Pycnogenol May Curb Age-Related Muscle Loss

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The French maritime pine-bark extract was found to improve overall muscle function in participants aged 70–78 who reported suffering from muscle loss, sarcopenia, and/or fatigue.

Pycnogenol, a French maritime pine-bark extract from Horphag Research (Hoboken, NJ), may help alleviate the symptoms of sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle function and endurance, according to new study results published in the Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology. In a study group of participants aged 70–78, researchers found that eight-week supplementation with Pycnogenol improved overall muscle function and enhanced participant performance in day-to-day tasks, such as carrying items or climbing stairs.

The registry study included 64 healthy subjects who exhibited symptoms of muscle loss, sarcopenia, and/or fatigue. Participants consumed either a placebo or 150 mg of Pycnogenol per day for eight weeks, with both groups following the same exercise plan for the duration of the study.

By the end of the study period, researchers found that the Pycnogenol group demonstrated significantly improved general fitness scores compared to the control group. In terms of everyday tasks, the Pycnogenol group demonstrated greater muscular function and endurance at carrying items (71% improvement for Pycnognol versus 23% improvement for control), climbing stairs (52% improvement for Pycnogenol versus 20% improvement for control), and walking over a distance (38% improvement for Pycnogenol versus 17% improvement for control).

Additionally, supplementation with Pycnogenol significantly reduced plasma oxidative stress and proteinuria, the presence of protein in urine which can indicate waste from muscle erosion, compared to the control group.

“What I found really compelling is the measurable effect Pycnogenol had on the participants in relation to completing daily tasks,” says Fred Pescatore, MD, nutraceutical consultant for Horphag Research. “The research shows that Pycnogenol can play a role in helping you stay active with greater muscular stability and maintain muscle function as you age.”


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Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook


Belcaro G et al., “Preservation of muscular mass and strength in aged subjects with Pycnogenol supplementation,” Journal of Orthopedics and Traumatology, vol. 67, no. 3 (September 2016): 124–130