[Note: Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France
The aim of this double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the efficacy of 100 mg Pycnogenol daily (oral capsules) in a 3 month study in patients with osteoarthritis (OA).
OA symptoms were evaluated by WOMAC scores, mobility by recording their walking performance (treadmill).
Treatment (77 patients) and placebo group (79) were comparable for age, sex distribution, WOMAC scores, walking distances and use of antiinflammatory drugs.
The global WOMAC score decreased by 56% (p < 0.05) in the treatment group versus 9.6% in the placebo group. [The WOMACTM osteoarthritis index includes 24 self-administered questions to assess hip and knee pain, disability, stiffness.]
Walking distance in the treadmill test was prolonged from 68 m at the start to 198 m after 3 months treatment (p < 0.05), under placebo, from 65 m to 88 m (NS).
The use of drugs decreased by 58% in the treatment group (p < 0.05) versus 1% under placebo.
Gastrointestinal complications decreased by 63% in the treatment group, but only 3% under placebo.
Overall, treatment costs were reduced significantly compared with placebo.
Foot edema was present in 76% of the patients of the treatment group at inclusion and in 79% of the controls. After 3 months edema decreased in 79% of Pycnogenol patients (p < 0.05) vs 1% in controls.
In conclusion, Pycnogenol offers an option for reduction of treatment costs and side effects by sparing antiinflammatory drugs.
Source: Phytotherapy Research. 2008 Apr;22(4):518-23. PMID: 18386255 Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Errichi S, Zulli C, Errichi BM, Vinciguerra G, Ledda A, Di Renzo A, Stuard S, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Errichi S, Gizzi G, Ippolito E, Ricci A, Cacchio M, Cipollone G, Ruffini I, Fano F, Hosoi M, Rohdewald P. Irvine Vascular Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Chieti-pescara University and San Valentino Vascular Screening Project, San Valentino, PE, Italy. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]