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Pine bark extract Pycnogenol found to significantly increase blood flow for diabetic microangiopathy sufferers

Monday, October 09, 2006 by: Jessica Fraser
Tags: pycnogenol, diabetes, health news

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(NewsTarget) New Italian research has found that daily supplementation with Pycnogenol -- an extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree -- may improve poor blood flow in diabetics by as much as 68 percent.

A study by researchers at Chieti-Pescara University in Italy recently examined Pycnogenol's role in improving hindered blood flow in patients with diabetic microangiopathy (DM), which affects about 19 million EU citizens.

"Diabetic microangiopathy is not a rare phenomenon and essentially affects every diabetic person," said lead researcher Dr. Gianni Belcaro. "The condition may result in vision loss in diabetic retinopathy, kidney problems and ischemic tissue necrosis, causing leg ulcers which may lead to amputation."

The study, published in the September issue of the journal Angiology, examined the effectiveness of pine bark extract on 60 patients with DM -- 36 of which were men with an average age of 59. The patients were split into two groups: the first received daily Pycnogenol supplements and the second received no supplements.

After four weeks, the researchers then tested capillary blood flow by measuring the participants' ankle swelling when lying down and standing up. The patients who were given Pycnogenol supplements experienced 34 percent improved capillary blood flow when lying down, compared to 4.7 percent improvement in the placebo group. When standing, the Pycnogenol group experienced 68 percent improved blood flow, compared to 8 percent improvement among the placebo patients.

Belcaro said such rapid improvement in blood flow was "clinically remarkable," and called for larger, longer interventions to test Pycnogenol, which is already used in supplements meant to treat asthma, hypertension, osteoarthritis, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes, leg ulcers and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Holistic nutritionist Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition," says Belcaro's study adds to a growing body of research on the wide array of health conditions Pycnogenol can treat.

"In fact, Pycnogenol is proving itself superior to pharmaceuticals in its positive effects on inflammation and blood pressure, yet without the toxic side effects," Adams said.

Adams recommends Wellness Resources as a good source of high-quality Pycnogenol, available online at Wellness Resources.


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