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Pycnogenol® May Reduce Leg Swelling, Jet Lag that Result from Air Travel

Blood clots, known as deep vein thrombosis, can sometimes form in your legs during air travel because you are immobile for long periods of time. Leg swelling is a warning sign of a blood clot. Pycnogenol®, a branded form of French maritime pine bark extract, may ease lower leg swelling resulting from air travel.


Participants in the study included 295 people at different risk levels for thrombosis who flew in economy class twice a week for more than eight hours. The participants were divided into three groups — low, moderate, or high — based on their risk level. They were then sub-divided into three more groups according to patient management: a Pycnogenol® group, a SM group (control), and a stockings group. The Pycnogenol® group took a 150 mg supplement delivered via three capsules per day, starting three days before flights and stopping three days after the second flight. A standard management of in-flight exercises and hydration was followed by all groups. The high-risk group also received aspirin.


The researchers used thermography for both limbs and ultrasound scanning for the venous system to evaluate all of the participants within 24 hours before and 30 hours after the flights. They also measured jet lag, via self-reporting.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted significant reduction of swelling in the lower legs and ankle circumference in the Pycnogenol® group, when compared with the other groups. They also noted a decrease in leg pain, as well as milder jet lag symptoms.


Researchers from D'Annunzio University in Italy led the study. It was published in the April 2018 issue of Minerva Cardioangiologica.


Previous studies have found that Pycnogenol® may help improve 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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