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French Maritime Pine Bark Linked to Improved Cognitive Function in Mature Adults

A recent study suggests that taking a daily supplement of French Maritime Pine bark, which is also known as Pycnogenol®, may improve decision making and attention span in people over the age of 55.


Participants in the study included 77 people between the ages of 55 and 70 who were generally fit and followed a healthy lifestyle but had high levels of oxidative stress. The researchers assigned all of them to a health plan that included at least eight hours of sleep per night, balanced meals, reduced caffeine, reduced salt and sugar intake, and regular exercise. Half of the participants also took 100 mg of Pycnogenol® daily for 12 months.


At the conclusion of the study, the Pycnogenol® group had a 41% improvement in attention span, a 72% improvement in decision making, and a 37% improvement in memory. In comparison, the control group had a 2% increase, 5% decline, and a 10% decrease, respectively.


Finally, the researchers noted a 28% reduction in oxidative stress in the Pycnogenol® group. No signficant change was noted in the control group.


Researchers from Chieti-Pescara University in Italy conducted the study. It was published in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences.


Pycnogenol® contains antioxidants such as catechins, which previous studies have found to have anti-inflammatory, immune building and heart health benefits.  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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