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Women who repeatedly get urinary tract infections are becoming more concerned about overuse of antibiotics and doctors are left with a dilemma, as there is no other routine treatment for the condition. But a recent study found that Pycnogenol, a proprietary extract from French maritime pine bark, reduces the incidence of UTIs and interstitial cystitis, a painful inflammation of the bladder that can be mistaken for a UTI.
Study participants had recently experienced repeated multiple UTIs or bouts of interstitial cystitis. They were divided into three groups. One group received 150 mg daily of Pycnogenol to treat their UTIs, another received 400 mg of a cranberry extract, and the third did not receive a supplement.
After two months of daily supplementation, those taking Pycnogenol experienced fewer UTIs or bouts of interstitial cystitis, and more women in this group were symptom-free, compared to the cranberry and other groups. Neither supplement produced side effects.