Herbal supplements and remedies have been used around the world because of their beneficial effects on human health(1). Maratime pine and its standardized extract of the bark of the French P. pinaster (Pinus pinasterAit. Subsp. atlantica), has been used worldwide as a herbal remedy, nutrition and supplemental food in many kinds of degenerative diseases. Bark extract of French P. pinaster has been reported to have cardio-vascular and cholesterol lowering benefits, the ability to enhance microcirculation by increasing capillary permeability, significant free radical scavenging activity against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, the potential to regenerate the ascorbyl radical and to protect endogenous vitamin E and glutathione from oxidative stress, and the potential to protect erythrocytes in G6PD deficiency(2). It also protects the nerve cells against beta-amyloid, or glutamate induced toxicity, accelerates wound healing processes, reduces scar formation, decreases histamine release from mast cells, and inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine actions(3,4). Anti-inflammatory effects in asthma patients and reduction of attention-deficit disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children have been observed(5,6)
The polyphenolic compounds of Maratime pine has been shown to cause endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and decrease the amount of circulating inflammatory substances in the blood stream. Intake of this herb is useful in order to reduce the risk of heart disease and is effective in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency and retinal micro-hemorrhages venous disorders. It can also be used as an excellent antioxidant with low acute and chronic toxicity; to ameliorate excessive oxidative stress in several cell systems by doubling the intracellular synthesis of anti-oxidative enzymes and by acting as a potent scavenger of free radicals. Furthermore, Maratime pine plays an important role in the regeneration and protection of vitamin C and E. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of this herb have been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, Maratime pine also protects the nerve cells against beta-amyloid, or glutamate induced toxicity and the erythrocytes in G6PD deficiency. Protection against UV-radiation-induced erythema, anti-inflammatory effects in asthma patients, and reduction of attention-deficit disorder and ADHD symptoms in children have been reported in clinical studies following oral intake of Maratime pine. Immunomodulation has been observed in both animal models and patients with Lupus erythematosus. Reduction of smoke-enhanced thromboxane B formation and platelet aggregation in response to cigarette smoking has also been reported. maratime pine inhibits angiotension-converting enzyme which is associated with a mild antihypertensive effect.