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Study Finds Pycnogenol® In Combination With Oral Contraceptives Effective In Resolving Endometriosis-Related Pain

Research shows patented pine bark extract plays a key role in reducing inflammation associated with endometriosis and menstruation, which affects more than 5 million U.S. women

HOBOKEN, N.J., Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- An observational  study published in the December 2013 issue of the International Journal of Women's Health found that the natural supplement Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, significantly minimizes pain and inflammation associated with endometriosis and may help eliminate dysmenorrhea – when paired with oral contraceptives. More than five million women in the United States suffer from endometriosis, a chronic inflammatory condition often associated with severe menstrual pain and infertility.

"Endometriosis is a common health issue affecting millions of women. Unfortunately many women suffer without knowing that their extreme menstrual pain doesn't have to be a normal part of their lives – there are potential natural solutions," said physician and nutritional medicine expert Dr. Fred Pescatore. "This new research builds on several studies that have found Pycnogenol® to be a safe and effective natural alternative to reduce inflammation and decrease symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping during menstruation."

In the study, conducted in collaboration by the Brazilian Instituto da Mulher and Itaigara Memorial Day Hospital, researchers treated and monitored 45 patients of reproductive age (22 – 37 years old) who were diagnosed with varying degrees of endometriosis. Patients were randomly selected to one of four treatment groups and evaluated prior to beginning their regimen and after three months of treatment. Two different types of oral contraceptives were evaluated on their own and in combination with Pycnogenol®.  Pain was evaluated with a visual analog pain scale graded from 0-10.

Patients in Group 1 were treated with only an oral contraceptive containing 0.75 mg gestodene and 0.03 mg ethinylestradiol; Group 2  received the same oral contraceptive containing .75 mg gestodene and 0.03 mg ethinylestradiol in addition to 100 mg Pycnogenol®. Patients in Group 3 received only a contraceptive containing 3 mg drospirenone and 0.03 mg ethinylestradiol (approximately similar to Yaz® in the U.S.); participants in Group 4 received the same oral contraceptive  containing 3 mg drospirenone and 0.03 mg ethinylestradiol in addition to 100 mg Pycnogenol®. Pycnogenol® was administered at 50 mg every 12 hours. In all cases, oral contraceptives were used in a continuous regimen.

Over the course of three months, researchers found:

  • The use of oral contraceptives alone resulted in a decrease of menstrual-related pain
  • Pycnogenol®  significantly reinforced  pain reduction when combined with oral contraceptives in patients suffering from endometriosis
  • Pycnogenol® increased significantly the efficacy of oral contraceptives for the treatment of endometriosis-related pain
  • Most (56%) participants taking Pycnogenol® and an oral contraceptive reported a complete resolution of pain; none of the participants taking an oral contraceptive alone reported full pain resolution

"Pycnogenol® is a natural nuclear factor-kappa B inhibitor, meaning that it reduces inflammation at the on-set, and as a result, may significantly reduce pain and help those who suffer from endometriosis without complication or side effects," said Dr. Peter Rohdewald, Head of Research and Development at Horphag Research. "This research shows that Pycnogenol® is an effective natural alternative to improve the efficacy of oral contraceptives to relieve endometriosis-related pain."

This study confirms previous findings from the catalog of research on women's health and Pycnogenol®, including a 2007 study of 58 women that found Pycnogenol® alone to significantly reduce the symptoms of endometriosis by 33 percent without disruption to the menstrual cycle, allowing women to become pregnant. To review the clinical research and additional information on Pycnogenol® visit

About Pycnogenol®
Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits.  The extract has been widely studied for the past 40 years and has more than 340 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient.Today, Pycnogenol® is available in more than 700 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health products worldwide.  For more information, visit

About Horphag Research (USA) Inc.
Horphag Research (USA) Inc., based in Hoboken, New Jersey, is the North American distributor for Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) brand French maritime pine bark extract on behalf of Horphag Research. Pycnogenol® is a registered trademark of Horphag Research Ltd. For its patented ingredient, Pycnogenol®, Horphag Research has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Research Award, Nutraceutical Business & Technology Safety & Quality Award, SupplySide West Scientific Excellence Award and The American Botanical Council's Tyler Research Award.  Horphag Research (USA) has the exclusive rights to market and sell Pycnogenol® in North America and benefits from more than 40 years of scientific research assuring the safety and efficacy of Pycnogenol® as a dietary supplement.  For more information about Pycnogenol® visit

SOURCE Pycnogenol

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