Improvement in sperm quality and function with French maritime pine tree bark extract

J Reprod Med. 2002 Oct;47(10):821-4.


Objective: To determine the effects of Pycnogenol (French maritime pine tree bark extract) on sperm parameters and function in subfertile men.

Study design: Prospective, nonrandomized, clinical study in a private infertility practice. Nineteen subfertile men were given 200 mg Pycnogenol daily orally for 90 days. Semen samples were analyzed before and after treatment for sperm count, motility score and strict morphology before and after capacitation, and mannose receptor binding.

Results: The mean sperm morphology following Ham's F-10 capacitation increased by 38% following Pycnogenol treatment, and the mannose receptor binding assay scores improved by 19%.

Conclusion: Pycnogenol therapy resulted in improved capacitated sperm morphology and mannose receptor binding. The increase in morphologically and functionally normal sperm may allow couples diagnosed with teratozoospermia to forgo in vitro fertilization and either experience improved natural fertility or undergo less invasive and less expensive fertility-promoting procedures, such as intrauterine insemination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / diagnosis
  • Infertility, Male / drug therapy*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts
  • Prospective Studies
  • Semen / drug effects*
  • Semen / metabolism
  • Sperm Capacitation / drug effects
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • pycnogenols