Pycnogenol May Help Migraine Sufferers, Study Suggests

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Hoboken, NJ—A pilot study has shown that daily supplementation with French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol may help to decrease the frequency of migraines, reduce migraine symptoms, and diminish the disruption of daily activities caused by migraines, according to a press release from Horphag.

The press release cites the World Health Organization, which has found that migraines are one of the 10 most disabling medical conditions. Migraines affect over 37 million Americans.

The pilot study tested 46 participants who suffered from migraine and moderate headache for eight weeks. One group served as the control group, and followed standard management of magnesium, riboflavin, and lipoic acid; one test group followed standard management protocols, plus 150mg of Pycnogenol daily; and one test group used the migraine medication topiramate.

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The Pycnogenol group reported significant improvement, including:

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

Additionally, those taking Pycnogenol reported reduced need for supplemental pain management medications, and a 17% reduction of underlying oxidative stress.

Fred Pescatore, M.D., says in the release: “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. 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.”

Dr. Pescatore continued: “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.”

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