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Study demonstrates the anti-inflammatory properties of pine bark extract
Date:7/15/2009

(July 15, 2009) HOBOKEN, NJ A recent study published in International Immunopharmacology, reveals why Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, is effective for reducing inflammation and soothing pain associated with various health problems. Dr. Raffaella Canali of the National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition in Rome, Italy, found that Pycnogenol inhibits the generation of COX-2 and 5-LOX, two naturally occurring enzymes associated with a host of inflammatory conditions.

"This study reveals that Pycnogenol can actually decrease pain and reduce inflammatory conditions, as has been previously reported, by shutting down the production of specific enzymes involved with inflammation," said Dr. Canali.

Inflammation is a tightly controlled, concerted action of immune cells fighting infections, irritations and injuries. When inflammation goes out of control it may target the body's own tissue such as in arthritis or asthma. The worst known cases are the auto-immune diseases.

The study investigated healthy volunteers ranging from ages 35-50, who consumed Pycnogenol tablets (150 mg) for five consecutive days in the morning before breakfast. Blood was drawn before and after supplementation to investigate how immune cells respond towards pro-inflammatory stimuli. The behavior of specific white blood cells (leukocytes) for generating a repertoire of enzymes in inflammatory condition was tested by real-time PCR. The gene expression of enzymes COX-2, 5-LOX, FLAP and COX-1 were monitored and the products these enzymes generate, prostaglandins and leukotrienes, were quantified.

A baseline study revealed that the volunteers' immune cells rapidly initiated production of COX-2, 5-LOX and FLAP enzymes upon pro-inflammatory stimulation. Taking Pycnogenol almost entirely subdued COX-2, 5-LOX and FLAP induction in the immune cells of volunteers. Control studi
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