More than 20 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, with half a million Americans having a total joint replacement each year. A new study published in the April 2008 edition (Volume 22, issue No 4) of the Journal of Phytotherapy Research shows Pycnogenol®, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, was shown to reduce all osteoarthritis symptoms by 56 percent.The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, held at Italy’s Chieti-Pescara University, sampled 156 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (OA). Patients received either 100 mg Pycnogenol or a placebo, daily for three months. Pain and stiffness symptoms were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study, and mobility was evaluated based on participants’ walking performance on a treadmill.
The study revealed that Pycnogenol was particularly effective in improving joint pain with a 55 percent reduction reported by study participants. No significant improvements were recorded for the placebo group.
In addition, scores for stiffness were reduced by 53 percent and physical function improved 57 percent in the Pycnogenol group. Again, no significant improvements were found in the placebo group.
“The results of this study are significant as they clearly demonstrate the clinical action of Pycnogenol on OA and management of symptoms,” says Dr. Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher in the study. “The use of Pycnogenol may reduce costs and side effects of anti-inflammatory agents and offer a natural alternative solution to people suffering from OA.”
The Chieta-Pescara study confirms the findings of a previous study on osteoarthritis carried out at the University of Arizona-Tucson (published in Nutrition Research). The Arizona study found that after three months in the Pycnogenol group, participants experienced a reduction of 43 percent in pain, 35 percent in stiffness and 52 percent in physical function. The placebo group showed no significant scores throughout the entire study.
The key to Pycnogenol’s effectiveness in alleviating joint discomfort appears to result predominantly from its anti-inflammatory properties. Pycnogenol® is sold as a dietary supplement throughout North America, and is available in Reliv Now®.
- • cnbc.com, “Study Shows Pine Bark Naturally Reduces Osteoarthritis Pycnogenol(R) lowered joint pain by 55 percent from baseline ‘severe’ to moderately painful, improved physical function by 56 percent, joint stiffness by 53 percent and increased patients’ mobility almost three-fold.” April 16, 2008
- • pycnogenol.com, Press Release, “New Research: Pycnogenol® Naturally Reduces Osteoarthritis.” April 16, 2008