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Otorinolaringologia 2013 September;63(3):151-61


language: English

The common cold winter study: effects of Pycnogenol® on signs, symptoms, complications and costs

Belcaro G. 1, Luzzi R. 2, Cornelli U. 3, Shu H. 1, Dugall M. 1, Ippolito E. 4, Cesarone M. R. 1, Corsi M. 1, Pellegri L. 1, Ledda A. 1, Appendino G. 5

1 Irvine 3 Circulation/Vascular Labs Chieti‑Pescara University, Spoltore, Pescara, Italy; 2 Irvine 3 Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; 3 Corcon International, Milan, Italy; 4 University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 5 Università Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy


Aim: The aim was to evaluate the use of Pycnogenol® (French maritime pine bark extract), an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and antiedema natural compound, used either as a single management supplement or in association with other supplements, on signs and symptoms of the common cold.
Methods: Main targets were the evaluation of signs/symptoms, the reduction in days of disease, and the prevention of complications. The four supplement options were: a. Pycnogenol (50 mg, bid/die); b. vitamin C (100 mg/day b.i.d.); c. gluconate Zn (Gl-Zn) (30 mg/day); and d. A tri-complex supplement including pycnogenol (100 mg), Gl-Zn (30 mg) and vitamin C (200 mg/day) in two separate doses.
Results: The resulting registry groups were comparable. Considering affected days the best performer was the supplementation plan with the tri-complex (3.1;0.2 days). Lost working days were also decreased in all Pycnogenol groups (P<0.05) in comparison with controls (P<0.05). On average the best performer was the tri-complex with only 0.31; 01 lost working days (vs 0.93; 0.4 in controls; P<0.05). Days of disease were significantly decreased in the Pycnogenol groups (P<0.05) in comparison with controls (8.2; 2.1 days). The need for use of any other compound and the occurrence of any clinically significant complications were significantly lower in the Pycnogenol groups (P<0.05). All supplementation plans were significantly more effective than the ‘best management alone’ used in controls (P<0.05). In the most frequent complications of a cold (lasting longer than 4 days, tracheal extension and bronchial involvement), the best supplement combination (tri-complex) was associated with 4.5% of complications (P<0.05 in comparison with controls: 39.3%) Daily regression of the ‘7 pillar symptoms’ was faster (P<0.05) in the Pycnogenol groups in comparison with controls. In all Pycnogenol-supplemented patients nasal mucosal flux decreased faster than in controls (P<0.05). The best result was obtained in the tri-complex at 5 days.
Conclusion: In this pilot registry, Pycnogenol alone or in combination appears to decrease signs and symptoms and shorten the course of the common cold as well as preventing some complications.

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