Pycnogenol and Osteoporosis

A double-blind, placebo controlled trial involving 156 patients with osteoporosis found that supplementing with pycnogenol – an extract of pine bark – significantly reduced many of the symptoms associated with medications used to treat osteoporosis. Specifically, there was a 58% reduction in pain, there was increased walking distance on a treadmill test, decreased gastrointestinal complications (63% reduction), and decreased foot edema (79% reduction in the treatment group vs 1% in the placebo group).

The study used 100mg of pycnogenol daily for 3 months.

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Strokes

Millions and millions of women who had been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for years got some unfortunate news a few years ago: HRT leads to an increase risk of some serious health problems. While the vast majority of menopausal woman had been put on HRT to prevent everything from osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and even dementia, a few bombshell studies came out which refuted the claim that HRT protects against these at all.

The hormones used in hormone replacement therapy are derived from animal sources, most commonly horses. Premarin, the most common replacement estrogen prescribed, is derived from PREgnant MARe urINe. This is the type of estrogen that has been studied and now found to be unsafe. In fact, a review of 28 clinical trials involving nearly 40,000 women on HRT confirmed the finding: HRT use raises risk of strokes by almost 30%, and the severity of stoke is increased as well.

It is unknown why HRT leads to this increase in strokes. But consider the following: women naturally produce three kinds of estrogen, each in different amounts. Each type of estrogen that is produced has a very different level of activity in the body, so the ratio of these types is very important for overall hormone balance. Continue reading “Hormone Replacement Therapy and Strokes”