Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2002
Publication Date: 1/10/2003
Citation: Sillman, K., Parry, J., Kirk, L.L., Prior, R.L. 2003. Pycnogenol does not impact the antioxidant or vitamin c status of healthy young adults. Journal of The American Dietetic Association. 103(1):67-72.
Interpretive Summary: This study was conducted in adult men and women to determine if Pycnogenol (PYC), a water-processed extract made from the bark of Pinus maritima, interacts with vitamin C to increase its concentration and to increase total antioxidant capacity of serum and urine. There was no apparent increase in fasting vitamin C concentrations in men and women taking the PYC and the antioxidant results from 24-hour urine samples were similar in control and treatment groups Thus, the findings failed to support the vitamin C or antioxidant claims made for PYC. That is, PYC does not impact the antioxidant or vitamin C status of healthy young adults.
Technical Abstract: The objectives of this study were to determine if Pycnogenol (PYC), a water-processed extract made from the bark of Pinus maritima, interacts with vitamin C to increase its concentration and to increase total antioxidant capacity of serum and urine. Design The study design was a nonrandom intervention. Subjects Subjects (N=27; 15 women, 12 men) were aged 19 to 42 years. Intervention Subjects consumed a placebo twice daily with meals for the first 2 weeks (baseline) and PYC (200 mg/day) for the second 2 weeks. Main outcome measures On days 15 and 29, subjects had a fasting blood sample collected and then consumed a daily dose of placebo or PYC with a 310-calorie beverage. One hour later a second blood sample was collected. Blood samples were analyzed for vitamin C and total antioxidant capacity using the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) assay. Twenty-four-hour urine samples were collected on days 14-15 and 28-29 and analyzed for total phenolics, FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant potential), and ORAC. Statistical analyses Paired t tests were used to test the impact of PYC on the outcome variables. A univariate ANOVA was used to determine the influence of gender. Pearson's correlation analysis was used to explore the relationships between dietary factors and outcome measures. Results There was no apparent increase in fasting vitamin C concentration (P=.18) 2 weeks after supplementing the diet with PYC. Fasting ORAC values actually declined (P=.005). One hour after the ingestion of a daily dose of placebo or PYC, the total antioxidant capacity of serum increased by 15% to 19%, but the increase after ingesting PYC was not significantly (P=.80) more than after placebo. Antioxidant results from 24-hour urine samples were similar. Applications/conclusions The present findings fail to support the vitamin C or antioxidant claims made for PYC. PYC does not impact the antioxidant or vitamin C status of healthy young adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003;103:67-72.