Phycnogenol, ADHD and Your Health

I stumbled upon this while researching something else. The more I dug the more I found. Who knew Pine Bark Extract, also known as Phycnogenol had so many uses? Studies have shown Phycnogenol can reduce symptoms of ADHD, and enhance memory in the elderly. I’ll cover some of its reported benefits here. Let’s start with ADHD.

Phycnogenol and ADHD
In 2006 a study was published in the May 13th Online First issue of European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. It showed that pine bark extract is effective for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in boys.

The trial included 61 children with ADHD. For four weeks 41 of the children received Phycnogenol, the antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French Maritime Pine while the other 17 received a placebo.

It turns out that Phycnogenol significantly reduced the symptoms of ADHD of the boys in the double blind study. It also improved their attention, visual-motor coordination and concentration.

Another promising finding of the study is that no serious side effects or changes in biomedical measurements were reported. On the downside Phycnogenol did not seem to help the girls in the study; however, only 6 girls participated so a larger sample may provide a different result.

Another downside is that after the study was stopped and the children were no longer taking Phycnogenol their symptoms returned in one month. Since no long-term studies have been conducted we do not know if it ever hits a permanent effectiveness meaning we don’t know if there is a time when a child with ADHD could be removed from the supplement and not regress back into the symptoms of ADHD. We also do not know if it loses effectiveness after a period of time. It could cease to be effective after a period of time.

However the results are promising and provide yet another option for parents to investigate before medicating their children.

What Pine Bark Extract May Do For You

The more I read about Phycnogenol the more it sounds like a wonder-supplement. It has something to help the whole family.

It is one of the most powerful antioxidants we know of and it is said to be more potent than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Antioxidants are important because they fight free radicals. Free radicals contribute to aging, cell damage, strokes, heart attacks and even Alzheimer’s.

Phycnogenol is also considered to be a powerful immunostimulant. So aside from protecting your body against free radicals it also helps to stimulate your immune system.

Phycnogenol is supposed to help lower cholesterol, reduce menstrual pains, decrease high blood pressure, improve circulation, reduce varicose veins and protect the youthfulness of your skin by improving its elasticity. You can see why I said it sounds like a wonder-supplement. It seems like it helps everything that ails us.

According to information at the Sloan Kettering Institute, one study even showed that it “enhances memory in the elderly”.

Actually Sloan Kettering lists several studies to back up many of the claims being made by those promoting Pine Back Extract. And I was able to find many more on line. However it is far too cumbersome to list them all here.

That said, it should go without saying that I’m not telling you to run out and put your whole family on Pine Bark Extract. However, this supplement looks very promising and does look like something you should put effort into researching and discussing with a knowledgeable healthcare provider.

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Jason Marrs

Jason Marrs is the Director of Research and Awareness for the Where I Can Be Me® social skills program. Read More