Pycnogenol Eases Fibromyalgia Symptoms
A new peer-reviewed pilot study shows that daily supplementation with 150 mg of Pycnogenol may reduce symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, such as stiffness, pain, fatigue and migraine. The study, published in Panminerva Medica, followed 50 female subjects of an average age of 47 years for four weeks. The researchers found that the supplement group demonstrated significant improvement of symptoms over the control group, who followed a daily regimen of aerobic exercise, stretching, meditation and the application of heat to targeted areas of the body. Blood analysis also showed that the supplement group experienced less oxidative stress.
More specifics of their findings:
There was a 100% decrease in the number of study subjects reporting symptoms of interstitial cystitis symptoms versus 25% in the control group.
There was a 71% decrease in IBS symptoms compared to 8% in the control group.
There was a 64% decrease in migraines versus 20% in the control group.
There was a 58% reduction in pain that worsens with fatigue compared to 14% in the control group.
There was a 54% decrease in stiffness versus 17% in the control group.
Pycnogenol is the trademarked brand name of an extract produced from the bark French maritime pine trees from southwest France. The supplement has been previously studied for its beneficial effects on reducing symptoms associated with ADHD, cardiovascular risks associated with menopause, diabetes, high blood pressure and other metabolic disorders. It has also been shown to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, and to exert a neuroprotective effect to improve nerve cell function in patients with traumatic brain injury.
More research is needed. Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health says that 50-450 mg of the standardized extract of maritime pine bark taken orally daily is safe for up to one year. Be aware that some people experience gastrointestinal distress, headache, or dizziness with this supplement. Until you observe how your body reacts to Pycnogenol, it's best to start out with a lower dosage.
Do not use Pycnogenol without first consulting your health care practitioner if you are pregnant or nursing, have a bleeding disorder, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease or an autoimmune condition, or if you take chemotherapy drugs, immunosuppressants, or anticoagulants.
Gianni Belcaro, Shu Hu, Maria R Cesarone, et al.; Idiopathic myalgic pain (fibromyalgia): supportive management and prevention with Pycnogenol®; Panminerva Medica 2021 Mar;63(1):46-50.