Hoboken, NJ—Diabetics know all too well that the disease affects more than just blood sugar. As many as 80% of those who have had diabetes for at least a decade will develop diabetic retinopathy, a condition that could lead to vision loss. According to a new study published in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an extract from French maritime pine bark can offer some protection against early-stage diabetic retinopathy.

Forty-six diabetics with early-stage retinopathy were followed for three months; 24 took the supplement (50 mg of Pycnogenol from Natural Health Science, based here) and 22 took a placebo. After two months, 18 of those taking Pycnogenol reported having better visual acuity than before the study (14/20 versus 17/20). The researchers determined that this result may have been from improved retinal blood circulation and regression of edema. In fact, those taking the supplement had statistically significant improvements in their retinal edema score and retinal thickness, whereas those on the placebo had no changes from baseline.


Published in WholeFoods Magagzine, Feb. 2010