French Pine Bark May Slow Muscle Loss in Mature Adults
After the age of 50 we lose approximately 1-2% of our muscle mass each year. After the age of 60, we experience declines in strength of up to 3% per year. A recent study suggests that French maritime bark extract (also known as Pycnogenol®) may help slow muscle loss, improve muscular function, and boost muscle endurance in mature adults.
Participants in the study included 64 healthy people between the ages of 70 and 78 with symptoms of fatigue. They were given either 150 mg of Pycnogenol® or a placebo daily for eight weeks. All of the participants took part in an exercise plan and underwent lifestyle changes during the study period.
At the conclusion of the study, the Pycnogenol® group had a 71% improvement in carrying four to five pound items, compared to a 23% improvement in the placebo group. They also had a 52% improvement in climbing stairs and a 38% improvement in distance walked, compared to 20% and 17% in the control group.
The researchers also noted that levels of proteinuria (which is an indicator of waste from muscle erosion) were reduced by 40% in the supplement group. The supplement group also had 46% improved general fitness scores when compared with the control group. Additionally, the supplement group had a 14% reduction in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can prevent the body from repairing muscle.
Researchers from D’Annunzio University in Italy conducted the study. It was published in the September 2016 issue of Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica
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.