More than 50 million Americans will experience some degree of tinnitus in their lifetime, according to the American Tinnitus Association. Tinnitus is a hearing condition that causes the constant misperception of sound, including hissing, ringing and rushing noises. A study recently published in Panminerva Medica reveals that Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, is effective in relieving tinnitus symptoms by improving blood flow in the inner ear.
"Impaired blood flow to the ear is a common cause for tinnitus, a disturbing and very debilitating condition that can considerably impact overall health and quality of life," said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher on the study along with his team from Irvine3 Vascular labs, Chieti-Pescara University. "With few options available for treatment, this study gave us the opportunity to explore a natural solution to tinnitus symptoms and its causes."
In a study conducted by the Chieti-Pescara University in Italy, 82 patients between the ages of 35 and 55 with mild-to-moderate tinnitus in only one ear, while the other remains unaffected, were studied throughout a four-week period. Tinnitus in all subjects was a result of restricted blood supply to the inner ear, as measured by high resolution ultrasonography imaging of their cochlear blood flow. Patients were assigned to one of three groups: A, B and control. Group A consisted of 24 patients who were administered 150 mg/day of Pycnogenol®, group B consisted of 34 patients who were administered 100 mg/day of Pycnogenol®, and the control group consisted of 24 patients who received no Pycnogenol®. None of the patients had previously used medication for their tinnitus symptoms.