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Pine bark trials for osteoarthritis

Trial 1

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.

Trial 2

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.

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