New Research: Could a Simple Antioxidant Help Prevent Memory Loss?

By Roy Krebs

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Have you ever experienced signs of memory loss?

Perhaps you've struggled to count change, or have felt unusually slow to learn new technology. 

Maybe you're misplacing things more often, or aren't as good as remembering names and faces as you used to be. 

If so, and you're over the age of 55, these could be signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). 

A bit of memory loss is normal as we age. However, it's also important to look out for signs of more severe cognitive decline which could signal the onset of dementia. 

Here's some good news for those who are worried they may be facing mild or even moderate memory loss.   

An new study shows that pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) could vastly improve our memory and cognition, and even prevent age-related memory loss.

Study & Results    

A study reported in Minerva Medica evaluated the effect of Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) on 87 men aged 55 to 70 who displayed MCI symptoms.

Their cognitive function was assessed using a 30-point questionnaire called the Mini-Mental State Exam.

Participants were either administered 150mg Pycnogenol (3 x 50mg capsules) or a placebo daily. This was given as part of a program which included healthy sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

MMSE scores were re-evaluated after 8 weeks, and test results for the group taking Pycnogenol supplements improved by 18%!

Other positive improvements in the Pycnogenol-taking group included: 

  • A 31.3% improvement improvement in their ability to recognize people 
  • A 16 % reduction in oxidative stress (cell damage) 
  • A 39.4% improvement in the ability to relocate lost items 
  • A 24.1% improvement in learning new technologies
  • A 39.4% improvement in their ability to manage money 
  • A 19.4% improvement in interpersonal communication 

The control group also improved somewhat (3-7%) in a few of the above categories, but in all cases the difference in improvement was significant.

My Thoughts

In some ways, this is no surprise: there's already a strong body of research that points to the incredible health benefits of Pycnogenol

We already knew that Pycnogenol is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, helps promote circulation, assists with signalling in the brain, and helps regulate important neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Memory loss is a serious issue for the aging population, and causes a significant reduction in their ability to remain independent and have a good quality of life.

Though the behaviours associated with initial MCI symptoms are mild and somewhat normal, they can be frustrating.  

But when these types of problems progress into dementia and related illnesses, it can be terrifying for the person experiencing it, and devastating for their loved ones.

This study suggests that it's possible to use an all-natural substance to reduce or even prevent memory loss, thus lessening the need for harmful medications. 

For optimal cognitive and overall well-being at any age, you'll want to add a supplement containing Pycnogenol to your regime, as well as eating a diet rich in brain foods.

And don't forget to get adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise! After all, it’s truly a combination of lifestyle factors that work together to help us live our best lives. 

Have you experienced the health benefits of Pycnogenol? Share your comments below!

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