Anyone who deals with chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) knows how painful (and frustrating!) it can be each time the symptoms come back again. It can feel like a literal curse, but a new study claims there’s a natural supplement that might finally offer much-needed relief.
Research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that an antioxidant called Pycnogenol (also known as French maritime pine bark extract) was able to drastically reduce the number of UTI episodes in participants. They also found it beneficial for those with interstitial cystitis (IC), another bladder condition with similar symptoms.
Study authors split the participants into three groups: One that took 150 mg. of Pycnogenol each day, another that took 400 mg of dried cranberry extract, and another that went without any supplements but followed a standard management routine (maintaining good hygiene and bladder care, avoiding caffeine, spice, alcohol, getting ample hydration, and moderate exercise).
After 60 days, those who took Pycnogenol showed a 62 percent reduction in UTI and IC occurrences. What’s more, they showed 100 percent infection-free urine, while 35 percent of the cranberry group and 36 percent of the management group still had signs of infection in their samples. Authors note that 40 to 50 percent of all three groups were infection-free at the start of the study. Pycnogenol also showed more improvements in reducing symptoms and oxidative stress than the other remedies.
“Patients who suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections often experience painful, disruptive symptoms including pain, burning and itching in the pelvic area, and a constant need to go to the bathroom. This study shows, Pycnogenol, a natural ingredient, may reduce those symptoms,” Dr. Steven Lamm, MD, NYU Langone Health, said in a press release. He noted that more research needs to be done, but that this is a promising natural approach to treating UTIs without antibiotics.
You can find Pycnogenol supplements at stores and online, like Spring Valley Pycnogenol Capsules (Buy at Walmart, $8.88). Although this latest research is exciting for anyone dealing with the painful bladder condition, you should still consult your doctor before supplementing.
If you get the OK, you might also be able to count on Pycnogenol easing symptoms of menopause and reducing the appearance of varicose veins. Not bad for something that costs less than $10!
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