The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Improvement in diabetic ulcers with pycnogenol

    One of the major complications of diabetes mellitus is the change in small blood vessels called microangiopathy. It’s associated with kidney failure and blindness, as well as other conditions such as diabetic ulcers.

    Here are the results of a study of pycnogenol in people with diabetic ulcers.

    Thirty patients were assigned to one of four treatments

    • Pycnogenol taken by mouth and by topical application
    • Pycnogenol by topical application only
    • Pycnogenol taken by mouth only
    • A control group.

    Ulcerated areas and symptom scores were reduced with the combined treatment (89% complete healing at 6 weeks) compared to 84% with local treatment and 85% with treatment by mouth. Healing in the control group was 61%.

    Combined treatment also resulted in better microcirculation.

    Two other studies of pycnogenol tablets in people with diabetic ulcers have also been published this year, here and here.

    The bottom line?

    Pycnogenol might offer an option as part of a comprehensive approach to treating diabetic ulcers. However, prevention remains the best option. Two excellent reviews that cover risk factors, prevention, and the essentials of treating existing ulcer are available here and here. They’re important reading if you have diabetes or care for someone with diabetes.

    Illustration: National Amputee Center

    11/5/06 20:22 JR

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