Is Pycnogenol the same as grape seed extract?

Q. “Having read recent articles on the benefits of Pycnogenol, I have considered purchasing from you.  To supplement what I have read I have gone to the health food store to discuss its benefits.  While they speak highly of the product, the two times I have discussed it each time the supplement advisor has asked whether I have tried grape seed extract which has, as he/she states, the same benefits at significantly lower cost. Can you please explain, or refer me to a source document, the higher benefits of pycnogenol that warrants the higher cost.  Thank you for your help.”  –TM, Natick, MA

Dr. Fred:

Thank you for your question. Grape-seed extract and pycnogenol are both high in the bioflavonoids proanthocyanidins and so they may have similar benefits. However, Pycnogenol is a unique and proprietary extract that has been optimized for results and standardized to ensure consistent quality. And the research behind Pycnogenol specifically is impressive. The company that makes it has dedicated over 40 years to ensuring the highest-quality product and research to support it. When you choose a proprietary and branded ingredient like Pycnogenol, you can be confident you will be getting the same quality and effectiveness each time.

I have written about Pycnogenol extensively, and have been working closely with the company who makes it for many years. And I use it regularly in my practice. So while they are similar, I still opt for Pycnogenol for a more consistent quality and results.

Obviously the final choice is yours. And results may vary. Which is why I also offer a full satisfaction, anytime guarantee.

I appreciate your due diligence in making a purchase decision. I wish everyone would take the same amount of care when it comes to making choices about their health.