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One Simple Solution to Protect Your Joints and Heart

A study published in the December 2008 issue of Redox Report found that a pine bark extract called Pycnogenol® may reduce inflammation in people with osteoarthritis.

For the study, German and Italian researchers recruited 55 people with osteoarthritis who had high levels of a protein called serum C-reactive protein (CRP). High levels of CRP are associated with inflammation and an increased risk for inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis and atherosclerosis.

Each participant received either a 50mg supplement of Pycnogenol® twice a day, or a placebo for three months.

At the conclusion of the study period, researchers found a 71 percent reduction in CRP levels for the participants receiving the Pycnogenol®. No significant reductions were seen in the placebo group.

The researchers also identified a 30 percent reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS) - a small molecule that cause oxidative stress - and a 37 percent reduction in fibrinogen - a protein that promotes blood clotting.

These results seem to support several other studies that indicate Pycnogenol® may be an effective anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation has long been associated with arthritis and joint pain, but recent research has found links between inflammation and several other health problems like neuro-degenerative diseases, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

It appears that many of these diseases - originally thought to be caused by fats and lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides - are actually caused by oxidation and inflammation

Beyond the apparent anti-inflammatory properties, Pycnogenol® also contains flavonols and high levels of powerful antioxidants, which decrease harmful oxidation in the body by neutralizing destructive free radicals.

This study adds to a growing body of research linking Pycnogenol® which a number of health benefits, most importantly with regard to joint and heart health.

In addition to taking a Pycnogenol® supplement, eating less pro-inflammatory foods (fried foods, soft drinks, saturated fats), and more anti-inflammatory foods (raw nuts, dark green vegetables, omega-3 rich fish) are also good ways to reduce inflammation and reduce your risk of developing inflammatory diseases.
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