There’s promising hope for women who suffer from endometriosis, one of the most common causes of infertility and pelvic pain. A new study to be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine reveals that Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, significantly reduces symptoms of endometriosis by 33 percent.
Pycnogenol which holds a patent for reducing PMS/menstrual pain and discomfort, was chosen for this study because other endometriosis treatments can have unwanted side effects. “The cause of endometriosis is unknown and treatment to fully cure endometriosis has yet to be developed,” said Dr. Takafumi Kohama, a lead researcher of the study. “Common hormone treatments such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone agents (Gn-RHa) may likely restrict women from becoming pregnant during treatment. Danazol, another hormone treatment, produces side effects such as ovarian deficiency, osteoporosis and obesity. Our results convey Pycnogenol as an extremely effective natural treatment without dangerous side effects,” he said.
Patients who supplemented with Pycnogenol took 30 mg capsules orally twice daily for 48 weeks immediately after morning and evening meals. Patients who received the Gn-RHa therapy received injected leuprorelin acetate depot, 3.75 mg intracutaneously, six times every four weeks for 24 weeks. (Leuprorelin treatment completely blocks estrogen in the body and must be discontinued after 24 weeks because of side effects).
Both treatment groups showed no differences at start of treatment and reported severe pain, pelvic tenderness and pelvic indurations. After four weeks, Pycnogenol slowly but steadily reduced all symptoms from severe to moderate. Treatment with Gn-RHa reduced the scores more efficiently but after 24 weeks post-treatment a relapse of symptoms occurred.
There have been significant studies with Pycnogenol revealing treatment efficacy of common problems associated with menstruation, such as dysmenorrhea, menstrual pain and endometriosis. Research has shown a reduction in abdominal pain due to endometriosis. Studies have shown a clear improvement in terms of reduction of menstrual cramps and pain in 73% of women following administration of 30 mg Pycnogenol day for one month, in addition to those with endometriosis. Abdominal pain due to endometriosis was reduced in 80% of the patients and cramps disappeared in 77% of the women taking Pycnogenol according to a study published in the European Bulletin of Drug Research.
Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits. The extract has been widely studied for the past 35 years and has more than 220 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient.
Reference: Kohama, T., Herai, K., & Inoue, M. (2007). Effect of French maritime pine bark extract on endometriosis as compared with leuprorelin acetate. Journal of Reproductive Medicine – Chicago-, 52(8), 703.