Polyphenols – a group of beneficial natural compounds – in the pine bark supplement Pcynogenol are absorbed directly into joints, research has revealed.
The compounds can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative joint disease, which limits joint mobility.
Symptoms also include joint inflammation, stiffness and discomfort.
But, Pycnogenol helps to alleviate joint pain by reducing the amount of inflammatory compounds in the body, researchers said.
Natural health physician, Dr Fred Pescatore, said: “This is the first evidence that shows polyphenols distribute into the synovial fluid of patients with osteoarthritis.
“This research supports the results of previous clinical efficacy studies that show reduced inflammation and improved comfort by supplementing with Pycnogenol.
“Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that have been associated with numerous benefits for human health.
“This is good news for patients suffering from osteoarthritis – and all of the patients in this study were preparing for knee arthroplasty.”
The researchers ran a double-blind study on 33 individuals with osteoarthritis, that were scheduled for knee arthroplasty – a surgical procedure to restore the joint’s functionality.
Half of individuals took 200mg supplements of Pycnogenol daily, over a three week period running up to their surgeries.
Doctors collected synovial fluid – fluid from around the joints – during the surgery to test for polyphenols.
“Absorption by the body is key to realising the benefits from natural supplements,” said Pescatore.
“This research shows that Pycnogenol is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, and these nutrients can reach areas of need.”
A daily dose of sprouts, broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower could also prevent arthritis, it was revealed last week.
The greens are full of chemical compounds that are particularly good for a healthy gut, scientists said.