Wellness Database: Pycnogenol
Pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant that comes from a French maritime tree bark. Pycnogenol improves heart disease and reduces erectile dysfunction.
Pycnogenol Improves Cognitive Function In Students
Summary: In a study involving 53 healthy university students between the ages of 18 and 27 years, supplementation with French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol(R)) for a period of 8 weeks was found to be associated with statistically significant improvements in cognitive function, specifically, improved sustained attention, memory, executive functions and mood ratings, as compared to controls who were not given Pycnogenol(R). The students were given university examinations, and results found that in those given Pycnogenol(R), students failed 7 tests out of 112 (6.25%), as compared to controls who failed 9 tests out of 84 (10.71%), and the average test score among those given Pycnogenol(R) was 26.1 as compared to 23.81 in controls. The authors conclude, "This study indicates a role for Pycnogenol® to improve cognitive function in normal students."
CoQ10 and Pycnogenol Improve Stability of Heart Failure Patients
Summary: In a single-blinded, 12-week, observational study involving 53 patients with a stable level of heart failure within the past 3 months and stable NYHA class II or III for at least 6 months (mean age: 61.3 years in the treatment group and mean age: 62.1 years in the control group), all taking medication, with more than 75% of patients taking 3 or more drugs for heart failure, treatment with a combination of coenzyme Q10 and Pycnogenol (PycnoQ10) was found to be associated with improvement in NYHA class in 9 of the 32 patients with heart failure, as compared to placebo (in which 3 of 21 subjects experienced improvements). Furthermore, improvements in systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as heart rate and respiratory rate were seen as well. In addition, a 22.4% increase in heart ejection fraction was found in the treatment group, as compared to 4.0% in the control group. Moreover, walking distance on a treadmill increased 3.3-fold in the PycnoQ10 group and distal edema decreased significantly. The authors conclude, "The association of Pycnogenol and CoQ10 may offer an important therapeutic option with a very good tolerability that improves heart failure management without side effects."
Pycnogenol Supplementation Fights Allergic Symptoms
This double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that supplementation with Pycnogenol improves allergic symptoms. Pycnogenol is an antioxidant pine-bark extract from France that is also known to counteract the effects of erectile dysfunction.
The potential of Pycnogenol for relieving allergic rhinitis (birch pollen) symptoms was explored in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. In 2008 19 subjects started treatment 3 weeks prior to the onset of birch pollen season in Ontario, Canada. While there was an improvementof eye and nasal symptoms with Pycnogenol, there was no significance versus placebo. It was postulated that Pycnogenol may require a lag-time between the start of therapy and the onset of action. Therefore 39 subjects were treated 5-8 weeks prior to the 2009 birch allergy season. The evaluation of subjects in 2009 showed much lower scores for eye (-35%) and nasal (-20.5%) symptoms with Pycnogenol compared with placebo. In succession of the allergy season birch specific IgE increased by 31.9% in the placebo group compared with only 19.4% in the Pycnogenol group. Detailed analysis suggested that symptom-relief was better the longer subjects were on Pycnogenol prior to the allergen exposure. The best results were found with subjects who took Pycnogenol 7-8 weeks ahead of the allergy season. With the limited number of 39 patients statistical predications were unattainable. In conclusion, Pycnogenol improved allergic rhinitis symptoms when supplementation was started at least 5 weeks before the onset of the allergy season.
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