Clinical Study Confirms Earlier Research: Pine Tree Bark Improves Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Posted Jan 17 2011 5:48pm
I wrote last November about a clinical study on the effects of , an extract from the bark of the Maritime Pine Tree which grows on the southern coast of France. That study concluded that the participants, who had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, that received the supplement experienced pain and physical function improvements after 60 and 90 days.
A recent study, conducted at Comenius University School of Medicine in Slovakia, and published in the August issue of the journal Phytotherapy, has confirmed that prior study.
The Slovakian study included 100 patients with stage I or II osteoarthritis. These patients were given either a daily 150 mg Pycnogenol® supplement or a placebo for a period of 3 months. The participants were allowed to continue with their current analgesic or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) treatments that were prescribed before the study, but they were required to record all pills that they took.
The patient’s osteoarthritis symptoms were based on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) pain and function subscales to measure joint stiffness & pain, and the extent to which the disease affected their daily activities. Their scores were calculated at the beginning, every 2 weeks during, and 2 weeks after the trial.
The overall scores for pain, stiffness and daily activities, for those receiving the supplement, showed an improvement of nearly 21%. This includes a pain index reduction of over 40% by the end of the trial. And the improvement continued after completion of the trial with the pain reduction at 2 weeks after the study at 36%. In addition, 38% of the Pycnogenol® group were able to reduce their intake of NSAIDs or analgesics.
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According to Dr. Peter Rohdewald, one of the study’s researchers, “The anti-inflammatory potency of Pycnogenol® explains the success in lowering joint pain and stiffness for arthritic joints. After three recent clinical studies on osteoarthritis, Pycnogenol® continues to demonstrate its effectiveness for osteoarthritis symptoms making it a viable, natural and safe alternative for individuals. This is the first study that investigated whether a relapse of symptoms occurs after taking Pycnogenol® is stopped. The results show a lasting effect after discontinuation which suggests the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of Pycnogenol® has allowed the joints to recover.”
There was another study earlier this year that showed that Pycnogenol® reduced osteoarthritis symptoms by 56% and patients were able to reduce their intake of analgesics and NSAIDs by 58%. The latter provided gastrointestinal relief as many of those drugs can have a negative impact on the digestive system.
Pycnogenol is widely available and is currently used on over 400 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health products. Here is an example: