Study: Pycnogenol(R) Can Help Prevent Leg, Ankle Swelling on Long Airline Flights

Research Shows Pine Tree Bark Extract May Reduce Discomfort and DVT Risk

HOBOKEN, NJ — (MARKET WIRE) — 07/08/2005 — Researchers are reporting encouraging news for long-distance travelers. A new clinical study found that French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) can have a positive effect on leg swelling (referred to as “edema”) during long airplane flights lasting 7-12 hours.

“Pycnogenol® showed effectiveness in improving circulation and helping to prevent leg and ankle swelling. Most people will notice the effects of in-flight swelling if they take their shoes off during the flight and have difficulty getting back into them at the end of the flight. Leg and ankle swelling can lead to dangerous conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT),” said Peter Rohdewald, Ph.D. Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Muenster and one of the authors of the study.

The double-blind, placebo controlled study published in the July 2005 issue of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis tested in-flight ankle swelling for 169 participants. Before the airline flight, ankle size was similar for the control group and participants who supplemented with Pycnogenol®. Upon arrival, untreated passengers showed increased ankle swelling which was almost twice as high as in the group of passengers supplemented with Pycnogenol®. The researchers showed that Pycnogenol prevents swellings by strengthening the veinous walls. This enables veins, stretched by pooled blood, to better resist the increased pressure, letting less liquid seep into the tissue, and hence less swellings occur.

According to researchers, the compression of veins on the edge of the airplane seat could be a contributing factor to leg and ankle swelling and DVT. Swelling is caused by lack of movement and insufficient veinous blood circulation, with fluids accumulating in tissues throughout the legs. Long periods of immobility, decreased fluid intake and water loss in the dry, compressed airplane cabins are identified as important triggers of leg swelling. These factors can lead to a dangerous DVT condition and even a stroke.

The majority of thromboses occurring during travel remain symptomless as the developed clot spontaneously dissolves before it may affect blood flow. Many travelers do not realize they developed a thrombosis and were lucky. Travelers affected by thrombosis typically experience a warming sensation in one of their calves, swelling and show a blue-red discoloration after some time. Thrombosis may be fatal when the blood clot is dislodged and travels with the blood stream to block arteries in the lungs or to the brain.

“Previous studies have shown Pycnogenol® to be effective in encouraging improved circulation and helping to prevent travel-related DVT. The airline industry is predicting a record numbers of passengers this summer. This research further demonstrates the effectiveness of Pycnogenol® in helping to relieve the leg and ankle swelling and discomfort that is a common flight experience,” said Dr. Rohdewald.

Pycnogenol® is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the Maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France. Pycnogenol®’s unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids enhance overall circulation and offers extensive natural health benefits to individuals suffering from inflammation. The extract has been extensively researched for the past 35 years and has more than 130 published studies and review articles ensuring its safety and efficacy as an ingredient.

The Pycnogenol® brand is available in over 140 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health formulas nationwide. For more information visit

Natural Health Science Inc., (NHS) based in Hoboken, New Jersey, is the North American distributor for Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) brand French Maritime Pine Bark Extract on behalf of Horphag Research. Pycnogenol® is a registered trademark of Horphag Research Ltd., Guernsey, and its applications are protected by U.S. patents #4,698,360 / #5,720,956 / #6,372.266 and other international patents. NHS has the exclusive rights to market and sell Pycnogenol® and benefits from over thirty years of scientific research assuring the safety and efficacy of Pycnogenol® as a dietary supplement. For more information about Pycnogenol® visit our web site at

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