HOBOKEN, N.J., Aug. 28 A study to be published in anupcoming edition of the Scandinavian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecologyreveals that Pycnogenol(R) (pic-noj-en-all), pine bark extract from the Frenchmaritime pine tree, reduces "climacteric symptoms" such as hot flashes,depression, panic attacks, cholesterol and other common symptoms associatedwith women entering menopause transition. The results suggest Pycnogenol(R)may serve as an alternative treatment to estrogen replacement therapy, whichis the most common remedy of pre-menopause ("perimenopausal") symptoms.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,perimenopause is the natural part of aging that signals the ending of awoman's reproductive years. It marks the time when a woman's body begins itsmove into menopause and can last anywhere from two to eight years.
"Pycnogenol(R) was chosen for this study due to previous researchrevealing health benefits associated with cognitive function, skin elasticity,nitric oxide stimulation, free radical scavenging and the broadening ofantioxidant activity," said Dr. Peter Rohdewald, Institute of PharmaceuticalChemistry at Germany's University of Munster and a lead researcher of thisstudy. "Achieving these health benefits is key to treating perimenopausalsymptoms naturally."
The randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study was conducted atHam-Ming Hospital in Taiwan with 155 perimenopausal women. Each day, patientseither received 200 mg Pycnogenol(R) or placebo, and recorded their symptomsusing the Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ). The WHQ consisted of thefollowing: somatic symptoms, depressed mood, vasomotoric symptoms,memory/concentration, attractiveness, anxiety, sexual behavior, sleep problemsand menstrual symptoms.
Additionally, patients visited the clinic at one, three and six monthsfollowing start of treatment. At each visit, BMI, blood pressure, lipidprofile and total antioxidant status were recorded.
After six months, LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped by 10 percent withPycnogenol(R) treatment compared to placebo. Patients who supplemented withPycnogenol(R) also had increased antioxidant levels compared to the placebogroup. During treatment, rapid improvement of symptoms was reported from thePycnogenol(R) group after one month. All symptoms of the WHQ improvedsignificantly compared to the start of treatment, and patients did not reportunwanted side effects. In the placebo group, no significant changes ofsymptoms were recorded.
"There is a shift away from the use of hormone replacement therapy due toside effects and in its absence women are searching for safe and naturaloptions to help manage their symptoms. This study investigating Pycnogenol(R)as a potential natural alternative is very encouraging in view of the safetyof Pycnogenol(R) as it does not bear any hormone-like activities at all," saidDr. Rohdewald.
Numerous other published studies reveal Pycnogenol's(R) effectiveness forwomen's health, such as relieving menstrual pain and endometriosis, and it ispatent-protected for this application. Additional studies reveal Pycnogenol(R)is a natural anti-inflammatory, which provides the basis for the rationale touse Pycnogenol(R) to naturally moderate inflammatory pain sensation involvedin menstruation.
Pycnogenol(R) is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of themaritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found tocontain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids,which offer extensive natural health benefits. The extract has been widelystudied for the past 35 years and has more than 220 published studies andreview articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient. Today,Pycnogenol(R) is available in more than 600 dietary supplements,multi-vitamins and health products worldwide. For