A new study published in the journal of Minerva Cardioangiologica suggests that Pycnogenol pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree may reduce jetlag by nearly 50%. 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.
The study, conducted at the G. D’Annunzio University in Pescara, Italy, included 133 passengers who took flights that were seven to nine hours in length. Participants took 50 mg of Pycnogenol orally, 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, including dehydration, headaches, fatigue, disorientation, nausea and highly irregular sleep patterns. Observations were measured and taken within 48 hours after the end of the flights. Results showed a significantly lower score (56%) in the Pycnogenol group for all items rated, amounting to a significant reduction of all jetlag signs and symptoms. Moreover, symptoms lasted for an average of 18 hours in the Pycnogenol group, compared to 39 hours in the control group.
In the second group of flight passengers, a brain CT scan was performed after the flight in order to assess brain alterations. 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 symptoms were all significantly lower by an average of 62% in the Pycnogenol group compared to the untreated control group.
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