New research accepted for publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, demonstrates Pycnogenol, (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, improves the memory of senior citizens.
The study results revealed Pycnogenol improved both numerical working memory as well as spatial working memory using a computerized testing system. The research was presented last week at the Oxygen Club of California 2008 World Congress on Oxidants and Antioxidants in Biology in Santa Barbara, CA.
“These results support research from a range of disciplines that suggest that antioxidants may have an effect in preserving or enhancing specific mental functions,” said Dr. Con Stough, lead researcher of the study. “Cognitive research in this area specifically indicates that the putative benefits associated with antioxidant supplementation are associated with memory.”
The double-blind, placebo controlled, matched pairs study, which was held at the Centre for Neuropsychology at Swinburne University, Melbourne Australia, examined the effects of Pycnogenol on a range of cognitive and biochemical measures in 101 senior individuals aged 60-85 years old. The study also examined the ‘oxidative stress’ hypothesis of ageing and neurological degeneration as it relates to normal changes in cognition in elderly individuals. Participant screening for the study included medical history and cognitive assessment. Participants consumed a daily dose of 150mg of Pycnogenol for a three-month treatment period and were assessed at baseline then at one, two and three months of the treatment. The control and Pycnogenol groups were matched by age, sex, BMI, micronutrient intake and intelligence. The cognitive tasks comprised measures of attention, working memory, episodic memory and psycho-motor performance.
Blood samples were taken from subjects and after 3 months treatment a marker known as F2-isoprostanes significantly decreased with Pycnogenol, but not in the placebo group. F2-isoprostanes develop by oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, which are present in particularly high quantities in nerve cell membranes. The coincidence of Pycnogenol significantly improving memory after three months and the oxidation of nerve membranes being significantly inhibited suggests that the antioxidant activity of Pycnogenol plays a major role for the clinical effects.
According to Dr. Stough, “The antioxidant Pycnogenol had beneficial cognitive and biochemical effects for elderly individuals. Participants in the Pycnogenol groups showed improvement relative to the controls with the effects becoming evident from the second to third months of the Pycnogenol treatment.”
Research on Pycnogenol’s cognitive function benefits are currently being investigated further. Several recent research studies on Pycnogenol studied the extract’s effects on Attention Deficit Disorders including ADD and ADHD. Findings published in the Journal of European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry showed Pycnogenol reduced ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity and improved attention, concentration and motor-visual coordination in children with ADHD.
Dr. Con Stough discussed key points of the study in a presentation March 13-14 at the Oxygen Club of California 2008 World Congress. For more information please visit, www.pycnogenol.com.
Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits. The extract has been widely studied for the past 35 years and has more than 220 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient. Today, Pycnogenol is available in more than 600 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health products worldwide. For more information, visit www.pycnogenol.com.
Natural Health Science Inc. (NHS), based in Hoboken, New Jersey, is the North American distributor for Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all) brand French maritime pine bark extract on behalf of Horphag Research. Pycnogenol is a registered trademark of Horphag Research Ltd., Guernsey, and its applications are protected by U.S. patents #5,720,956 / #6,372,266 and other international patents. NHS has the exclusive rights to market and sell Pycnogenol in North America and benefits from more than 35 years of scientific research assuring the safety and efficacy of Pycnogenol as a dietary supplement. For more information about Pycnogenol visit our Web site at www.pycnogenol.com.
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