Horphag study expands Pycnogenol use for spider veins post surgery

By Claudia Adrien

- Last updated on GMT

Horphag Research has conducted 25 studies in the last two decades on Pycnogenol's role on vein health. @ Rika Hayashi/Getty Images
Horphag Research has conducted 25 studies in the last two decades on Pycnogenol's role on vein health. @ Rika Hayashi/Getty Images

Related tags Pycnogenol Pine bark extract Antioxidant

Antioxidant-rich Pycnogenol may limit the side effects following surgery to manage the appearance of spider veins, according to new research that builds on dozens of studies that examined the potential benefits of the supplement ingredient for vein health.

Writing in the journal Minerva Surgery​, researchers showed that daily supplementation with Pycnogenol, a natural extract from French maritime pine bark, reduced skin discoloration and improved healing from sclerotherapy, a minimally-invasive procedure to manage the superficial veins. Sclerotherapy, which involves the injection of a chemical solution directly into the vein, can cause cosmetic side effects including skin discoloration.

"Spider veins can affect individuals of all ages but are particularly prevalent among women over 50 and those who have recently been pregnant," said nutritional medicine doctor Fred Pescatore, commenting independently on the study. "While spider veins are generally not a health risk, they often pose a cosmetic concern for many women. This study emphasizes the importance of addressing skin discoloration after sclerotherapy for women's skin health, beauty and confidence.”

The researchers included 161 women who had received sclerotherapy to assess possible skin discolorations after the surgery and whether Pycnogenol had an effect as compared to standard management. Eighty-four participants took 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily beginning the day prior to surgery and 12 weeks after the procedure. The remaining 77 participants served as the control group.

The researchers scored skin discoloration based on a standardized system and demonstrated that the Pycnogenol group had a significantly lower average score compared to the control group. There were also significantly fewer discolorations per treated vein in the Pycnogenol group. 

A body of research

This latest study on Pycnogenol's potential to mitigate the effects of sclerotherapy is one of 25 studies in the last two decades that highlights the supplement’s influence on vein health.

In 2022, scientists supported by Horphag Research, the exclusive worldwide distributor of Pycnogenol, showed that the supplement could relieve and prevent symptoms associated with Restless Legs Syndrome. The syndrome can cause sufferers to experience sensations of crawling, pulling and throbbing after laying down for long periods. The researchers published in Panminerva Medica​ that there was a 33% decrease in crawling, a 63% decrease in throbbing and a 52% decrease in electric shocks. Research suggests that as many as 22% of those with Restless Legs Syndrome also have venous insufficiency, according to the scientists.

Pycnogenol can also be used to address edema (the swelling of the feet, legs, hands or arms) and before it starts. In a 2018 study of airline passengers published in Minerva Cardioangiologica​,​ participants supplementing with 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily in the three days prior to travel and the three days following showed a reduction of edema in the lower legs and ankle circumference compared to control groups, as well as a decrease in the number of participants who reported leg pain after flights.

That edema study built on previous research by Horphag. In 2006, scientists published findings in Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hematosis​ ​that showed that Pycnogenol led to a significant symptom reduction of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) in patients, improving blood flow and strengthening venous walls. It reduced leg swelling, tight calves, skin alterations, pain during walking and swelling limbs.   

In 2014, a study published in the International Journal of Angiology​ reported that Pycnogenol may improve the appearance, swelling and discomfort of varicose veins and spider vein clusters as a result of pregnancy.

Over six months, Pycnogenol was able to significantly reduce the number of varicose veins, decrease the visible clusters of spider veins, reduce leg cramps and significantly decrease patient requests for additional treatment, such as chemical injections or minor surgery as compared to the control group.

“This study builds upon decades of research that shows Pycnogenol to be a safe, effective, natural solution for venous insufficiency and the associated problems,” said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, lead researcher of the study. “Pycnogenol has been found to seal capillaries and stop the outflow of blood into tissue that causes swelling. It supports the production of endothelial nitric oxide to improve blood vessel function and blood flow.”

Source: Minerva Surgery​ 
doi: 10.23736/S2724-5691.23.10035-9
"Pycnogenol prevents skin hyperpigmentation following sclerotherapy"
Authors: Maria R. Cesarone et al.

Related news

Related products

show more

Explore New Opportunities in Postbiotics

Explore New Opportunities in Postbiotics

Content provided by CJ BIO | 21-Jun-2024 | White Paper

Explore the latest trends and versatile postbiotics to propel your brand forward. As a biotics market expert, staying ahead with innovation is crucial.

The solutions to botanical supply chain challenges

The solutions to botanical supply chain challenges

Content provided by Ayana Bio | 05-Jun-2024 | Infographic

Many botanicals continue to face supply chain challenges, from the surging demand for stress-relieving adaptogens and immune-support ingredients to the...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more