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Study shows pine bark naturally reduces osteoarthritis knee pain
Date:12/5/2007

Affecting more than 10 million Americans, Osteoarthritis of the knee (OA) is one of the five leading causes of disability among the elderly. While OA mainly affects most people over 45, it can occur at any age. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal Nutrition Research reveals Pycnogenol, (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, improved physical function by 52 percent in patients suffering from OA.

When OA develops, the cartilage gradually looses elasticity and begins to harden and crack, subsequently becoming more prone to damage and erosion by use or injury and often leads to pain, swelling, a decrease in motion at the joint, stiffness, or the formation of bone spurs (tiny growths of new bone). Current treatments include regular exercise and pain relievers such as NSAIDS and COX-2 inhibitor pills to help ease pain and stiffness. In more severe cases, cortisone shots can help decrease inflammation in the joint and extreme cases consist of joint replacement. There are currently no drugs that treat osteoarthritis directly.

Pycnogenol was chosen due to a history of studies of the extract to alleviate inflammation by inhibiting COX-1, COX-2 and the pro-inflammatory "master-switch" nuclear factor-kappa B,"said lead researcher Dr. Ronald Watson from the University of Arizona. Pycnogenol offers a safe nutritional approach to significantly reduce pain and improve physical function of arthritic joints. It controls inflammation and thus ideally complements existing strategies that comprise delivery of building blocks for replacement of degenerated cartilage.

The study was conducted at the rheumatology department of Mashhad Medical University, Iran. Thirty-five volunteers (average age 42) were randomly assigned a daily dose of Pycnogenol (50mg, 3 times a day) or placebo for three months. Patients were to report arthritic pain using the Western Ontario and McMast
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Contact: Melanie Nimrodi
mnimrodi@mww.com
312-546-3508
MWW Group
Source:Eurekalert

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