A previous open study demonstrated that French maritime pine bark extract (PycnogenolR
) may soothe menstrual pain in dysmenorrhea.
We thus investigated the effects of PycnogenolR on menstrual pain in a double-blind study.
Study Design: Subjects were 116 women aged 18-48 years. The first 2 menstrual cycles served as a control period; during the subsequent 2 menstrual cycles women received either a Pycnogenol supplement (60 mg/day) or a placebo in identical capsule form. One further cycle was monitored after cessation of capsule administration.
Women were assigned to either a group with low menstrual pain or a group with dysmenorrhea. The criterion for assignment to the first group was absence of analgesic [pain relieving] medication.
Results: In women with low menstrual pain, no significant difference for lowering of pain scores was found. In contrast, women with dysmenorrhea:
Had a significantly lower pain score
And required statistically significantly less analgesic medication during supplementation with PycnogenolR.
The number of days women required analgesic medication was likewise found to be statistically significantly lowered in the PycnogenolR group.
Even after discontinuation of PycnogenolR supplementation, the required analgesic medication remained significantly decreased.
Conclusion: The analgesic-sparing effect of PycnogenolR increases with duration of supplementation and benefits persist even after discontinuation.
Source: The Journal of Reproductive Medicine. May 2008;53(5):338-46. PMID: 18567279, by Suzuki N, Uebaba K, Kohama T, Moniwa N, Kanayama N, Koike K. Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]