Pycnogenol May Provide Help for Asthma Patients

Hoboken, NJ—A recent study published in Panminerva Medica indicates that Pycnogenol (distributed in the U.S. by Horphag Research, based here) may help control asthma symptoms. Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract that comes from the bark of French Maritime pine trees. The extract’s combination of procyanidins, bioflavanoids and organic acids has been studied for years in promoting healthy inflammation, but now researchers from the University in Pescara, Italy believe it may have other benefits, too.

The research study involved 76 patients, ages 25 to 45, who had mild to moderate allergic asthma due to dust mites. One group of patients was administered 100 mg of Pycnogenol per day, in addition to their prescribed inhaler, while the control group took only their inhaler. After a six-month period it was found that patients taking the supplement had “improved control of allergic asthma, reducing night awakenings caused by asthma symptoms by nearly 50 percent.” Further results showed that the group taking the extract lowered their inhalation corticosteroids (ICS) dosage by 55%, and that while some in the control group lowered their ICS dosage by 6%, others increased by 19%. Also, those taking Pycnogenol only had to use their albuterol rescue inhaler every fifth day, while the control group on average used it every other day. In addition, the supplement users reduced their number of night awakenings in half, and reported a fewer cases of more-severe respiratory distress.

Other clinical studies have suggested that Pycnogenol lowers leukotriene values, the inflammatory mediators responsible for asthma symptoms. Asthma is a condition that affects almost 25 million people in the United States, and this new study show that Pycnogenol may benefit these individuals.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2012 (online 11/19/12)