Pycnogenol is a compound of natural chemicals. It comes from the bark of a European pine tree.
Pycnogenol seems to be an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
Pycnogenol is a trademarked brand name for a French formula. But similar compounds are in other products and foods. They include other pine bark extracts, grape seed extract, and peanut skins.
People also take lactobacillus to try to treat other problems related to the digestive system. Studies show some promise for:
Colic in babies
Irritable bowel syndrome
Helicobacter pylori infection, which causes ulcers
There isn't enough research to know if lactobacillus helps with Crohn's disease or necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies.
Infections. Many studies show that lactobacillus may help prevent infections. For example, it may help prevent lung infections in children in daycare centers. It also may help treat or prevent vaginal infections caused by bacteria.
But there isn't enough known about using lactobacillus for colds or urinary tract infections. And it isn't clear if it can boost the immune system or prevent infections in people on ventilators.
Skin problems. People take lactobacillus to try to treat:
Eczema may benefit from the use of lactobacillus, but there isn't enough evidence to know if it helps with these other skin problems.
Researchers have used many different doses of lactobacillus. The optimal dose is not known. But a typical daily dose ranges from 1 to 10 billion living organisms. You take this divided into three to four doses each day. It may work better if the product is kept in the refrigerator.
Lactobacillus is called a probiotic when you take it in adequate amounts to help with health. However, supplement ingredients and quality may vary widely from maker to maker. This makes it hard to set a standard dose.