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Study shows pine bark reduces jetlag
A new study published in the journal of Minerva Cardioangiologica reveals
Pycnogenol, pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduces jetlag
in passengers by nearly 50 percent. The two-part study, consisting of a brain CT
scan and a scoring system, showed Pycnogenol lowered symptoms of jetlag such as
fatigue, headaches, insomnia and brain edema (swelling) in both healthy
individuals and hypertensive patients. Passengers also experienced minimal lower
leg edema, a common condition associated with long flights.
Jetlag, also called desynchronosis, is a temporary disorder that causes a
variety of temporary mental and physical impairments as a result of air travel
across time zones – common in flights to Asia and Europe, but also observed in
travelers between West and East coast. It is caused due to the body's inability
to immediately adjust to the time in a different zone while traveling. As the
body struggles to cope with the new schedule, temporary conditions such as
insomnia, fatigue, irritability and an impaired ability to concentrate may set
"This study could not have come at a better time for the upcoming holiday travel
season," said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher of the study. Belcaro
attributes Pycnogenol's combined activities for better circulation and
antioxidant potency to such remarkable results. "Previous Pycnogenol flight
studies have shown a reduction in jetlag; however this was the first study to
solely focus on the condition."
The study, conducted at the G. D'Annunzio University in Pescara, Italy,
consisted of 133 passengers who took flights that were seven to nine hours in
length. Fifty mg of oral Pycnogenol was administered three times daily, for
seven days, starting two days prior to the flight.
Patients in the first part of the study were evaluated with a rating scale
consisting of a scoring system. Thirty-eight Pycnogenol-treated and 30 control
patients were rated on the most common complaints of jetlag: dehydration and
loss of appetite; headaches and/or sinus irritation; fatigue; disorientation
and/or grogginess; nausea and/or upset stomach; insomnia and/or highly irregular
sleep patterns; irritability; irrational behavior; alternation in mental
performance (easy crossword); alternations in general wellbeing; hours of
duration of any signs/symptoms; and nights of altered/disturbed sleep.
Observations were measured and taken within 48 hours after the end of the
flights. Results showed a significantly lower score (56 percent) in the
Pycnogenol group for all items rated, amounting in a significant reduction of
all jetlag signs and symptoms. Moreover, symptoms lasted only for an average of
18.2 hours in the Pycnogenol group as compared to 39.3 hours in the control
In a second group of flight passengers, a brain CT scan was performed after the
flight in order to assess brain alterations after flights. The study consisted
of 34 Pycnogenol-treated patients and 31 controlled patients. Jetlag symptoms
were evaluated using a rating scale providing scores according to the severity.
The first observation was performed within 28 hours from the end of the flight.
Sleep alterations, short-term memory alterations, disorientation, neurological
signs/symptoms of instability, anxiety, minor cardiac alterations (heart rate,
blood pressure), lower limb swelling, fatigue and other, a-specific
signs/symptoms (cramps, joints/muscular pain, blurred vision, vertigo, mild
sickness, increase in body temperature, appetite loss, headache, mild tongue
swelling) were all significantly lower by in average 61.5% in the Pycnogenol
group compared to the untreated control group.
"This is the first study describing diffuse subliminal swellings of the brain
after long haul flights, which we found to be reduced to less than half in the
Pycnogenol group," said Dr. Belcaro
"I'm encouraged by the results of the study as Pycnogenol was effective in
preventing jetlag related effects without any side-effects," said Dr. Belcaro.
While more research needs to be conducted on this topic, Pycnogenol is emerging
as natural, yet safe option for long distance travelers.
Pycnogenol has been shown to be beneficial for flight travel in previous studies
pertaining to edema, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood circulation
improvement. A study published in Clinical Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis
Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis showed Pycnogenol to be effective in
reducing leg and ankle swelling (edema) during long airplane flights lasting
seven to 12 hours. recorded passengers supplementing with Pycnogenol on long
distance flights lasting 7-12 hours were significantly protected from thrombotic
events, complications resulting from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and superficial
vein thrombosis (SVT). In 2005, a study published in
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.
Pycnogenol is a patented item (Natural
Health Science Inc.) so no mater what brand you buy it from
it is the exact same thing. However companies can add all sorts of fillers and
binders so read labels.
Needle Essential oil actually contains quite a bit of it. Pycnogenol is also
a procyanidin or an OPC-3 which we carry a wonderful supplement
Enhanced Life Preserver™.