Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pine Bark Extract May Effectively Treat ADHD

June 23, 2006 — Pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) is effective for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), at least in boys, according to the results of a randomized trial reported in the May 13 Online First issue of European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

"These findings are especially notable for parents who are concerned about overmedicating children diagnosed with ADHD," coauthor Peter Rohdewald, MD, from the University of Munster in Germany, said in a news release. "Many families are seeking natural options to avoid the potentially dangerous side effects of prescription drugs."

Pycnogenol, an extract from the bark of the French maritime pine, consisting of phenolic acids, catechin, taxifolin and procyanidins, was associated with improvement of ADHD in case reports and in an open-label study.

In this double-blind trial, 61 children with ADHD were randomized 2:1 to receive 1 mg/kg/day pine bark extract or placebo for 4 weeks. Average age was 9.5 years. Standard questionnaires including Child Attention Problems (CAP) teacher rating scale, Conner's Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS), Conner's Parent Rating Scale (CPRS), and the modified Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children were administered at the start of the trial, 1 month after starting treatment, and 1 month after completing treatment.

The pine bark extract group had a significant reduction in hyperactivity and improved attention, visual-motor coordination, and concentration, whereas there were no positive effects noted in the placebo group. One month after pine bark extract treatment ceased, patients had recurrence of symptoms. Treatment was not significantly effective for girls in contrast to boys, but there were only 6 girls in the pine bark extract group.

"The results of this study show Pycnogenol may serve as a safe, effective treatment for children diagnosed with ADHD," Dr. Rohdewald says. "French maritime pine bark extract reduced hyperactivity among study participants, while improving attention and visual-motor coordination and concentration of these children."

However, the authors note that their findings should be further confirmed by studies involving a greater number of patients, especially girls, and for a longer duration of treatment. Although the underlying mechanism is still unknown, urinalysis revealed a lower excretion of catecholamines in the pine bark extract group than in the placebo group, suggesting an influence of pine bark extract on catecholamine formation or metabolism.

"ADHD is affecting the quality of life for so many children and their families," Dr. Rohdewald concludes. "It is imperative that science explores natural means to provide expanded treatment options. We look forward to advancing this promising research."

2 comments:

Anonymous,  01:12  

Warning, the following is my opinion after searching for information - this stuff is provided so that you can verify what's been said, and then act upon it, and not the other way around. At any rate, there's a company behind Pycnogenal that's actually trademarked the name! While that bark extract is the key ingredient, it ain't the only one, and many studies weren't done on Pycnogenal at all but on a type of antioxidant found in cocoa and Green/White/black teas - worse yet, it seems that depending on what type of ADHD you have, these things can make you feel so sluggish and forgetful as to liken comparisons to sloths. Verdict? Don't buy additional over-the-counter meds, especially since many of the studies suggested that Pycnogenal be taken WITH the preferred medicine. Just eat a slice of lightly-buttered toast with some apple sauce, and take coral calcium (calcium supposedly stops excessive nerve firing - at least, I've found that's the only thing that's stopped my itching all over and swift rugburns from even lightly scratching), in the early morn - heck you could even fall back asleep afterwards, then two hours later, take your ritalin/adderall with a good, safe liquid vitamin B complex supplement, along with apples & blueberries and a lot of bran with a bit of fat (like butter on a single slice of toast or something - maybe even cream if you drink coffee), and for the rest of the day you'll be set, and eat whatever else you feel like.

Anonymous,  01:16  

Oh, heck, not to bash them for trying at all, since it's probably still a good supplement if they add so many powerful antioxidants!!!! But as it relates to ADHD it's a different story; they didn't even provide the percentage of how many students the bark was successful for! And as we all know, there's a HUGE difference in success statistics for drugs that are usually pushed on treating other disorders and those expected for ADHD - ritalin and adderall are usually in the 80-90%, whereas straterra is pitifully in the 61% or so range, if I remember correctly, which I probably don't - but it's probably in a 10 point radius.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP