Pycnogenol Reduces Knee Arthritis Pain

Pycnogenol Reduces Knee Arthritis Pain
Pycnogenol is a plant extract from the bark of the maritime pine tree that grows in southwestern France. It suppresses inflammation, strengthens connective tissue and increases nitric oxide secretion— an important chemical for blood flow regulation. Pycnogenol studies show that the supplement might be useful for treating menstrual cramps, erectile dysfunction and muscle cramps. Peter Cisár from the Comenius University School of Medicine in Bratislava, Slovakia and colleagues found that Pycnogenol reduced pain in people suffering from knee arthritis. One hundred people were given 150 milligrams of Pycnogenol or a placebo (fake Pycnogenol) per day for three months. Pain decreased gradually throughout the study without side effects. By the end of the study, pain decreased by 40 percent; 38 percent of the subjects were able to reduce their dosage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Advil); 38 percent reported less stiffness and 52 percent reported improved physical function. Pycnogenol appears to be a safe supplement. Side effects include headache, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, dizziness and allergic reactions. In diabetics, it could theoretically interfere with blood sugar control, but this side effect has not been reported in the scientific literature. Pycnogenol appears to be a useful and safe supplement for bodybuilders. (Phytotherapy Research, 22: 1087-1092)

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