Pine bark extract cuts common cold duration and severity

New clinical research shows that the pine bark extract Pycnogenol significantly shortens the duration of the common cold and reduces the severity of sore throat, congestion, headache, coughing and sneezing.

The peer-reviewed study, conducted at Chieti-Pescara University in Italy and published in the December 2014 edition of Panminerva Medica, included 146 participants between ages 25 – 65, all of whom were generally fit and in good health, and none of whom suffered from prior respiratory illnesses or had received a flu vaccination within three months prior to study inclusion.

At the first symptom, 70 participants took Pycnogenol 50mg twice daily in addition to their preferred ‘best management’; 76 participants in the control group relied on best management alone.

In the study, within four days of the first symptom, supplementation with Pycnogenol was shown to reduce the number of affected days (3.1 days Pycnogenol/4.2 days control), reduce number of lost work days (0.55 days Pycnogenol/ 0.67days control), reduce demand for additional treatments including nasal drops and aspirin, and significantly prevent complications and extensions.

“This study finds Pycnogenol to be a safe and effective natural remedy to treat symptoms of the common cold, reduce the number of affected days and decrease complications from the cold without side effects,” said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, lead researcher of the study. “The significant effect of Pycnogenol to treat nasal congestion and runny nose can be attributed to the extract’s natural anti-inflammatory, anti-edema and antioxidant qualities and for its ability to improve blood circulation. These findings are supported by decades of research on Pycnogenol’s ability to naturally boost the immune system.”