French pine bark extract may help manage symptoms of fibromyalgia, says recent study

March 26, 2021
Sebastian Krawiec

A recent study found that supplementation with French pine bark extract helped manage symptoms of fibromyalgia.

A recent study1 found that supplementation with French pine bark extract (Pycnogenol from Horphag Research; Hoboken, NJ) helped manage symptoms of fibromyalgia. In the study, 50 female patients with idiopathic fibromyalgia were assigned to receive Pycnogenol with standard management or standard management alone for four weeks. None of the subjects were taking any drugs, and all of the subjects have elevated levels of oxidative stress at inclusion.

Results showed that the percentage of patients taking NSAIDS as rescue medication was significantly higher in the standard management group compared to the group taking Pycnogenol. The same was true for the use of corticosteroids. Subjects taking Pycnogenol also demonstrated a significant reduction in symptoms and complaints compared to standard management alone.

More specifically, subjects taking Pycnogenol saw improvements in the following symptoms:

  • 54% decrease in the number of subjects with stiffness pain (vs 17% in the control group)
  • 58% reduction in the number of subjects with widespread pain (vs 38% in the control group)
  • 58% reduction in the number of subjects with pain that worsens with fatigue (vs 14% in the control group)
  • 54% decrease in the number of subjects with fatigue (vs 21% in the control group)
  • 55% reduction in the number of subjects with mental cloudiness (vs 5% in the control group)
  • 71% decrease in the number of subjects with IBS symptoms (vs 8% in the control group)
  • 100% decrease in the number of subjects with interstitial cystitis symptoms (vs 25% in the control group)
  • 64% reduction in the number of subjects with migraines (vs 20% in the control group)
  • 63% reduction in the number of subjects with headaches (vs 13% in the control group)
  • 70% decrease in the number of subjects with occurrences of paresthesia (vs 14% in the control group)
  • 35% decrease in the number of subjects with perceived stress levels (vs 5% in the control group)

Reference

  1. Belcaro G et al. “Idiopathic myalgic pain (fibromyalgia): supportive management and prevention with Pycnogenol®.” Panminerva Medica, vol. 63, no. 1 (2021): 46-50