photo of pine needles
Pycnogenol, the extract from French maritime pine bark, can help improve memory and mood

Daily pycnogenol improves memory, focus and mood

2 March, 2015

Natural Health News — New research shows that a natural plant extract from French maritime pine tree delivers could help boost memory and mental performance.

The study published in the Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences shows daily use of pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all), is a safe and effective natural option to improve day-to-day cognitive function, essentially serving as ‘brain food’ for executives, entrepreneurs, and those who want help sharpening their decision-making.

Beyond this however, the new study found that pycnogenol can positively impact mood, as participants reported feeling less anxiety and a stronger sense of content.

The peer-reviewed study conducted at Chieti-Pescara University in Italy included 59 participants between ages 35 and 55, all of whom were generally fit and followed a healthy lifestyle. While there is no single solution to improved cognitive function, lifestyle patterns and daily exercise routines have shown to increase attention span and improve mood.

Thus in the study, which involved 60 people, half of the participants supplemented pycnogenol 50mg/three times daily in combination with a controlled health plan; and half served as a control group following the controlled health plan alone. The health plan involved regular sleep, balanced meals, and daily exercise.

After 12 weeks of daily supplementation with pycnogenol, results were also shown to:

  • Significantly improve mood (16% increase pycnogenol  compared to a drop, -2.1%, in the controls)
  • Measurably boost mental performance (8.9 % versus 3.1 %)
  • Advance sustained attention (13.4% increase) and memory (3.6% increase)
  • Dramatically reduce oxidative stress (30% decrease pycnogenol)

“This study completes a number of research observations indicating that pycnogenol can naturally help improve some aspects of cognitive functions throughout life. Multiple studies have been conducted using pycnogenol and showing its positive effects in managing and improving some attention parameters in children with ADHD, in improving results of specific cognitive test in students, and in improving several aspects of cognitive functions in adults over 60,” said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, lead researcher of the study.

“These latest findings are supported by decades of research on pycnogenol’s ability to naturally regulate oxidative stress levels (that may significantly affect some cognitive functions) and confirm the positive impact on overall cognitive function.”