Pycnogenol Improves Diabetic Retinopathy

December 2, 2009

2 Min Read
Pycnogenol Improves Diabetic Retinopathy

HOBOKEN, N.J.A recent study published in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics revealed Pycnogenol®, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, can improve microcirculation, retinal edema and visual acuity in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.

The randomized controlled study, conducted by G D'Annunzio University in Italy, investigated 46 diabetic patients over a period of three months. The Pycnogenol treatment group consisted of 24 patients, with 22 patients placed in a placebo treatment group. Each of the patients had been previously diagnosed with diabetes for at least four years prior to participating in the study and their blood glucose was well controlled by diet and oral anti-diabetic medication. Patients had early stage retinopathy characterized by capillaries in the eye leaking fluid into the retina causing swellings. At this stage only minor bleedings into the retina occur and damage to light-sensing cells may still remain largely reversible.

Subjects were treated with three 50 mg Pycnogenol tablets or placebo tablets in the morning after breakfast over a period of three months. Following treatment with Pycnogenol, the major positive observation of this study was visual improvement, which was subjectively perceived by 18 out of 24 patients in the Pycnogenol group. Testing of visual acuity using the Snellen Chart showed a significant improvement from baseline 14/20 to 17/20 after two months of treatment with Pycnogenol. There were no improvements found in the control group.

Pycnogenol significantly decreased the retina swelling and the blood flow velocity in capillaries nourishing the light sensing cells improved. In the control group, retinal edema was not relieved, blood flow velocity remained unaffected and no visual improvements occurred. In contrast, all 22 subjects in the control group maintained the same diabetic macular swellings as they were diagnosed with at the beginning of the study.

 

 

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