Menopause is the time during which a woman gradually stops menstruating. Usually, it happens when a woman is about 50 years old, which means that women spend 1/3 of their life experiencing menopause. A study published in the journal Panminerva Medica has shown that to relive the signs and symptoms of menopause, French maritime pine tree bark extract (also known as Pycnogenol) is helpful.
The researchers of Pescara University conducted this study and examined 70 women, who were between 40-50 years and were experiencing peri-menopausal period (the years before and after the final menstrual period). These women were grouped into two categories; one was given 100 milligrams of Pycnogenol a day and the other group was given a placebo. The menopause symptoms were detected in all participants by using a scoring system. 33 common menopause signs made the scoring system. Women with no signs scored zero and women with maximum of four signs were considered very serious. Women's oxidative stress was also measured.
The study continued for eight weeks and researchers analysed that the group which was given Pycnogenol substantially had improved menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, reduced libido, night sweats and vaginal dryness. After the treatment, the average score of the participants’ decreased from 2.67/4 to 1.45/4. Participants also had improved digestion, decreased bloating and improved heart beating. Consumption of Pycnogenol also resulted in decreased Oxidative stress levels, which means a better quality of life and less menopause signs and symptoms.
Pycnogenol has the ability of improving heart health as menopausal women have an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
Main researcher of this study, Dr. Gianni Belcaro, said that this study has successfully proved that Pycnogenol may become a very effective basic and daily dietary supplement for menopausal women as it has extended range of health benefits including cardiovascular benefits and the ability to lower blood pressure.