(NaturalNews) An antioxidant-rich nutrient with powerful anti-inflammatory properties, French pine bark extract, also commonly known as Pycnogenol, is hailed by many as an effective treatment for asthma, osteoarthritis, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many other chronic diseases. And based on the myriad research that has been conducted on French pine bark over the years, all of this and more appear to be true of the nutrient.
French pine bark for treating osteoarthritis, joint pain
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research found that French pine bark is capable of reducing osteoarthritis, joint, and various other chronic pain. Compared to patients taking a placebo, those supplementing with 100 milligrams (mg) of Pycnogenol experienced a 56 percent reduction in osteoarthritis pain after just three months.
Additionally, these patients also experienced a 55 percent improvement in joint pain; a 63 percent improvement in gastrointestinal problems; a 53 percent reduction in overall stiffness; and a 57 percent improvement in physical function. Overall, the Pycnogenol group also experienced a 64 percent improvement in health and well-being (http://www.arthritistoday.org).
Similarly, a study out of Germany published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that French pine bark extract taken by participants at 150 mg for three months dramatically reduced their arthritic and joint pains (http://www.reuters.com). According to Dr. Peter Rohdewald, the study's author, Pycnogenol appears to work better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) at providing lasting and sustained pain relief (http://www.reuters.com).
French pine bark for treating asthma
Many asthma sufferers have had great success treating their condition with French pine bark extract, including individuals that participated in a 2005 study presented to the American Thoracic Society. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study revealed that many children with asthma who took French pine bark extract were able to discontinue use of their rescue inhalers because of dramatic improvements.
According to the Swedish researchers who presented the study, combining Pycnogenol with vitamin C and a natural enzyme helps further boost the extract's benefits in treating asthma symptoms. And unlike inhalers, Pycnogenol does not cause any negative side effects (http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/?d=79859).
French pine bark for treating chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
Every year, roughly half a million people living in the U.S. develop leg ulcers as a result of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a circulatory condition where veins are unable to pump enough blood back to the heart. But a study published in the journal Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hematosis found that CVI patients who supplement with French pine bark extract can experience a dramatic improvement in blood flow.
According to the study's findings, Pycnogenol works better than Daflon, a combination pharmaceutical drug made from diosmin and hesperidin, at reducing edema (leg swelling), tight calves, skin alterations, swelled limbs, and painful walking (http://www.pycnogenol.com).
French pine bark for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
A 2006 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study published in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that French pine bark's rich array of phenolic acids, catechin, procyanidins and taxifolin can help effectively treat ADHD symptoms.
After just four weeks of taking one mg daily of Pycnogenol, ADHD children experienced a significant reduction in hyperactivity. These same children were also observed to undergo a considerable improvement in attention span, visual-motoric coordination and concentration. And like in the other studies involving Pycnogenol, these participants did not experience any negative side effects (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16699814).