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Pycnogenol Diabetic Retinopathy

Pine Bark Helps Diabetic Retinopathy

Pine Bark Helps Diabetic Retinopathy

Drawing on earlier research demonstrating that pycnogenol supports vision improvement in diabetic retinopathy by improving microcirculation and reducing swelling, researchers investigated combining this nutrient with other antioxidants as a therapeutic approach. In patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, scientists evaluated treatment with 50mg pycnogenol, 30mg vitamin E and 20mg CoQ10. Sixty eight patients were divided into two groups, one receiving the supplement and one receiving placebo. The researchers evaluated levels of free radicals and macular thickness at the beginning of the study period, after three months, and after six months. In the test group both measured improved; in the placebo group the free radicals level worsened, and macular thickness did not change. The researchers report that this is the first study to find that free radical levels are reduced, and that retinal thickness is also affected. Researchers: D. Domanico, S. Fragiotta, et al Published: Circulating levels of reactive oxygen species in patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and the influence of antioxidant supplementation: 6-month follow-up, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, January, 2015. Researchers have been investigating alternative means of alleviating diabetic retinopathy as diabetes becomes more widespread in the world. Earlier studies have found that pine bark can be effective in very early stages of diabetic retinopathy. This study looks at effectiveness a little later in development when retinal edema begins to appear but before bleeding or other changes occur in the macula. In a small study 24 patients were assessed as to the degree of retinal swelling and thickness of the retina layer. They were treated with pycnogenol (maritime pine bark) for 3 month Continue reading >>

Moving The Needle: Can We Influence The Course Of Diabetes?

Moving The Needle: Can We Influence The Course Of Diabetes?

Moving the Needle: Can We Influence the Course of Diabetes? Evidence suggests nutritional supplements really can make a difference in diabetic retinopathy. As most readers probably know, the landmark Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) demonstrated that a nutritional supplement could positively influence progression of AMD.1 Since that 2001 study appeared, a big question has been: might nutritional supplements also have a similar effect on diabetic retinopathy (DR)? Because vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients serve a variety of biological functions potentially beneficial in diabetes, there has been renewed interest in the possibility of these supplements treating a host of diabetes complications. Long-term administration of AREDS antioxidants has yielded exciting results in preventing the pathogenesis of DR in rodent models. These results suggest the merit of testing the AREDS antioxidants in a clinical trial to prevent the development and/or progression of diabetic retinopathy, with the possibility of reducing the impact of this common vision-threatening disease, wrote prominent retinal biologists in a 2011 Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science paper.2 We can safely say there is a plausible epidemiological basis for thinking that dietary supplementation might correct nutritional deficiencies common in diabetes. Studies suggest that patients with diabetes are more likely to suffer from deficiencies of potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, chromium, vitamin D and serum carotenoids.3-8 Such deficiencies may negatively affect glucose control, cell repair and survival, and may ultimately contribute to diabetes complications. Moreover, long-term use of the most widely prescribed oral anti-diabetic agent, metformin, has recently been linked with vi Continue reading >>

Is Pycnogenol Available On Prescription?

Is Pycnogenol Available On Prescription?

I have been reading recently about Pycnogenol to help diabetic retinopathy from which I suffer severely. What are your thoughts on this product and can I get it on prescription if I see my GP? The only place I can find it in the UK is at Holland and Barrett and it seems very expensive. This supplement is not available on prescription and can only be bought on a private basis. There is little valid scientific data concerning it and diabetic complications, but my feeling is that it will be of minimal effect at best with It is a natural plant extract from the bark of the maritime pine and is a water soluble flavonoid extract, which is claimed to be the reason for its claimed efficacy. Flavonoids are antioxidants, said to help the body improve capillary activity and strengthen capillary walls, restoring flexibility to them and other small blood vessels in the body. They are found in fresh fruit and vegetables and so a balanced diet rich in these, and supplemented with vitamin C, should be a healthier and cheaper option I would have thought. However, I doubt it will do any harm if you take it a most important point when considering the use of natural supplements. The suggested dosage is 1.5-3mg per kilogram of body weight for seven days followed by a maintenance dose of 50 to 100 mg/day. Continue reading >>

Pycnogenol: Antioxidant Superstar? (part 1)

Pycnogenol: Antioxidant Superstar? (part 1)

Pycnogenol: Antioxidant Superstar? (Part 1) Pinus pinaster, more commonly known as Pycnogenol, is a lesser-known antioxidant that has quietly hit the nutrition supplement scene. Pycnogenol is extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine, grown in coastal southwest France. This supplement contains a handful of phytonutrients, including proanthocyanidins, bioflavonoids, and organic acids. And while you may not have heard too much about this supplement, its list of possible health benefits is quite impressive. Lets take a look. Pycnogenol may help people with diabetes in a couple of different ways. First, theres evidence that it can directly impact blood glucose levels. In one study published in Diabetes Care in 2004, people with Type 2 diabetes who took Pycnogenol had both lower fasting and postmeal blood glucose levels. Another study showed that taking Pycnogenol along with metformin (brand name Glucophage and others) and acarbose (Precose) lowered blood glucose levels even more than metformin and acarbose alone. Pycnogenol may play a role in eye health, too, by preventing or slowing down the progression of diabetic retinopathy . In France, Pycnogenol is commonly prescribed to people with retinopathy. The theory is that the proanthocyanidins in this supplement strengthen small blood vessels in the retina, making them more elastic, which helps improve circulation. A study with 30 people who had diabetic retinopathy showed promising results. Participants were given 50 milligrams of Pycnogenol three times daily, while a control group of 10 people took a placebo . After two months, the folks in the Pycnogenol group had either no worsening of their retinopathy or showed some improvement compared to the placebo group, whose retinopathy progressed. Pycnogenol may help l Continue reading >>

Pycnogenol For Retinopathy

Pycnogenol For Retinopathy

Pycnogenol, a patented extract made from French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), may help prevent eye problems associated with diabetes, researchers report. One of the most common complications of diabetes is retinopathy. This disease occurs when the small blood vessels in the retina (located in the back of the eye) become damaged. The retina sends visual images to the brain, where they are perceived. Because the blood vessels supply the retina with oxygen, retinopathy may result in partial or complete vision loss. As retinopathy advances, the lack of oxygen may cause abnormal new blood vessels to grow into the retina, which may further damage the retina and worsen vision loss. In fact, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among American adults. Earlier research suggested that Pycnogenol may help prevent or slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. It has been theorized that compounds in Pycnogenol may stick to proteins in blood vessel walls to create a sealing effect. However, results were limited by a small sample size and unclear methodology. The current study included 46 patients with diabetes and early-stage retinopathy. At this stage, there is only minor leakage from blood vessels into the retina, and damage is often reversible. Blood glucose levels were well-controlled with antidiabetic medications. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either 150 milligrams of Pycnogenol or placebo daily for three months. By the end of the study, patients in the Pycnogenol group subjectively reported significant improvements in vision. Visual acuity, measured with the Snellen chart, improved from 14/20 at the beginning of the study to 17/20 after supplementation. Pycnogenol treatment also led to significant improvements in retinal swelling and Continue reading >>

Review: Procyanidins From Pine Bark Extract & Diabetic Retinopathy

Review: Procyanidins From Pine Bark Extract & Diabetic Retinopathy

Review: Procyanidins from Pine Bark Extract & Diabetic Retinopathy Twenty four million Americans - or 8% of the population and nearly 25% of those 60 and older - currently suffer from diabetes according to 2007 prevalence data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The 2007 figure is 3 million higher than 2005 prevalence data. The CDC reported that an additional 57 million had pre-diabetes, a condition that most often precedes a diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes can lead to damage of several different tissues, particularly those that are insulin insensitive such as the retina, kidney and nerves. Type 2 diabetes is most common, accounting for 90-95% of all diabetic patients. Both forms cause long-term complications such as neuropathy, nephropathy, cataract and retinopathy. Up to 21% of patients with type 2 diabetes have some signs of retinopathy at time of first diagnosis, and most will develop some degree of retinopathy over time. The potential role of Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is discussed in a 2008 systematic review (1) from the Ophthalmic Research Group at Aston University in Birmingham England. Pycnogenol is the brand name for a standardized extract of bark of the French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster). It contains bioactive procyanidins as does generic standardized pine bark extract. Pine bark extract (hereafter referred to as "Pycnogenol") has been shown to protect endothelial cells against oxidant-induced injury. Pycnogenol promotes a protective antioxidant state by up-regulating important enzymatic and non-enzymatic oxidant scavenging systems. It is a potent natural antioxidant and also has an affinity for proteins such as collagen, which may be responsible for the reduction of pathologically increased capillary permea Continue reading >>

Benefits Of Pycnogenol In Improving Diabetic Retinopathy

Benefits Of Pycnogenol In Improving Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Benefits of Pycnogenol in improving Diabetic Retinopathy About 3 months ago I was referred to a eye specialist as I had problems with Diabetic Retinopathy. It was very worrying as one of the blood vessels was very close to the retina, I was told that it needed laser surgery but due to the location there was a high chance the laser would cause more harm than good and so it was decided to try and reverse with better control of sugars. The eye specialist also suggested I try Pycnogenol which is a herbal supplement, he has had many cases where this has significantly improved Diabetic Retinopathy. I have been taking this now for about 3 months and went back to see him yesterday, I have been told that my eyes have improved by about 80% and now very slim chance I would need laser. I do truly believe that Pycnogenol has helped improve this condition and I wanted to share with other people that may have problems with their eyes. Unfortunately it is quite expensive as 30 capsules from Holland & Barrett costs about 20. Has anyone else found that Pycnogenol has improved their condition? You might like to look at this previous thread. viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11808&p=112348&hilit=Pycnogenol#p11234 There is certainly some research that suggests it might be effective but to use the usual phrase... further research is needed When I looked it up I found an article that suggested it was used a lot over here in France so I also searched a French Forum. I was surprised to find only 1 discussion . This consisted of a person who felt it was working for him since he had had no bleeds in 2 years and others who thought this was more likely to be due to his stable glucose control Continue reading >>

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Retinal damage, known as retinopathy, can severely and permanently impair vision and even lead to blindness. Retinopathy is often reflective of vascular disease, such as that caused by elevated blood sugar levels (diabetic retinopathy) and high blood pressure (hypertensive retinopathy). Fortunately, several scientifically studied integrative interventions, like B vitamins, astragalus, and Pycnogenol, can support the health of various structures in the eye and may improve symptoms of retinopathy. People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than people with type 2 diabetes. Longer duration of diabetes, higher blood glucose levels, higher blood pressure, and insulin use are also associated with an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy. Between 2% and 15% of people >40 years of age will have some signs of hypertensive retinopathy. Non-diabetic African Americans were more likely than non-diabetic whites to develop hypertensive retinopathy; however, they were also more likely to have high blood pressure, which may explain the association. Poorly controlled blood pressure and chronic kidney disease were both linked to a higher risk of retinopathy in non-diabetic individuals. Often, especially in the early stages of retinopathy, there are no symptoms. Many of the early signs of diabetic retinopathy can be detected by a doctor examining the retina with an ophthalmoscope. When there are symptoms, a wide spectrum of vision problems may occur, ranging from mild blurriness to sudden and dramatic loss of vision, particularly in the case of retinal detachment or hemorrhage. For people with diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy, treating the underlying condition damaging the retina (high blood glucose or elevated blood pressure) will help prevent progre Continue reading >>

Pycnogenol-great For Diabetic Retinopathy, But How Do You Find It In The United States?

Pycnogenol-great For Diabetic Retinopathy, But How Do You Find It In The United States?

Pycnogenol-Great for Diabetic Retinopathy, But How Do You Find it in the United States? Editors Note: DIABETES HEALTH encourages every person with diabetes to see an eye doctor at least once per year. A treatment like the one featured here should never replace professional care, and you should always notify your doctors when you take a non-prescription treatment. Only a professional has the tools to assess the health of your eyes. New research is again showing that the herbal extract Pycnogenol can be beneficial for people with diabetic retinopathy. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, diabetic retinopathy, a degenerative disease of the retina, is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults in the United States each year, accounting for 8,000 cases annually. Pycnogenol works by improving circulation, protecting small blood vessels and combating and possibly even reversing retinopathy. According to a recent study published in Phytotherapy Research (15; 1-5; 2001), 30 people with diabetes were treated with 50-mg dosages of Pycnogenol three times per day for two months. Another 10 people with diabetes were treated with a placebo. The researchers found that Pycnogenol had a beneficial effect on retinopathy, while the placebo groups retinopathy only got worse. Pine-Bark Extract-Improves Blood Vessel and Retinal Health As the legend of Pycnogenol goes, in 1534 French explorers became trapped by ice on the Saint Lawrence River. To avoid contracting scurvy, the researchers brewed a tea from the needles and bark of local pine trees. Over 400 years later, in 1947, French chemist Jack Masquelier, intrigued by this story, discovered that maritime pine-bark extract duplicated many of the actions of vitamin C. In 1979, the name Pycnogenol was coined. Acco Continue reading >>

A Five-year Prospective Study Of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression In Chinese Type 2 Diabetes Patients With Well-controlled Blood Glucose

A Five-year Prospective Study Of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression In Chinese Type 2 Diabetes Patients With Well-controlled Blood Glucose

Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click here . A Five-Year Prospective Study of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression in Chinese Type 2 Diabetes Patients with Well-Controlled Blood Glucose Affiliation Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai First Peoples Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 20080, China Affiliation Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai First Peoples Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 20080, China Affiliations Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai First Peoples Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 20080, China, Department of Preventative Ophthalmology, Shanghai Eye Disease Prevention and Treatment Center, Shanghai, 200040, China Affiliation Beixinjing Community Health Service Center, Shanghai, China Affiliation Beixinjing Community Health Service Center, Shanghai, China Affiliation Beixinjing Community Health Service Center, Shanghai, China Affiliation Beixinjing Community Health Service Center, Shanghai, China Affiliation Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai First Peoples Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 20080, China Continue reading >>

Does Pycnogenol Improve Vision In Patients With Early Diabetic Retinopathy?

Does Pycnogenol Improve Vision In Patients With Early Diabetic Retinopathy?

Pycnogenol Improves Microcirculation, Retinal Edema, and Visual Acuity in Early Diabetic Retinopathy Steigerwalt R, Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, et al This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was designed to test the protective effects of Pycnogenol, an extract of French maritime pine bark that stimulates endothelial nitric oxide to facilitate vasodilatation. Pycnogenol was evaluated for its effects in early stages of retinopathy characterized by mild to moderate retinal edema in the absence of hemorrhage or hard exudates in the macula center. Inclusion criteria included diabetes diagnosed at least 4 years previously; good glycemic control (hemoglobin A1c < 7%); and a moderate degree of retinopathy characterized by macular edema, retinal swelling, and the presence of minor exudates and hemorrhage. Persons with proliferative retinopathy, previous laser treatment, or hypertension requiring medical treatment were excluded. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to 150 mg Pycnogenol (n = 24) in the morning after breakfast or placebo (n = 22) for 2 months. There were no significant differences between the treatment and control groups at baseline in terms of age, sex, glycemic control, or duration of diabetes. More important, there was no difference in baseline visual acuity, retinal blood flow, or retinal thickness. The following variables were investigated: Visual acuity using the standard Snellen Chart; Diabetic retinopathy by ophthalmoscopy following pupil dilation; Retinal blood flow (quantitatively and noninvasively) by color duplex scanning; Retinal thickness using resolution ultrasonography at 14 MHz; and Ultrasonography evaluation twice by 2 experienced physicians. Visual acuity in the group receiving Pycnogenol significantly increased from a baseline average of 14/ Continue reading >>

Pycnogenol For Diabetic Retinopathy. A Review.

Pycnogenol For Diabetic Retinopathy. A Review.

Pycnogenol for diabetic retinopathy. A review. Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Westflische Wilhelms Universitt Mnster, Germany. Diabetic retinopathy represents a serious health threat to a rapidly growing number of patients with diabetes mellitus. The retinal microangiopathy is characterised by vascular lesions with exudate deposits and haemorrhages causing vision loss. Pycnogenol, a standardised extract of the bark of the French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), is known to increase capillary resistance. Pycnogenol has been tested for treatment and prevention of retinopathy in five clinical trials with a total number of 1289 patients since the late 1960's. All but one of these studies have been reported in French and German and, today, are of limited accessibility, giving the impetus for reviewing them in detail in this article. There were two open case studies and two double blind studies (one controlled against calcium dobesilate and another against placebo) and, finally, one multi-center field study with 1169 diabetics. All of these studies unequivocally showed that Pycnogenol retains progression of retinopathy and partly recovers visual acuity. Treatment efficacy of Pycnogenol was at least as good as that of calcium dobesilate. Pycnogenol was shown to improve capillary resistance and reduce leakages into the retina. Tolerance was generally very good and side effects were rare, mostly referring to gastric discomfort. In conclusion, treatment with Pycnogenol had a favourable outcome in the majority of the patients with diabetic retinopathy. Continue reading >>

Pycnogenol Supplement Health Benefit

Pycnogenol Supplement Health Benefit

Pycnogenol improvements in asthma management. Pycnogenol inhibits expression of 5-lipoxygenase and consequently decreases leukotriene levels in asthmatic patients. This study evaluated its efficacy during a period of six months for improving allergic (mite in house dust) asthma management in patients with stable, controlled conditions. it was used at a daily dosage of 100 mg, distributed as 50 mg in the morning at 9 am and again in the evening at 9 pm). Administration was effective for better control of signs and symptoms of allergic asthma and reduced the need for medication. Pycnogenol as an adjunct in the management of childhood asthma. J Asthma. 2004.Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study involving 60 subjects, aged 6-18 years old, was conducted over a period of 3 months to determine the effect on mild-to-moderate asthma. Compared with subjects taking placebo, the group who took Pycnogenol had significantly more improvement in pulmonary functions and asthma symptoms and was able to reduce or discontinue their use of rescue inhalers more often than the placebo group. Athletics, physical training, endurance, sports performance J Sports Med Phys Fitness. Dec 2013. Evaluation of the effects of supplementation with Pycnogenol on fitness in normal subjects with the Army Physical Fitness Test and in performances of athletes in the 100-minute triathlon. This study opens an interesting new application of the natural supplementation with Pycnogenol that, with proper hydration, good training and nutritional attention may improve training and performances both in normal subjects and in semi-professional athletes performing at high levels in difficult, hi Continue reading >>

New Supplement May Prevent And Stop Progression Of Diabetic Retinopathy

New Supplement May Prevent And Stop Progression Of Diabetic Retinopathy

New Supplement May Prevent and Stop Progression of Diabetic Retinopathy Editors Note: This article was originally written by patient expert Andrew Berry. This past December, researchers discovered pycnogenol, a pine bark extract, that can stop and decrease risk of diabetic retinopathy. Researchers at G DAnnunzio University in Italy may have found a cure for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients alike and if left untreated can lead to blindness. A recent research study, published in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics evaluated the benefits of taking pycnogenol, a supplemental form of pine bark, and revealed that people with diabetes can avoid developing diabetic retinopathy and halt its progression. Diabetic retinopathy is the damage that is caused to the blood vessels in the eye and is prevalent in up to 80% of all patients who suffer from diabetes for 10 years or more. Diabetic retinopathy is caused when either blood vessels swell and leak fluid into the retina or when abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is an important light-sensitive tissue that is necessary for health eye function and good vision. Eventually, if left untreated, diabetic retinopathy leads to blindness. Over the past 20 years, there had been research into the effectiveness of natural and unnatural compounds alike to combat this condition. The study, conducted by Dr. Robert Steigerwalt and colleagues, included a total of 46 diabetic patients. Twenty-four of these patients were treated with pine bark extract once a day for three months while the other 22 participants received a placebo. All of the patients in the study had had diabetes for at least four years and all were complaining of symptoms related t Continue reading >>

Pycnogenol For Diabetic Retinopathy

Pycnogenol For Diabetic Retinopathy

, Volume 24, Issue3 , pp 161171 | Cite as Diabetic retinopathy represents a serious health threat to a rapidly growing numberof patients with diabetes mellitus. The retinal microangiopathy is characterised byvascular lesions with exudate deposits and haemorrhages causing vision loss.Pycnogenol, a standardised extract of the bark of the French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), is known to increase capillary resistance. Pycnogenol has been tested for treatment and prevention of retinopathy in five clinical trials with atotal number of 1289 patients since the late 1960's. All but one of these studies have been reported in French and German and, today, are of limited accessibility, giving the impetus for reviewing them in detail in this article.There were two open case studies and two double blind studies (one controlledagainst calcium dobesilate and another against placebo) and, finally, one multi-centerfield study with 1169 diabetics. All of these studies unequivocally showed thatPycnogenol retains progression of retinopathy and partly recoversvisual acuity. Treatment efficacy of Pycnogenol was at least asgood as that of calcium dobesilate. Pycnogenol was shown toimprove capillary resistance and reduce leakages into the retina. Tolerance wasgenerally very good and side effects were rare, mostly referring to gastric discomfort.In conclusion, treatment with Pycnogenol had a favourable outcomein the majority of the patients with diabetic retinopathy. diabetesdiabetic retinopathyPycnogenol This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Shaw JE, Zimmet PZ, McCarty D, de Courten M. Type 2 diabetes worldwide according to the new classification and criteria. Diabetes Care 2000; 23 Suppl 2: B510. PubMed Google Scho Continue reading >>

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