Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clinical Evidence Supporting Pycnogenol for Arthritis and Knee Pain

See the Fox News report in which Distinguished Professor Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld reports on the benefits of Pycnogenol for ostheoarthritis, knee pain, cognitive impairment, and menopausal symptoms.

I had never heard of Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) until someone put a bottle of Isotonix OPC-3 in my hand five years ago and said it might help with my joint and muscle pain. “Pine bark?” I asked. “Really?” At the time, I was not particularly interested in evidence or studies. I had all the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia, and I just wanted out of pain. But I was unwilling to take NSAIDS like Tylenol or Ibuprofrin on a daily basis because of the potential organ damage. (Do a Google search on  ”NSAIDS and renal failure” for more info. You’ll find articles like this one from the New England Journal of Medicine.) The fact that there was a bioflavanoid rich natural antioxidant that had no side effects and had the potential to reduce pain as effectively as a pharmaceutical pain killer was all that interested me at the time. What was even more interesting was that it actually worked. Over a course of weeks and months, the pain and inflammation I had been living with daily ebbed away.

Then finally I became interested in the science of it, and the fact that there was abundant clinical evidence supporting Pycnogenol as a nutritional intervention for a range of health challenges, including arthritis, blood sugar problems, endometriosis, and high blood pressure. (The Research Library on is a great resource.) A whole new world opened up to me. Yes, Virginia, there is clinical evidence supporting the use of natural remedies and nutritional interventions. Though I had never once in my life consciously felt a physical difference from taking any sort of vitamin, I was officially and very suddenly hooked on high-quality, clinically-researched supplements.

The difference, really, comes down to efficacy and bioavailability. There are tons of supplements out there, but the quality of supplements varies widely. Many have added fillers, binders, and weird stuff like talc and hydrogenated oils that any health conscious person would not consume. And the bioavailability of most supplements– in other words, how easily they can be assimilated by the body– is often negligible. No wonder I had never felt any difference from taking supplements, and had never been compliant with any recommended supplement regimen. I hated taking the pills, couldn’t ever remember which ones to take at what time, and never felt anything when I did take them.

For nutrient absorption, energy, and authentic health benefits, the way nutrients are delivered to the body truly makes a difference. In an isotonic form, nutrients are perceived by the body as the same as its body fluids, and are very rapidly and almost completely absorbed. Once I understood this, I added more isotonic supplements to my regimen that I could mix in with my OPC-3, including a multi-vitamin, calcium, and additional anti-oxidants, plus an isotonic B-complex and vitamin D taken separately with food. It has made a huge difference in my health and energy, and it’s amazing not to feel that aging and decline are my defining life experience.

If this post inspires you, please send the link along to someone you know who suffers from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, or arthritis.

To your health,



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