Study highlights Pycnogenol's anti-swelling action

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pine bark extract, Vein

Taking maritime pine bark extract before a long-haul flight could
help travelers reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), say
researchers in a new study into the effects of Pycnogenol
supplementation on leg-swelling.

During a flight of seven to 12 hours duration, most people will notice their ankles and legs start to swell due to lack of movement, insufficient circulation of blood through the veins and accumulation of fluid in the tissues. The conditions within the aircraft cabin - that is, water loss in compressed environment and decreased low fluid intake - can also contribute.

In some passengers, the cumulative effects of these factors can cause a blood clot to develop - a condition known as DVT or 'economy class syndrome', since it is more likely to occur in cramped conditions.

Research has suggested that DVT can occur in as many as 10 percent of air travelers, but in most the clot disintegrates of its own accord causing no ill effects. However in some cases it becomes dislodged and travels through the blood stream, and if it reaches the lungs it can cause potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.

According to the National Institutes of Health, DVT affects 2 million Americans a year, 600,000 of whom develop pulmonary embolism and 60,000 of these die.

The double-blind, placebo controlled study is published in the July issue of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis​. It builds on earlier research published in the same journal in October 2004, which concluded that the supplement is effective in protecting against thrombotic events (DVT and superficial vein thrombosis) in moderate to high-risk subjects during long haul flights.

The new study involved 169 participants, who were divided into two groups: one received a placebo and the other was supplemented with Pycnogenol pine bark extract, supplied in the US by Natural Health Science.

Prior to the flight, the ankle size of participants in both groups was similar. But when the researchers measured their ankles again at the end of the flight, those who took the placebo had experienced more than twice the swelling of the Pycnogenol group.

"Pycnogenol showed effectiveness in improving circulation and helping to prevent leg and ankle swelling,"​ said author Dr Peter Rohdewald of the University of Muenster's Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

He attributed the results to the pine bark extract's strengthening action on the veinous walls, which helps them resist the increased pressure better so that less liquid seeps into the tissue.

Pycnogenol is derived from the bark of the Maritime pine from Gascony in southwest France, which is rich in procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids. Other research has indicated that Pycnogenol is an effective anti-inflammatory and can be used to lower blood pressure, to control diabetes and in eye health.

Related topics: Research, Cardiovascular health

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

The Year of

The Year of "Destination Health" Has Arrived

Blue California | 01-Apr-2022 | Infographic

Consumers are pursuing prevention over cure as the ticket to long-term health and wellness. While immunity is at the forefront of health, consumers are...

Benfotiamine - Trusted, Validated Blood Sugar Support

Benfotiamine - Trusted, Validated Blood Sugar Support

XSTO Solutions | 16-Mar-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Backed by more than 100 published papers and decades of safe use, BenfoPure® is a GRAS, clinically supported source of Benfotiamine, which is a fat-soluble...

Impacting Blood Lipids: Choosing the right Probiotic

Impacting Blood Lipids: Choosing the right Probiotic

Kaneka Probiotics | 28-Feb-2022 | Technical / White Paper

Floradapt® Cardio is a patented, clinically tested, once-a-day probiotic combination of three Lactobacillus plantarum strains that have been shown to enhance...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more