A new peer-reviewed study shows that daily supplementation with the natural super-antioxidant Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all) can be instrumental in improving the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – a potential risk factor for early onset dementia and other degenerative cognitive conditions.
“This is potentially breakthrough research for millions. Mild cognitive impairment hits general memory and reasoning. Those suffering from MCI may have more difficulty remembering where they put their car keys, recalling names or learning new skills. In many cases, it’s a precursor for dementia,” said Medical Director of NYU Langone Center for Men’s Health, Dr. Steven Lamm.
“Daily supplementation with Pycnogenol made a difference for those struggling with this frustrating and frightening condition,” said Dr. Lamm.
The study, published in Minerva Medica, tested 87 men between the ages of 55 and 70 who showed signs of MCI. Researchers administered a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) 30-point questionnaire to determine the level of cognitive impairment for each individual. Participants supplemented with 150mg (three 50mg capsules) of Pycnogenol daily for eight weeks and their MMSE scores were re-evaluated at the end of the study.
All study participants followed a standard management routine including healthy sleep habits, regular exercise, and low sodium and low sugar meals. Results show that along with these standard management practices, study participants who supplemented with Pycnogenol had an 18% improvement of their MMSE scores, including improvements in the following areas:
Significant enhancement of ability to remember friends and family (31.3% improvement with Pycnogenol vs. 0% improvement control)
Improvement of remembering where things are (39.4% improvement with Pycnogenol vs. 6.5% improvement control group)
Increase of ability to learn new gadgets and technology (24.1% improvement with Pycnogenol® vs. 3.3% improvement control)
Greater ability to manage money and finances (39.4% improvement with Pycnogenol vs. 12.5% improvement control)
Significant improvement of ability to deal with people (19.4% improvement with Pycnogenol vs. 7.6% control)
In addition, researchers found that the participants who supplemented with Pycnogenol also experienced a 16% reduction in oxidative stress.
“Decline in memory and cognition seems to be accepted as a natural part of aging, but most people don’t realize that cognitive decline can start as early as your mid-forties. This study shows promising results for Pycnogenol to support healthy brain function and overall cognitive health,” said Dr. Lamm.
This new study builds upon previous research supporting the benefits of Pycnogenol for cognitive health improvement. A study conducted in 2015 and published in the Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences showed that Baby Boomers (ages 55+) experienced increased overall cognitive performance, including for memory, attention and daily decision-making. In addition, a 2008 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that Pycnogenol helps improve numerical working memory as well as spatial memory in seniors.
“This continued research shows compelling evidence that Pycnogenol’s antioxidant benefits boost cognitive function. Study participants show measurable improvements for oxidative stress, and the research explains the correlation between high levels of oxidative stress and cognitive decline. Additional research will be needed to further validate this important study,” said Dr. Lamm.
Pycnogenol is a powerful super-antioxidant shown in decades of research to boost blood circulation and act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Pycnogenol helps endothelial cells produce more nitric oxide (NO) which has multiple effects on brain function. Initially, NO increases blood flow, which improved oxygenation and the transport of nutrients to brain cells. NO regulates neuronal functions and thus contributes to processing signals inside the brain. In addition, NO helps modulate key neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. This new study supports previous research examining Pycnogenol’s benefits for reducing venous conditions and managing jet lag symptoms.
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 phenolic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits. The extract has been widely studied for the past 40 years and has more than 420 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient. Today, Pycnogenol is available in more than 1,000 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins and health products worldwide