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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

In a double-blind study, Taiwanese peri-menopausal women, aged 45-55, were given either placebo or 100 mg of Pycnogenol twice daily for 6 months. One hundred fifty-five women received the Pycnogenol and seventy-five the placebo. The Women’s Health Questionnaire with 36-items was used to evaluate the climacteric symptoms at baseline, and at 1, 3 and 6 months.

Results – Blood pressure decreased similarly in both groups. HDL increased and LDL decreased significantly from baseline with Pycnogenol, but no significant differences were seen in HDL between the two groups, however, LDL was more significantly reduced in the Pycnogenol group. Perimenopause symptoms of depression, vasomotor symptoms, memory, anxiety, sexual function, and sleep all improved significantly (P< 0.001) with Pycnogenol as soon as one month after starting the treatment, in both severity and frequency. Most symptoms also improved with placebo, but not significantly.

Yang H-M, Liao M-F, Zhu S-Y, Liao M-N, Rohdewald P. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on the effect of Pycnogenol on the climacteric syndrome in perimenopausal women. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica. 2007;86:978-985


I was surprised to see this study, as I have never thought to use Pycnogenol in the treatment of perimenopause/menopause symptoms. The most common symptoms of perimenopause/menopause that I see in my practice are hot flashes, sweating, heart palpitations, fatigue, depression, decreased sexual function, insomnia and cognitive impairment. It’s imperative to have as many non-hormonal natural medicine options as possible, and making clinical decisions based on evidence based therapies is extremely helpful, enhancing our ability to help more women, more of the time. I’m pleased to be able to add Pycnogenol to my list of choices and will look forward to hopefully positive results.

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