Posted on Sep 13, 2018, 6 p.m.
Pine bark extract benefits continue to grow with emerging science, recent studies suggest supplementation in healthy individuals with minimal cognitive impairment had improvements, as published in the Journal of Neurological Sciences.
Cognitive function and impairments are difficult to measure and evaluate, many subjects do not perceive any alterations in their own status, particularly in cases with mild cognitive impairment. Temporary and/or functional alterations in cerebral microcirculation may be involved in cognitive impairment, and some aspects of mild cognitive impairment may be theoretically caused by perfusional problems, in addition metabolic problems and sleep disturbances may also be associated.
This study examined the benefits of Pycnogenol supplementation over 2 months involving 87 otherwise healthy male participants between the ages of 55-75 with minimal cognitive impairment and initial cognitive dysfunction who were selected on basis of MMSE scores. Subjects were supplemented with 150mg of Pycnogenol daily for 8 weeks, with MMSE scores being re-evaluated at the end of the study.
All subjects followed standard management routines which included healthy sleep habits, regular exercise, and low sodium and low sugar diets. Results showed subjects supplementing had 18% improvement of MMSE scores including, as compared to controls, in the areas of: 31% improvement of ability to remember friends and family; 39.4% improvement of remembering where things are; 24.1% increase in ability to learn new technology and gadgets; 39.4% greater ability to manage money and finances; and 19.4% improvement of ability to deal and interact with people. Supplement group subjects also experienced 16% reduction in oxidative stress.
Pycnogenol is suggested to help boost blood circulation; act as a natural anti-inflammatory; and help endothelial cells produce more nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has several effects on the brain: increasing blood flow; regulated neuronal functions; and helping to modulate key neurotransmitter. This study is supportive of previous research investigating the benefits of Pycnogenol for decreasing venous condition and managing symptoms of jet lag.
Researchers concluded that Pycnogenol has positive effects in subjects with initial cognitive impairment which may be due to its effects on oxidative stress levels; safety and tolerability appear to be good; and the supplementation regimen used should be tested in larger studies having longer follow up periods.
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