Pine bark trials for osteoarthritis
In the first trial, 156 participants with osteoarthritis pain that wasn’t well controlled with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were randomly selected to receive either 100 mg daily of pine bark or placebo capsules. All participants were free to use NSAIDs throughout the three-month trial.
- There was a 56% reduction in pain in the pine bark group compared to only a 10% reduction in the placebo group.
- The pine bark group showed significant improvements in foot and ankle swelling, joint stiffness and physical function. Pine bark was significantly more effective than the placebo in all these aspects.
- The use of NSAIDs dropped by 58% in participants taking pine bark compared to only one per cent in the placebo group.
- The pine bark group had a significant reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms compared to almost no reduction in the placebo group. This might be related to their lower NSAID use.
In the second trial, 100 people with mild osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly allocated to receive either 150 mg Pycnogenol® or a placebo for three months.
- Participants receiving Pycnogenol® reported an improvement in function and lower levels of pain in comparison to the group taking the placebo, who showed no improvement.