Supplementation with Pycnogenol may offer relief from symptoms of restless leg syndrome

A recent study found that supplementation with a French pine bark extract called Pycnogenol offered relief from restless leg syndrome.

A recent study1 found that supplementation with a French pine bark extract called Pycnogenol (from Horphag Research, based in Hoboken, NJ) offered relief from restless leg syndrome. In the study, 45 subjects were given either 150 mg of Pycnogenol per day or used standard management, for four weeks. Results showed that subjects taking Pycnogenol experienced a statistically significant improvement in limb sensation, based on a Visual Analogue Scale Line (0 to 4). Those using standard management also experienced improvements but they were not statistically significant.

Reductions in prominent symptoms of restless leg syndrome experienced in the Pycnogenol group (compared to standard management) include:

  • 33 percent decrease in crawling (vs. 3 percent decrease in control group)
  • 30 percent decrease in creeping (vs. 7 percent decrease in control group)
  • 41 percent decrease in pulling (vs. 7 percent decrease in control group)
  • 63 percent decrease in throbbing (vs. 6 percent decrease in control group)
  • 72 percent decrease in aching (vs. 3 percent decrease in control group)
  • 48 percent decrease in itching (vs. 10 percent decrease in control group)
  • 52 percent decrease in electric shocks (vs. 17 percent decrease in control group)
  • 61 percent decrease in sleep problems (vs. 16 percent decrease in control group)

In addition, subjects taking Pycnogenol saw a normalization in resting flux, improvement in venoarteriolar response, and a significantly reduced need for analgesics. After four weeks, only four (out of 21) subjects in the Pycnogenol group required the use of analgesics, compared to 16 (out of 24) subjects in the standard management group.

“Restless Legs Syndrome is often missed or dismissed in diagnosis, but it’s a real health condition often rooted in microcirculation. Many patients feel helpless and unheard because the symptoms seem to be exaggerated or imagined. It’s not in your head – it’s in your legs, and this research shows there are steps you can take with a powerful natural ingredient that may help you feel better,” said author, physician, and Pycnogenol spokesperson, Fred Pescatore, MD, in a press release.

“Even when Restless Legs Syndrome is properly diagnosed, medication to treat the condition includes pharmaceuticals that increase dopamine in the brain, resulting in side effects like nausea and sleepiness. Opioids or narcotic medications may be used to relieve more severe symptoms and can be extremely addictive,” he added. “Pycnogenol is an all-natural solution. Decades of research and global market availability show this circulation booster is safe and effective and is especially recognized as an ingredient at the forefront of naturally improving blood circulation. This study now shows its effects specifically on symptoms related to Restless Legs Syndrome.”

Reference

  1. Belcaro G et al. “Restless legs syndrome: prevention with Pycnogenol® and improvement of the venoarteriolar response.” Panminerva Medica, vol. 62, no. 2 (June 2022): 253-258, https://doi.org/10.23736/s0031-0808.20.04046-x