Data published in the International Journal of Angiology indicated that the pine bark extract may significantly improve the appearance, swelling and discomfort of pregnancy-induced varicose veins and spider vein clusters.
About 30% of women, post-pregnancy suffer from enlarged veins, which can be unattractive, painful and may lead to a chronic vein condition, blood clots and ulcers if veins do not return to healthy function. Some varicose and spider veins may improve on their own after a year or so post-pregnancy. The standard treatment is to simply wear compression stockings
New data from the Chieti-Pescara University in Italy indicated that the pine bark extract may reduce the visibility of veins, swelling and pain post-pregnancy and improve blood flow in a fraction of the time as it takes when treated with compression stockings alone.
The study included 133 women recommended to wear compression stockings. Sixty-four women were also assigned to receive daily Pycnogenol supplements (50mg two times a day) for 12 months.
Results showed that, after six months, the pine bark extract was associated with fewer varicose veins fewer visible clusters of spider veins, fewer leg cramps, reduced swelling, and fewer requests for additional treatment, all 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.”
Talking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent SupplySide West show in Las Vegas, Victor Ferrari, CEO of Horphag (the company behind the ingredient), said that the ingredient could make structure function claims such as, “helps support venous health”.
Pycnogenol – a combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids extracted from the bark of the maritime pine – is included in more than 700 dietary supplements, cosmetic products and functional foods and beverages worldwide.
The ingredient has been the subject of scores of clinical studies suggesting benefits covering everything from cardiovascular, joint, cognitive and eye health to the relief of hay fever, PMS, tinnitus, hemorrhoidal pain and menopause symptoms.