Pine bark protects kidney function and helps with hemorrhoids.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Hemorrhoids (Care and treatment)
Hypertension (Care and treatment)
Pine (Usage)
Pine (Health aspects)
Bark (Usage)
Bark (Health aspects)
Author: Finney-Brown, Tessa
Pub Date: 06/22/2010
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Summer, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 2
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia
Accession Number: 232178433
Full Text: Cesarone MR, Belcaro G et al. 2010. Kidney flow and function in hypertension: protective effects of Pycnogenol in hypertensive participants. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther 15:1;41-6.

This new study on Pycnogenol[R] looks specifically at how it can help reduce the risk of hypertension related kidney damage by improving blood flow. Pycnogenol[R] was given as an adjunct to angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor treatment of hypertensive patients presenting with early signs of renal function problems. Fifty five hypertensive patients took part in this randomised, controlled study; 26 subjects were assigned to receive Ramipril[R] (10 mg per day), while 29 were randomly selected to receive Pycnogenol[R] (150 mg per day) in addition to the ACE inhibitor over a period of 6 months. Urinary albumin was used as a measure of kidney function. At the start of the study average albumin levels were 89 mg per 24 hour period, significantly more than the 30 mg representative of sufficient function.

After six months in the Ramipril-only group the albumin levels decreased by 26% to 64 mg per 24 hour period, while additional Pycnogenol[R] produced levels that averaged 39 mg per 24 hour period, equivalent to a 57% decrease. Statistically significant decreases in patients' blood pressure were also observed, with systolic and diastolic blood pressures dropping by more than 30% and 8% respectively in the Ramipril only group, and by a further 3% to 6% in the combination group. This was a significant further reduction of diastolic pressure

Kidney cortical blood flow velocity was measured with both systolic and diastolic flow velocities increasing significantly after 6 months' medication with Ramipril[R]. The addition of Pycnogenol[R] to the regimen statistically significantly further enhanced kidney cortical flow velocities by 8% for diastolic flow and 12% for systolic flow relative to values found for the group taking Ramipril[R] only.

In both groups serum creatinine was lowered, however only in the combination treatment group did the effect reach statistical significance. In both groups CRP levels decreased from 2.1 to 1.8 with Ramipril[R] and from 2.2 to 1.1 with the Ramipril Pycnogenol combination; the latter reached statistical significance. Results of this study demonstrate Pycnogenol's ability not only to reduce blood pressure, but also to relieve the kidney damage caused by chronic hypertension.

Belcaro G et al 2010. Pycnogenol treatment of acute hemorrhoidal episodes. Phytother Res 24:3;438-44

This study offers some practical help in treating the commonly presenting clinical problem of hemorrhoids. The authors investigated the efficacy of orally and topically applied Pycnogenol[R] for the management of acute hemorrhoidal attacks in a controlled, randomised study with 84 subjects. Within less than 48 hours of onset of an acute attack, patients were enrolled and signs and symptoms were scored. This evaluation was repeated after seven days' treatment and again seven days following treatment cessation.

The decrease in scores was significantly more pronounced in the Pycnogenol[R] treated groups than in the control group given placebo, showing the efficacy of Pycnogenol[R] for relieving signs and symptoms of acute external hemorrhoids.

In a group of patients given topical (0.5%) Pycnogenol[R] and oral Pycnogenol[R] the improvement was significantly faster and more pronounced. The most prominent symptom, hemorrhoidal bleeding, was completely absent in all patients treated with Pycnogenol[R] for seven days and at the 14 days follow up. In contrast, bleedings were still observed in the control group during the two week follow up. This study indicates that Pycnogenol[R], both in oral and in topical form, is effective for controlling this common, disabling health problem. The application of Pycnogenol[R] eases the management of acute hemorrhoidal attacks and help avoid bleedings.

Tessa Finney-Brown mnhaa
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