Psoriasis is a major clinical problem
Psoriasis (pso·ri·a·sis, pronounced suh-rahy-uh-sis) is a major clinical problem affecting around 5% of the population, and recently it has been considered a significant cardiovascular risk factor.
- drugs (e.g. beta blockers)
- emotional stress
Symptoms may be as mild as localised itching but in some patients it may develop into severe arthritis that can be very painful and debilitating.
Management includes emollients, vitamin D, retinoids, tar, anthralin, corticosteroids, phototherapy, and biologics. These treatments are generally available for the management of moderate/severe plaque psoriasis. When symptoms are severe, methotrexate, retinoids, or immunosuppressants can be used but may expose patients to significant side effects.
Pycnogenol® supplementation improves control of the most common clinical aspects of psoriasis
A 12-week study of patients, ranging from 30 to 45 years of age, with moderate to severe psoriasis symptoms found Pycnogenol® supplementation to improve control of the most common clinical aspects of psoriasis as well as reducing oxidative stress.
Pycnogenol® also known as French maritime pine bark extract is extracted from the bark of pine trees grown exclusively in Les Landes de Gascogne forest in southwest France.
Pycnogenol® extract is a naturally programmed combination with constant proportions of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, it's unique blend of active compounds has four basic properties – it’s a powerful antioxidant, a natural anti-inflammatory, it helps generate collagen and hyaluronic acid, and aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide which helps to dilate blood vessels. It is known to have significant activity on the nutritional micro-circulation of the skin.
Decrease in affected body area
The study looked at patients who had active psoriasis over at least 10% of their body surface area. Patients were divided patients into two groups, one group received standard management of the psoriasis symptoms while the other group received standard management plus supplementation with Pycnogenol®. The supplement was used at a dosage of 150 mg/day (50 mg three times daily). A decrease in the affected body area in both groups was observed however the decrease in the affected areas was more pronounced in the Pycnogenol group in all body regions.
Severity score improved
The Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score improved more significantly with Pycnogenol. The quantity of exfoliating was significantly reduced in both groups, with better action using Pycnogenol. Skin moisture improved in all subjects with better effects using Pycnogenol.
Dermatology Life Quality Index performance higher
Using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) to assess how much psoriasis had affected the patient’s life Pycnogenol-supplemented subjects performed better for each single parameter in comparison with standard management.
Oxidative stress lowered significantly
Furthermore a decrease in consumption of other drugs was observed with the supplement. Oxidative stress was significantly lower in the supplement group at 12 weeks.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.