Narrator: This is Science Today. Pine bark
extract, a potent antioxidant marketed today as Pycnogenol,
has a long history in folk medicine. Lester Packer,
a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University
of California, Berkeley explains.
Packer: In America, part of the pine bark was
used to apply onto inflamed wounds and sores and ulcers.
Pine bark extract was also used as the basis for cough
syrup. In Europe, it has been used for treatment of
toothaches, against bleeding for bladder and kidney
diseases. So it actually was used quite a bit in the
Pycnogenol is used today as a health food supplement
because of it's high concentration of flavinoids,
compounds which control free radicals.
Packer: You might eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
and get a lot of these substances from that source
and perhaps that's adequate, but maybe supplementing
might give you even additional protection, but not
everybody perhaps is so convinced yet.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.