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Health News Archive 68 - Asthma
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Pycnogenol Causes Reduction in Childhood Asthma Symptoms


A new clinical study found children and teenagers with mild to moderate asthma who supplemented with French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol® experienced improvement in pulmonary function and a significant decrease in asthma symptoms.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the November/December 2004 issue of the Journal of Asthma found that 60 children aged six to 18 years old were able to significantly reduce or discontinue their use of rescue inhalers with Pycnogenol® more often than the placebo group. Study participants who supplemented with Pycnogenol® showed a significant reduction of inflammatory mediators (leukotrienes), which cause inflammation and bronchi constriction commonly associated with asthma.

“Pycnogenol®’s antioxidant activity and powerful anti-inflammatory properties work to soothe the irritation that cause bronchi to constrict and swell, making breathing difficult,” said Benjamin Lau, Ph.D., School of Medicine, Loma Linda University and one of the authors of the study. “Treatment compliance is an ongoing problem among the four to five million children under the age of 18 suffering from asthma. This study demonstrates help for asthmatic children through a nutritional approach as compared to sole reliance on oral medication and rescue inhalers”

Asthmatics experience periods of wheezy breathing and breathlessness with intervals of relative or complete freedom from symptoms. Antigenic substances such as pollen and animal hair can obstruct airways, as well as chemical irritants like tobacco, smoke, dust and air pollution. Even cold air and exercise can trigger asthmatic episodes.

Dr. Lau tested Pycnogenol®’s effectiveness based on four parameters: the ability to breathe, the asthma severity symptoms, the frequency of rescue inhaler usage and the quantity of inflammatory molecules in the child’s body. Breathing improved after only one month and continued with further treatment. The severity of asthma symptoms also decreased the longer participants supplemented with Pycnogenol®. Likewise, Pycnogenol® reduced leukotriene values after one month and further decreased them throughout the three-month study. Pycnogenol® dramatically reduced and in several cases eliminated the children’s dependence on a rescue inhaler, which is used to rapidly dilate the bronchi during an asthma “attack.”

“Previous studies have shown Pycnogenol® to be effective in decreasing asthma symptoms among adults. These recent results further demonstrate the efficacy of Pycnogenol® and position this natural antioxidant as a key player in the management of mild to moderate childhood asthma,” said Lau.

Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the Maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. Its unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids enhances overall circulation and offers extensive natural health benefits to individuals suffering from inflammation. The extract has been widely studied for the past thirty-five years and has more than 130 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient. Pycnogenol® brand products are available in over 140 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health formulas nationwide. For more information visit www.pycnogenol.com.

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