Abstract Title:

Jet-lag: prevention with Pycnogenol. Preliminary report: evaluation in healthy individuals and in hypertensive patients.

Abstract Source:

Minerva Cardioangiol. 2008 Oct;56(5 Suppl):3-9. PMID: 19597404

Abstract Author(s):

G Belcaro, M R Cesarone, R J Steigerwalt, A Di Renzo, M G Grossi, A Ricci, S Stuard, A Ledda, M Dugall, U Cornelli, M Cacchio

Article Affiliation:

Irvine2 Vascular Labs&Microcirculation Physiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences G. D'Annunzio University, Pescara&San Valentino Vascular Screening Project, Italy.


This study was conducted with the aim of showing the effects of Pycnogenol on controlling jet-lag symptoms. Oral Pycnogenol, 50 mg tablets 3 times/die, for 7 days starting 2 days prior to the flight was used. The study was divided into two separate parts. In study 1 the most common complaints of patients with jet-lag were evaluated with a rating scale consisting in of a scoring system. In study 2 a brain CT scan was performed after the flight in order to assess minimal brain edema (MBE) in association with typical signs and symptoms, observed in previous published flight studies. Study one included 38 subjects treated with Pycnogenol and 30 controls. The symptomatic jet-lag related total score was significantly lower (indicating a lower level of jet-lag) in the Pycnogenol group. The average duration of any jet lag symptom following the flight was significantly reduced from 39.3 (SD=0.8) hours in controls to an average of 18.2 (SD=3.3) hours in the Pycnogenol group (P<0.05). Study 2 included 34 subjects treated with Pycnogenol and 31 controls. The main observation was the brain CT scan performed within 28 hours after the end of the flight. The difference between the Pycnogenol and the control groups was statistically significant (P<0.05) for all items assessed including the cerebral edema score obtained by CT scan. The short-term memory was significantly altered in the control group and associated to edema and swelling of the lower limbs. The score (and the level of edema) was comparatively higher in a subgroup of hypertensive subjects in the control group. Minor alterations of cardiac function were observed in association with de-stabilisation of blood pressure. Fatigue was also significantly higher in the control group in comparison with the Pycnogenol group. A number of spontaneously reported symptoms was also scored and there was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05) between the Pycnogenol and control groups. In conlusion, Pycnogenol was useful to control jet-lag and minimal brain edema.

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