CrampsDiabetes MellitusPine Bark ExtractUlcers

Pycnogenol treatment of venous insufficiency

In the past year, several studies on this topic have appeared. The results are positive.

So, let’s review.
Pycnogenol 200 mg plus at least 1.5 liters of water every day during 5 weeks of treatment in 66 volunteers divided into 3 groups

  • Significantly fewer cramps by the 4th week compared to the start
  • Normal subjects: 5 to 1 events per week
  • Venous patients: 6 to 3 events per week
  • Athletes: 9 to 2 events per week
  • The effects continued through the 5th week
  • In a second part of the study, diabetics treated with pycnogenol had a decrease in cramps compared to a group that was not treated

86 people with severe chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), venous hypertension, ankle swelling, and previous history of venous ulcerations

  • Pycnogenol (capsules) 150 mg or 300 mg daily for 8 weeks or Daflon (diosmin and hesperidin) 1,000 mg/day
  • Significant improvements with pycnogenol vs. Daflon at 4 and 8 weeks based on a battery of tests of the patients’ microcirculation

21 people with chronic venous insufficiency, ankle swelling, and history of venous ulcerations

  • Pycnogenol 150 mg daily for 8 weeks and compared to 18 untreated patients
  • At 4 and 8 weeks those treated with pycnogenol had significant improvement in test scores of circulation, symptoms, and a reduction in edema

In view of the recent FDA warning about using quinine to treat leg cramps, these results are all the more interesting.

Horphag Research Ltd., UK is spending a lot of money on research to document the value of their pycnogenol. It’s something we should see from more manufacturers of supplements.

More summaries are here, and here.

12/13/06 11:59 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.