Pycnogenol efficacy in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus patients

Phytother Res. 2001 Dec;15(8):698-704. doi: 10.1002/ptr.915.


A pilot study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of Pycnogenol treatment in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. Eleven SLE patients were treated with first line medication according to disease activity and in addition, six of them received Pycnogenol and five a placebo. The SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI), serum anti-dsDNA antibodies, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by neutrophils, spontaneous apoptosis and p56(lck) specific activity in peripheral blood lymphocytes were evaluated. Pycnogenol treatment determined a significant reduction of ROS production, apoptosis, p56(lck) specific activity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. In addition, the decrease of SLEDAI was significant in the Pycnogenol treated group compared with the placebo group (p = 0.018). The results obtained suggest that Pycnogenol could be useful for second line therapy to reduce the inflammatory feature of SLE.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apoptosis
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • DNA / immunology
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Specific Protein Tyrosine Kinase p56(lck) / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • pycnogenols
  • Fibrinogen
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • DNA
  • Lymphocyte Specific Protein Tyrosine Kinase p56(lck)