Pycnogenol for Your Asthma?

French Maritime Pine bark extract may improve asthma symptoms

Just several days ago, a friend emailed me about some of his health struggles related to (he suspects) some sort of asthma.

So a headline this morning lassoed my attention and hauled me in: Pycnogenol Shows Benefits for Asthmatics.

Daily supplements of the French Maritime Pine bark extract Pycnogenol may improve symptoms of asthma, according to results of a clinical trial.

[…]

After six months of intervention, the researchers observed that the use of a salbutamol rescue inhaler was required, on average, every fifth day in the Pycnogenol group, whereas such inhalers were required, on average, every second day in the control group.

In addition, the pine bark group reported fewer night awakenings caused by asthma symptoms to only half the frequency as before, while no significant change was found for the control group, said the researchers.

The above article also has these info-bits about pycnogenol.

  • Pycnogenol — a combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids extracted from the bark of the maritime pine — is included in more than 700 dietary supplements, cosmetic products and functional foods and beverages worldwide.
  • The ingredient has been the subject of scores of clinical studies suggesting benefits covering everything from cardiovascular, joint, cognitive and eye health to the relief of hay fever, PMS, tinnitus, hermorrhoidal pain and menopause symptoms.

link to Swanson Pycnogenol on AmazonSounds like good all-around stuff, that Pycnogenol. But never mind that — have you ever heard of functional foods? And are there such things as dysfunctional foods? But never mind that. It’s the French Maritime Pine extract we’re interested in.

Amazingly, you can buy it on Amazon: Pycnogenol. (No, it really isn’t amazing, though.)

Over at Answers I learned that “Pycnogenol® is the trademarked name of a product made from a tree known as French Pine or French Maritime Pine. (The botanical name of this tree is Pinus pinaster.) In this country, Pycogenol® is marketed as a nutritional supplement. It’s mainly used for asthma and a condition known as chronic venus insufficiency, or CVI.”

And from WebMD: “The active ingredients in pycnogenol can also be extracted from other sources, including peanut skin, grape seed, and witch hazel bark.”

Check out the full article: Pycnogenol Shows Benefits for Asthmatics.

If you have any positive, negative, or inconclusive experience with Pycnogenol, please enrich this post with your comments below.

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