Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a circulatory problem in which leg veins struggle to pump blood back to the heart due to faulty valves. This causes blood to pool in the legs and feet, which can increase permeability of capillaries in the legs and damage valves and veins. CVI can bring miserable symptoms like varicose veins; leg swelling, tightness, heaviness and pain; skin discoloration; and leg ulcers.
While CVI is often associated with standing or sitting for long periods of time, the condition is also associated with deep vein thrombosis (a type of blood clot), obesity, high blood pressure, venous inflammation, smoking and insufficient exercise. Thankfully, evidence suggests that Pycnogenol may help the 20-25% of American women and 10-15% of American men who suffer from CVI.
One study randomly assigned 40 CVI patients Pycnogenol 300 mg. or placebo daily over the course of two months.
- At the study’s end, researchers revealed that 60% of patients in the Pycnogenol group enjoyed a complete disappearance of CVI swelling and discomfort, while 33% experienced disappearance of leg heaviness.
Researchers proposed that Pycnogenol’s antioxidant activity may help to protect the endothelium, which is the inner lining of blood vessels, thereby reducing permeability of capillaries. They also suggested Pycnogenol’s collagen-binding activity may stabilize capillaries and reduce capillary leakage. Researchers reported that these results suggest that Pycnogenol circulation benefits may include help and relief for those with CVI.