Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionMenopausePine Bark Extract

Peri-menopausal symptoms treated with pycnogenol

This is apparently the first study of pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) to treat peri-menopausal symptoms.

First, the details.

  • 200 women were randomly assigned to take 200 mg of pycnogenol or a placebo daily.
  • They reported their symptoms using the Women’s Health Questionnaire, which covers somatic (physical) symptoms, depressed mood, vasomotor (constriction/dilation of blood vessels) symptoms, memory and concentration, attractiveness, anxiety, sexual behavior, sleep problems and menstrual symptoms.
  • Women visited the clinic at 1, 3, and 6 months.

And, the results.

  • Only 155 women completed the study.
  • The pycnogenol group reported improvement of symptoms compared to the start of the treatment.
  • Improvement was reported after one-month.
  • There were no changes in placebo group.
  • In addition, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were reduced 10% with pycnogenol vs placebo at 6 months.
  • No side effects were reported.

The bottom line?
The researchers at the Ham-Ming Hospital in Taiwan concluded, pycnogenol “may offer an alternative method to reducing climacteric symptoms,”

It’s not clear why so many women dropped out of the study.

8/30/07 17:34 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.