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Pycnogenol® Found to Improve Memory and Test Scores in College Students

2 min read

Pycnogenol® found to offer extensive natural health benefits

Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) is an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree that grows along the coast of southwest France. It is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids - all of which have been found to offer extensive natural health benefits. Maritime pine extract has been widely studied for the past 40 years and has more than 280 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient.

Pycnogenol® was shown to significantly enhance mental performance

In a recent clinical trial published in Panminerva Medica Pycnogenol® was shown to significantly enhance mental performance in healthy college students. The study examined 53 Italian university students, aged 18-27. Students were assigned to a control or test group. The test group was given 100 mg of Pycnogenol® per day, over a period of eight weeks. Students’ mental performance was evaluated using cognitive function tests that were carried out by computer-assisted methods. Students’ final exam scores were also evaluated. Verbal IQ tests ensured that students recruited for the study demonstrated highly comparable intelligence.

Pycnogenol® improved sustained attention, memory and mood

The study found that:

  • Pycnogenol® effectively enhanced mental performance, including improved sustained attention, memory and mood in students within an eight week period
  • Students taking Pycnogenol® had higher test scores on university exams than the control group
  • Alertness and contentedness improved significantly within the Pycnogenol® group and levels of anxiety decreased by 17 percent

In summary the results showed that not only did Pycnogenol® decrease test anxiety, but it also identified Pycnogenol®’s ability to improve mental performance.  

Improvement of vascular function responsible for beneficial effects

Dr. Gianni Belcaro, the lead researcher said "Oxygen-rich blood supply to the brain plays an important role for cognitive function and the improvement of vascular function with Pycnogenol® may be responsible for the beneficial effects found in this study."

While the results are promising they need to be further investigated in a larger population group. This study confirms previous findings that Pycnogenol® effectively improves cognitive function. Research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology demonstrated that Pycnogenol® supplementation improved both numerical working memory as well as spatial working memory in Australian senior citizens. 

A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.