Pine Bark May Reduce Tinnitus Symptoms

CHIETI, Italy, Oct. 15 (UPI) — Pycnogenol, an antioxidant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, may relieve tinnitus symptoms by improving blood flow, researchers say.

“Impaired blood flow to the ear is a common cause for tinnitus, a disturbing and very debilitating condition that can considerably impact overall health and quality of life,” lead researcher Dr. Gianni Belcaro of Irvine3 Vascular labs at Chieti-Pescara University in Italy, says in a statement. “With few options available for treatment, this study gave us the opportunity to explore a natural solution to tinnitus symptoms and its causes.”

The study involved 82 patients ages 35-55 with mild-to-moderate tinnitus in only one ear, while the other remains unaffected.

During a four-week period, patients were assigned to one of three groups — Group A consisted of 24 patients who were administered 150 mg/day of Pycnogenol; group B consisted of 34 patients who were administered 100 mg/day of Pycnogenol; and the control group consisted of 24 patients who received no Pycnogenol.

Using a Subjective Tinnitus Scale, study subjects were instructed to rate their symptoms from zero for low intensity of symptoms to 15 for constant and severe symptoms. The initial average value was approximately 8.8 among patients in the Pycnogenol group and 7.9 in the control group.

The study, published in Panminerva Medica, finds after four weeks, the scores dropped to 5.2 in the low-dose group and 3.3 in the high-dose group, with no significant changes within the control group.

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