Bark extract of Pinus pinaster has a long history of ethnomedicinal use and is available commercially as herbal dietary supplement with proprietary name pycnogenol. It is used as a food supplement to overcome many degenerative disorders. Rohdewald (2002) wrote the first comprehensive review of extract highlighting its antioxidative nature and its role in different diseases. Later, Watson (2003) and Gulati (2005) in their reviews about cardiovascular health, described the extract as a best neutraceutical agent in this regard. The objective of this paper is to review the current research on this extract in terms of extraction methods, its pharmacological, toxicological and nutraceutical effects and clinical studies. Web sites of Google Scholar, Pubmed and Medline were searched for articles written in English and published in peer-reviewed journals from 2006 to 2009 and sixty-nine research articles were extracted. Of these, two are about extraction advancement and analysis while the rest relate to its clinical, biological and nutraceutical aspects.
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