A study on 30 diabetes patients found that the powerful antioxidant Pycnogenol helped ward off one of the most debilitating effects of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness.
Natural Health Science (NHS), the North American distributor for the Pycnogenol brand French Maritime Pine Bark, made by Horphag Research, reported that the supplement helped slow the blindness by sealing the leaky capillaries that cause the condition.
During the two-month clinical study, participants showed no deteriorationof retinal function and some showed a significant recovery of visual acuityin comparison to the progressively worsened condition of the 10 patientplacebo-treated group.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading form of blindness in people under theage of 60 in the US and affects more than 5.3 million Americans. NHS reports that Pycnogenol has shown a positive affect in five clinical studies, including more than 1,000 diabetics, in strengthening the tiny capillaries in the eye.Researchers conducted the studies because Pycnogenol has previously been shown tostrengthen the circulatory system.
Jesse Lopez, executive vice president of Natural Health Science, said: "Based on this scientific evidence and the results from fouradditional clinical studies, a new Pycnogenol product, Picno 30, wasdeveloped by Novartis specifically for the treatment and prevention ofdiabetic retinopathy and is available in Europe."
Pycnogenolhas also been studied in connection with other complications associated withdiabetes. Diabetes increases the production of free radicals, which damagethe body by increasing the risk of heart attack, nerve damage, cataracts,blindness and stroke. While Pycnogenol helps guard against health risks linked to diabetes, thesuper antioxidant also increases the body's defenses, like Vitamin C and E,to maintain general health.