Abstract Title:

Effect of low-dose French maritime pine bark extract on climacteric syndrome in 170 perimenopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Abstract Source:

J Reprod Med. 2013 Jan-Feb;58(1-2):39-46. PMID: 23447917

Abstract Author(s):

Takafumi Kohama, Masako Negami

Article Affiliation:

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Keiju Medical Center, Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. [email protected]


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of a relatively low daily dosage of Pycnogenol French maritime pine bark extract for improvement of climacteric symptoms.

STUDY DESIGN: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study 170 perimenopausal women were enrolled and treated with 30 mg Pycnogenol or placebo twice daily over a period of 3 months. Climacteric symptoms were evaluated by the Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ) and by the Kupperman index, accompanied by an investigation of sex hormones and routine blood chemistry.

RESULTS: Seven women dropped out of each group due to noncompliance or personal reasons, but not as a result of treatment. A significant placebo effect was apparent in this study, suggesting an improvement of a majority of the WHQ categories. Compared to baseline, Pycnogenol significantly (p<0.05) improved all symptoms with the exception of formication sensation and abnormal perceptions. Pycnogenol was found to be especially effective for improving vasomotor and insomnia/sleep problem symptoms, which were significantly better after 4 and 12 weeks than with placebo (p<0.05). Total Kupperman's index for perimenopausal symptom severity score decreased significantly by 56% as compared to placebo (-39%) after 12 weeks of treatment (p<0.05). Symptom score was also significantly better already after 4 weeks of treatment with Pycnogenol as compared to placebo.

CONCLUSION: This study, applying a relatively low daily dose, allows identification of those climacteric symptoms which respond particularly well to supplementation with Pycnogenol.

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