroid health. The thyroid gland is vulnerable to oxidative stress, which can, over time, disrupt hormone production and function. Pycnogenol’s antioxidant properties counteract oxidative damage, potentially protecting the thyroid gland from harm. A study of 60 patients taking levothyroxine showed decreased oxidative stress and side effects when taking Pycnogenol for just thirty days.

Additionally, Pycnogenol has been found to boost cognitive function and improve memory. It enhances blood flow to the brain, which helps deliver oxygen and nutrients for optimal brain health. Studies have shown that Pycnogenol can improve cognitive performance, attention, and mental clarity.

Indirectly, Pycnogenol’s influence on the immune system offers significant promise for individuals grappling with autoimmune thyroid conditions. By potentially modulating the immune response, Pycnogenol may contribute to reducing the prevalence of an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland.

While the findings are encouraging, further research is vital to understand these potential benefits and their specific applications in cases of hypothyroidism.

How do you incorporate Pycnogenol into a daily routine?

Incorporating Pycnogenol requires a nuanced approach that considers dosage, integration with existing treatments and medications, and an awareness of possible interactions or side effects. If you are considering Pycnogenol as a complementary approach to conventional therapies, always seek a consultation with your doctor or healthcare provider. Pycnogenol’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may complement conventional therapies, which can help manage symptoms and promote thyroid health.

As with any herbal or vitamin supplement, before starting, it’s essential to be aware of possible side effects or interactions. While it is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience mild side effects such as dizziness, headaches, or gastrointestinal discomfort. It is crucial to monitor any adverse reactions and consult a healthcare professional if anything worsens.

As for precautions, there are notions against using Pycnogenol if someone has a specific autoimmune disease, including multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, as it might cause the immune system to become more active and increase the symptoms of these autoimmune diseases. For those with bleeding disorders, we recommend approaching Pycnogenol with caution due to its potential to increase bleeding risk and interfere with blood clotting. Patients who have scheduled surgeries should avoid Pycnogenol beforehand (generally two weeks before surgery) to prevent complications during or after the procedure. For individuals managing diabetes, high doses might induce excessive blood sugar reduction, making vigilant monitoring and potential adjustments to medication doses crucial. Overall, an informed and cautious approach will be the cornerstone of incorporating Pycnogenol into daily health regimens. While the potential benefits for thyroid health and overall well-being are encouraging, navigating its usage alongside existing medications, understanding potential interactions, and recognizing individual health contexts remains essential.

A note from Paloma

Overall, Pycnogenol offers a wide range of general and thyroid health benefits. Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular benefits make it a valuable supplement for those looking to support their well-being. 

When incorporating anything new into your daily regimen, such as Pycnogenol, it is vital to understand its role in supporting conventional treatments. While it may potentially benefit thyroid health, it should not be seen as a replacement for ongoing medications or treatments. Be mindful when considering dosage, consistency, and any possible interactions. We recommend that you work closely with your doctor every step to ensure that your health is well looked after and that you are optimizing the potential benefits while minimizing any risks. Please schedule an appointment with one of our Paloma Health doctors to discuss your treatment plan and assess whether the use of supplements such as Pycnogenol would be appropriate for you.


Pycnogenol. RxList. Accessed January 8, 2024. 

A. Marini; et al. Pycnogenol® Effects on Skin Elasticity and Hydration Coincide with Increased Gene Expressions of Collagen Type I and Hyaluronic Acid Synthase in Women. Skin Pharmacol Physiol (2012) 25 (2): 86–92.

Trebatická J, Kopasová S, Hradečná Z, et al. Treatment of ADHD with French maritime pine bark extract, Pycnogenol®. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006;15(6):329-335. doi:10.1007/s00787-006-0538-3

Dvořáková M, Sivoňová M, Trebatická J, et al. The effect of polyphenolic extract from pine bark, Pycnogenol® on the level of glutathione in children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Redox Rep. 2006;11(4):163-172. doi:10.1179/135100006x116664

Belcaro G, Cornelli U, Dugall M, Cotellese R, Feragalli B, Cesarone MR. Pycnogenol® prevents oxidative stress and side effects in patients with hypothyroidism during levothyroxine treatment. Minerva Endocrinol. 2019;44(2). doi:10.23736/s0391-1977.18.02821-3

Iravani S, Zolfaghari B. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical effects of Pinus pinaster bark extract. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2011;6(1):1.

Cai C, Zeng B, Lin L, et al. An oral French maritime pine bark extract improves hair density in menopausal women: A randomized, placebo‐controlled, double blind intervention study. Health Sci Rep. 2023;6(1). doi:10.1002/hsr2.1045

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Neeyaz Zolfaghari

Holistic Nutritionist and Nourishment Coach

Neeyaz Zolfaghari is the founder of Unspoken Nutrition, a nutrition and lifestyle brand dedicated to helping others find and create harmony with their daily habits to support their wellbeing and ‘health’. Her journey began over a decade ago, when she was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases. Knowing what she learned from her upbringing, Neeyaz turned to nutrition as the first pillar of her healing. As her body began to heal on a physical level, she began to learn how our minds, bodies and souls are all innately connected.  

Now as an Integrative Nutritionist and Patient Advocate, Neeyaz offers the people she works with the support, guidance, and tools they need in order to live a fulfilled life. While Neeyaz initially endeavored to make a difference at the individual level, her vision grew to embrace broader community impacts. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health, serving as a testament to her unwavering commitment to instigate change on a grander scale.

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