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French Maritime Bark May Reduce Duration of Common Cold

Americans suffer 1 billion colds annually, which results in lost work hours every year. A recent study suggests that taking a daily supplement of French maritime pine bark (Pycnogenol®) may shorten the duration of the common cold as well as reduce the severity of sore throat, congestion, headache, coughing and sneezing.

Participants in the study included 146 people between the ages of 25 and 65, none of whom had taken a flu vaccination within three months of the beginning of the study. As soon as they started to show cold symptoms, 70 of the participants decided to take 100 mg of Pycnogenol® in addition to their usual cold treatments while the other 76 just followed their usual cold treatments.

Within four days of showing the first symptom, the Pycnogenol® group had an average 1.1 fewer days affected by cold and an average reduction of 0.12 days in the number of lost work days.

The researchers also noted that the Pycnogenol® group was less likely to ask for additional treatments such as nasal drops, aspirin plus vitamin C, antihistamines, and aerosols when compared with the control.

Researchers from Cheiti-Pescara University in Italy conducted the study. It was published in the December 2014 issue of Panminerva.

Pycnogenol® has been shown to help with high blood pressure, muscle soreness, osteoarthritis, diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, ringing in the ears, erectile dysfunction and retinopathy.

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