What is Pycnogenol®? Pycnogenol® (with a capital P) is the trademark for a specific proanthrocyanadin containing extract derived from maritime pine bark. Pycnogenol® contains powerful antioxidants whose protective effects are manifest in a number of tissues (see below). What does Pycnogenol® do? Pycnogenol® is a potent antioxidant, with an antioxidant activity approximately fifty times that of vitamin C. Because of the chemical structure of Pycnogenol ®, it can be incorporated into and protect both the aqueous (cytoplasmic) and lipid (cell memrane) phases of cells from damage by free radicals. Pycnogenol® also promotes increased availability of vitamin C within the body. Pycnogenol® antioxidants are particularly effective for maintaining healthy functioning of blood vessels, and the eyes, as well as maintaining normal strength, flexibility and suppleness of the skin. Pycnogenol®also helps maintain a normal response by the body to allergic or inflammatory challenge.