(Austin, TX) January 20, 2010. The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) has just published a monograph summarizing selected scientific and clinical studies of Pycnogenol®, a patented dietary ingredient from French maritime pine bark.
Seventeen human clinical studies of Pycnogenol are reviewed in the monograph, evaluating the extract’s potential benefits in numerous areas. These include its cardiovascular benefits, such as its ability to reduce difficulties associated with chronic venous insufficiency and problems related to thrombosis (formation or presence of blood clots in blood vessels).
Based on the review of scientific and clinical trials, the monograph notes that Pycnogenol has been shown to have a wide range of potential applications, including the ability to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes and improve endothelial function (the ability of blood vessels to widen through relaxation of the muscular wall of the vessels). Current clinical trial data suggest that Pycnogenol may also help decrease edema formation (swelling) in the lower legs, benefit children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), be a useful adjunct therapy for patients with asthma, reduce pain associated with menstrual disorders, and improve subjective symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee.
“Pycnogenol is an excellent example of a natural plant-based product which is the subject of extensive clinical research,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “ABC acknowledges Horphag Research, the manufacturer, for its singular focus and for its commitment to funding continued clinical trials to investigate and document the beneficial role Pycnogenol might have in selfcare and healthcare.”
Horphag Research of Geneva Switzerland invests about $1.5 million annually in new scientific and clinical research on the special extract.
“The ABC monograph on Pycnogenol presents one of the most comprehensive and detailed monographs ever published on a dietary ingredient,” said Victor Ferrari, CEO of Horphag Research. “Consumers, health professionals, and industry members alike are looking for comprehensive and evidence-based information, and as such, the monograph provides an excellent detailed view of the versatility of this natural product.”
The monograph is published in three parts: The full monograph, a clinical overview (i.e., executive summary) containing condensed information from the monograph, and a consumer/patient information sheet, consisting of essential information for consumer education about the responsible use of the product. Each of these elements is accessible separately on the ABC website.
The full monograph contains an overview of Pycnogenol’s production and chemistry, uses of the product, dosage information, summaries of the product’s pharmacology and mechanisms of action, safety data, and summaries of selected clinical trials. A table includes synopses of the clinical trials profiled within the monograph’s text, plus summaries of several additional studies. The monograph also includes how Pycnogenol is regulated in 10 countries and regions around the world.
Pycnogenol’s manufacturer Horphag Research has extensively studied the extract over the past 40 years to assure the safety and efficacy of Pycnogenol as an ingredient in dietary supplements and conventional foods. More than 220 studies and review articles have been published on the extract, and Horphag Research earned the Frost & Sullivan North American Health Ingredients Excellence in Research of the Year Award for 2008.
“Horphag Research has incorporated ongoing research into its business model as a necessity to keep the pledge towards its customers and consumers to rely on scientific evidence,” said Ferrari, explaining that this research will also provide the basis for new product development, patents, and new product applications. “To date, we have not come across any other company performing the same amount of research at the same level of quality on a single ingredient. It is critical to investigate nutritional ingredients to the point that one can establish that they are of the highest quality, safe, and that the data shows supporting scientific evidence for their use.”
ABC’s 19-page monograph on Pycnogenol was written by toxicologist Heather S. Oliff, PhD, and it was formally peer reviewed by scientific and medical experts for its accuracy.
ABC emphasizes that the publication of the Pycnogenol monograph is not an endorsement or recommendation of the ingredient or the manufacturer. “ABC has had a long history of documenting the specific herbal products and ingredients that have been clinically tested,” said Blumenthal. “As part of our nonprofit educational mission, we believe it is in the public interest to identify clinically tested natural plant-based products and ingredients which the scientific literature suggests are safe and beneficial.”
ABC’s Pycnogenol monograph is the fourth in a series of product-specific monographs that the organization has initiated. Additional monographs concerning specific researched commercial products and ingredients are being developed by ABC.
About the American Botanical Council
Founded in 1988, the American Botanical Council is a leading international nonprofit organization addressing research and educational issues regarding herbs and medicinal plants. ABC’s members include academic researchers and educators; libraries; health professionals and medical institutions; government agencies; members of the herb, dietary supplement, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries; journalists; consumers; and others within over 70 countries. The organization occupies a historic 2.5-acre site in Austin, Texas where it publishes the quarterly journal HerbalGram, the monthly e-publication HerbalEGram, HerbClips (summaries of scientific and clinical publications), reference books, and other educational materials. ABC also hosts HerbMedPro, a powerful herbal database, covering scientific and clinical publications on more than 220 herbs. ABC also co-produces the “Herbal Insights” segment for Healing Quest, a television series on PBS. Previous product-specific monographs developed by ABC have focused on CVT-E002® (the active ingredient in the ginseng-based formulation COLD-FX®), POM® Wonderful Pomegranate Juice, and the herbal combination product Sinupret®.
ABC is tax-exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Code. Information: Contact ABC at P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345, Phone: 512-926-4900. Website: http://www.herbalgram.org/.
About Horphag Research
Horphag Research Ltd., founded in 1925 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the exclusive worldwide supplier of Pycnogenol, extracted from French maritime pine bark (Pinus pinaster). The company leads the world in Pycnogenol research, and new applications for Pycnogenol are explored every year. Pycnogenol is available in more than 700 dietary supplements, multivitamins and health products worldwide. Pycnogenol is a registered trademark of Horphag Research Ltd and its applications are protected by US and international patents. Natural Health Science, in Hoboken, NJ, is the exclusive North American raw material supplier of Pycnogenol. More information about Pycnogenol is available at the company’s website: www.pycnogenol.com.