Study finds Pycnogenol may reduce frequency of migraines and severity of symptoms

Published research shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties of Pycnogenol French maritime pine bark extract may ease discomfort

A new peer-reviewed, published pilot study shows that daily supplementation with the French maritime pine bark extract, Pycnogenol, may help to significantly decrease the frequency of migraines, reduce frustrating migraine symptoms and diminish the disruption of daily activities caused by migraines.

Although a pilot study, this research adds to a body of established science on Pycnogenol’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Migraine headaches are a common cause of throbbing, pulsing pain, on one or both sides of the head — most often felt around the temples or behind one eye.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), migraines are one of the 10 most disabling medical conditions, with an estimated 6 million UK sufferers.

“More than just a headache, migraines attack with severe symptoms and accompanied nausea and sensitivity to light and sound that can interfere with daily life,” says renowned natural health physician, Dr Fred Pescatore.

“More than 90% of those affected with migraine report that attacks interfere with their education, career or social activities. Pain relief medications are often prescribed to deal with these symptoms but many cause unwanted side-effects.”

“The cause of migraines is not fully understood, and a key contributing factor is oxidative stress. This imbalance of free radicals can cause damage to cells and may contribute to frequent migraines,” says Dr Pescatore.

Pycnogenol is a powerful natural antioxidant supported by an extensive catalogue of clinical research showing its anti-inflammatory benefits and ability to normalise oxidative stress levels.

This pilot study, published in the Panminerva Medica journal, tested 67 participants who suffered from migraine and moderate headache for 8 weeks.

Three groups were tested in the study including a control group following standard management of oral magnesium, riboflavin and lipoic acid, a Pycnogenol test group that supplemented with 150 mg of Pycnogenol daily along with standard management, and another test group prescribed with the generic migraine medication, topiramate.

Participants were asked to rank their migraine symptoms, and results showed that the Pycnogenol test group reported greater improvements of their migraine symptoms, including

  • 61% decreased frequency of migraine attacks (versus 8% increase in attacks in the control group and 33% decrease in the topiramate group)
  • 39% easing of migraine-induced discomfort (versus 25% in the control group and 37% in the topiramate group)
  • 41% reduction in affected daily activities score owing to migraine attacks (versus 15% in the control group and 33% in the topiramate group).

Participants in the Pycnogenol test group also reported significantly reduced need for supplemental pain management medications and a 17% reduction of underlying oxidative stress.

“This new research shows encouraging findings for migraine sufferers looking to manage their symptoms and address underlying factors that contribute to this condition. These pilot findings warrant further exploration,” said Dr Pescatore.

“Pycnogenol works as a powerful antioxidant to counteract free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.”

Companies