By Justin Wiggins
While there is no way to completely avoid certain things in life–like menopause–there is hope to ease their effects, in this case in the form of an ingredient derived from an unusual source, namely tree bark. Pycnogenol is a French maritime pine bark extract that may ease the symptoms of menopause.
According to Dr. Gianni Belcaro from Pescara University, Italy, “Menopausal women live at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and the improved endothelial function related to Pycnogenol may prove helpful women at this stage of life.” He goes on to say to that pycnogenol normalizes elevated platelet activity and has shown to help prevent thrombosis. Pycnogenol has already been shown in other human pharmacologic studies to possess anti-inflammatory activity and improve endothelial function.
A study conducted by Dr. Belcaro and colleagues in Pescara, Italy shows that a daily dose of pycnogenol for eight weeks can help ease the symptoms of menopause. They recruited 70 peri-menopausal women aged between 40 and 50 and randomly assigned them to receive either placebo or 100 mg of pycnogenol daily for eight weeks.
Their results reveal that the group who used pycnogenol had a reduction in many of the the symptoms associated with menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods and loss of libido. Results were based on an over 50 percent reduction in reported symptoms on a diagnostic questionnaire.
Pycnogenol has already been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. This new study gives more insight on the uses of pycnogenol. This ingredient can be extremely beneficial for women who are going through menopause by reducing the symptoms, allowing for a healthier and easier passage between two phases of life.