Menopause symptoms difficult to treat
Perimenopause is the name given to the transition that women go through leading into menopause, it lasts and average or four years and characterised by unpleasant symptoms including:
- hot flushes
- night-time sweating
- memory problems
These symptoms can vary from woman to woman and is often very difficult to treat effectively. However it has been found that Pycnogenol® can help to alleviate a number of symptoms thus improving quality of life for the sufferer during the transitional period.
Pycnogenol® supplementation effective at reducing hot flushes and night time sweating
The clinical trial, published in the The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, examined 170 perimenopausal women who were given either a placebo or 30 mg of Pycnogenol® twice per day. The trial was randomised, placebo- controlled and double blind, and was conducted over a period of 12 weeks.
The idea was to find those menopausal symptoms which responded particularly well with supplementation of a low dose of Pycnogenol®. The findings showed that Pycnogenol® was most effective at reducing hot flushes and night time sweating. The lead researcher puts this finding down to the fact that menopausal women find it difficult to radiate off excess heat due insufficient expansion of peripheral blood vessels. Pycnogenol® supports vascular relaxation which in turn helps the body to get rid of the excess heat. This would explain the reduction in hot flushes and night time sweating in participants who were supplemented with Pycnogenol®.
Pycnogenol® improves vascular function
Lead researcher of the trail, Dr Kohama, emphasized to the benefits of improved vascular function with Pycnogenol® in light of the fact menopausal women live with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The lowered heart palpitations found in women taking Pycnogenol® further supported the theory.
No significant hormonal changes with Pycnogenol®
The study also investigated the hormonal changes of women taking Pycnogenol® or a placebo. There were no significant changes between the groups - a finding which may be welcomed by women who would like to treat their menopausal symptoms which using supplements containing soy, red clover or other herbals to exert hormonal activity.
An additional questionnaire, evaluating the level of discomfort related to menopausal symptoms was given to participants. Differences in baseline performance between the placebo group and Pycnogenol® group were tested and found to be statistically significant versus the placebo group.
Pycnogenol® - a more natural approach to controlling climacteric symptoms
“These findings leave little doubt about the benefit of Pycnogenol® for women interested in controlling climacteric symptoms with a more natural approach. Our study is the first to provide evidence for the safety and efficacy of Pycnogenol® in perimenopausal women,” said Kohama.
The results of this trial support findings from previous studies, one of which investigated 200 menopausal women for six months, it too found that Pycnogenol® effectively improved menopausal signs and symptoms.