Fibromyalgia, a condition which effects an estimated 3-6% of the world population, believed to be undiagnosed in 70% of people who have it.
“Despite being relatively common, idiopathic myalgic pain, also known as fibromyalgia, remains a highly misunderstood condition, often met with skepticism and misdiagnosis due to its many nonspecific symptoms,” natural health physician Dr. Fred Pescatore said. “Fibromyalgia is a chronic and debilitating condition that causes severe widespread pain throughout the body, often categorized by chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, cognitive and mood disturbances, interstitial cystitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.”
Pycnogenol is an antioxidant supported by an extensive catalog of clinical research evidencing its anti-inflammatory benefits and ability to normalize oxidative stress levels. Oxidative stress often inflames symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, making it difficult for the body to recover naturally.
“It is not clear what causes the pain associated with fibromyalgia, yet we know oxidative stress is a key contributing factor,” Pescatore said. “This study reveals a potential safe, effective, and natural path to the management of fibromyalgia symptoms that have historically left sufferers frustrated.”
The study was conducted on 50 female subjects with an average age of 47 over a period of 4 weeks, and each of the patients had idiopathic, moderate fibromyalgia symptoms and elevated levels of oxidative stress.
The participants were divided into two groups, but both engaged in a standard management routine of daily stretching, aerobic exercise, local heat application, sleep, and meditation, however, while one group supplemented with 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily, the other received a placebo. The most common fibromyalgia symptoms/complaints were evaluated as present or absent at baseline, and re-evaluated after 4 weeks. Oxidative stress was measured as plasma free radicals from drops of blood.
Pycnogenol supplementation with 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily provided a striking improvement in common symptoms compared to placebo, including:
- 54% decrease in the number of subjects with stiffness pain, vs. 17% in the control group
- 58% reduction in the number of subjects with widespread pain, vs. 38% in the control group
- 58% reduction in the number of subjects with pain that worsens with fatigue, vs. 14% in the control group
- 54% decrease in the number of subjects with fatigue, vs. 21% in the control group
- 55% reduction in the number of subjects with mental cloudiness, vs. 5% in the control group
- 71% decrease in the number of subjects with IBS symptoms, vs. 8% in the control group
- 100% decrease in the number of subjects with interstitial cystitis symptoms, vs. 25% in the control group
- 64% reduction in the number of subjects with interstitial cystitis symptoms, vs. 20% in the control group
- 63% reduction in the number of subjects with headaches, vs. 20% in the control group
- 70% decrease in the number of subjects with occurrences of paresthesia, vs. 14% in the control group
- 35% decrease in the number of subjects with perceived stress levels, vs. 5% in the control group
Participants in the Pycnogenol test group also reported less need for NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and corticosteroids, drugs typically used to manage fibromyalgia symptoms, and a 17% reduction in oxidative stress.
“This is important news for those suffering with fibromyalgia,” Pescatore said. “Researchers can continue to build upon these findings. This new research is an encouraging start for fibromyalgia sufferers looking to naturally manage the intensity of their symptoms and reduce the need for drug intake.”