The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Treating osteoarthritis with pycnogenol

    Pycnogenol is a scavenger of oxygen free radicals. Here’s the latest in a series of positive studies.

    First, the details.

    • 156 people with osteoarthritis were assigned (not randomly) to take 100 mg pycnogenol capsules daily or placebo for 3 months.
    • Symptoms were evaluated using WOMAC scores (for pain and stiffness), and mobility.
    • Neither the patients nor the researchers knew the treatment given (blinded).
    • Both groups were similar for age, gender, WOMAC scores, walking distances, and use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

    And, the results.

    • Walking distance on the treadmill was significantly longer with pycnogenol — from 68 m at the start to 198 m after 3 months treatment.
      • There was no improvement in the placebo group.
    • Drugs use with pycnogenol decreased significantly by 58% vs 1% with placebo.
    • Gastrointestinal complications decreased by 63% with pycnogenol vs 3% with placebo.
    • Overall treatment costs were reduced significantly with pycnogenol vs placebo.
    • Foot edema decreased in 79% of pycnogenol patients vs 1% with placebo.

    The bottom line?
    Aside from the obvious positive results, another thing strikes me about pycnogenol after about 2 years of blogging on CAM.

    The supporters of pycnogenol have embarked on an ambitious program of research that has resulted in a series of positive articles. Some are summarized here.

    Eight years ago, I wrote jokingly about the politics of pycnogenol. I said, “We await the supporting clinical trial results.”

    Now, the support is being published. We look forward to confirmatory studies.

    4/4/08 22:05 JR

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