Recent reports have shown that prolonged anxiety and stress associated with the pandemic can result in brain fog and difficulty concentrating. Many of us have been experiencing this over the last six months, from forgetting where you may have placed your glasses or keys to feeling like it takes more energy to be productive during the workday.
Often my patients come to me inquiring about natural supplements that can help improve focus, memory, and mood, and I direct them to one of my favorite supplements, Pycnogenol® – a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. What is unique about this super-antioxidant is that is has been found safe and effective to support brain function for a range of concerns, including memory, attention span, and decision-making.
In numerous studies, Pycnogenol® has been found to support cognitive function in all age groups, including for Baby Boomers ages 55+. Particularly during the pandemic, isolation can take a toll on brain health in seniors, affecting memory and mood. In a recent study, Baby Boomers who supplemented with Pycnogenol® for one year reported a 72% improvement in their daily decision making and a 37% improvement in memory. Pycnogenol®’s antioxidant benefits reduce oxidative stress, improving overall brain function.
Younger consumers, especially college students, are now looking at natural supplements to help them stay focused too as they navigate taking university courses virtually. In a study on college-aged students, Pycnogenol® was found to decrease test anxiety and improve mental performance, which resulted in higher test scores. According to the American Test Anxieties Association, up to 20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today.
Brain fog also extends to professionals trying to keep up with working from home. A recent survey found that 39% of professionals felt they had decreased work productivity during the pandemic. Pycnogenol® is shown to support work focus too. One study conducted in 2015 on 59 professionals between the ages of 35-55 showed a 13% improvement in their attention and 9% increase in general mental performance at work when they supplemented with Pycnogenol®.
Pycnogenol® is a powerful super-antioxidant shown in decades of research to boost blood circulation and act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Pycnogenol® helps endothelial cells produce more nitric oxide (NO) which has multiple beneficial effects on brain function. Initially, NO increases blood flow, which improves oxygenation and the transport of nutrients to brain cells. NO regulates neuronal functions and thus contributes to processing signals inside the brain. In addition, NO helps modulate key neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Consumers prefer evidence versus a promise when it comes to products to support their memory and attention. They should look to adopt nutritional supplements and ingredients into their routines that support blood circulation, anti-inflammation, and antioxidative benefits, like Pycnogenol®, for cognitive health. And with more than 160+ clinical trials on 12,000 subjects, Pycnogenol® is an easy choice!