A team of Chinese and German researchers reports that pycnogenol helps lower glucose levels in diabetics with mild type 2 diabetes. Pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant, is extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine. Their clinical trial involved 18 men and 12 women between the ages of 28 and 64 years. All patients had fasting glucose levels of between 7 and 10 mmol/L (126-180 mg/dL). Participants received 50, 100, 200 and 300 mg/day of pycnogenol during four separate 3-week periods. The maximum reduction in plasma glucose concentration was obtained at a daily dose of 200 mg. Taking 300 mg/day did not result in further improvements. At the end of the 200 mg/day-period fasting glucose levels had dropped from an average of 8.64 mmol/L (154 mg/dL) to an average of 7.54 mmol/L (135 mg/dL). Postprandial glucose level (2 hours after a meal) decreased from an average of 12.47 mmol/L (222 mg/dL) to 10.07 mmol/L (180 mg/dL) with the 200 mg/day-dose and the level of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) decreased from 8.02% to 7.37%. A subsequent double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 77 patients confirmed the glucose-lowering effect of pycnogenol. The researchers conclude that pycnogenol may be useful in controlling glucose levels in patients with mild type 2 diabetes.
Liu, X, et al. French maritime pine bark extract pycnogenol dose-dependently lowers glucose in type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes Care, Vol. 27, March 2004, p. 839