Diabetes MellitusPine Bark ExtractRetinopathy

Effects of Pycnogenol on vision in diabetic patients

Diabetes tool boxDiabetes affects the eyes and can lead to retinopathy (non-inflammatory damage to the retina of the eye) leading to gradual loss of vision.

Researchers from D’Annunzio University, in San Valentino, Italy studied the effects of Pycnogenol during the early stages of retinopathy.

First, the details.

  • 46 patients were treated with Pycnogenol or placebo for 3 months.
  • Changes in retinal edema and thickness, and visual acuity were measured.

And, the results.

  • There was significant improvement in retinal edema and retinal thickness vs placebo, which showed negligible changes.
  • Laser Doppler flow velocity measurements at the central retinal artery revealed a significant increase in the Pycnogenol group vs marginal effects in the control group.
  • Visual improvement was subjectively perceived by 18 out of 24 patients in the Pycnogenol group.
  • Testing of visual acuity using the Snellen chart (eye chart) showed significant improvement after 2 months treatment.
    • There was no change in the control group.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Pycnogenol taken at this early stage of retinopathy may enhance retinal blood circulation accompanied by regression of edema, which favorably improves vision of patients.”

These findings support the results of a study in diabetic patients by another group of Italian researchers in 2001.

12/17/09 20:48 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 www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.