More and more studies are being done on various natural extracts, and many medical researchers are finding that they are effective treatments for all kinds of illnesses and diseases. Recent studies were done involving grape seed extract killing killing leukemia cancer cells, and now it has been discovered that a natural plant extract called Pycnogenol, otherwise known as the extract from marine pine tree bark, may be effective for reducing osteoarthritis.
The martime pine tree grows along the southwest coast of France, as well as in western Italy, Spain, Portugal, and northern Morocco. The bark of the maritime pine is a thick reddish orange bark. Pycnogenol, the plant extract that originates from marine pine bark, has recently been found to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker. There were multiple studies done by scientists at Germany's University of Muster and Ital's Chieti-Pescara University to come to this conclusion. The journal Redox Report published a research article about the study.
The study consulted of researchers initially drawing blood from patients with osteoarthritis and considerably high CRP levels, then they administered a placebo or 50 mg of Pycnogenol in tablet form to their patients. At the end of the study, three months later, they drew blood from the patients again. While the study showed that CRP levels lowered from 3.9mg / L to 1.1 mg / L in the Pycnogenol group and only a slightly lowered level in the placebo group, they also saw a significant reduction in inflammatory markers.
Reactive oxygen species was lowered by 30 percent and fibrinogen was lowered by 37 percent. The reduction of both of these inflammatory markers show that Pycnogenol may be able to decrease inflammation throughout the whole body. If it can stop inflammation from spreading from the joints to the whole body, it may help improve overall health and reduce cardiovascular risks.
The study is a very positive indication of the healing properties of Pycnogenol. Follow-up studies will be done to determine if the extract from marine pine bark should be used to treat osteoarthritis.