A natural antioxidant extract from the bark of a pine that grows along France’s southwest coast, Pycnogenol was previously studied as a treatment for kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Now new research has linked Pycnogenol to reduced levels of adrenaline and the neurostimulant dopamine, which in turn reduce ADHD symptoms. Dopamine plays a major role in learning, attention, and behavior.
Fifty-seven children, with an average age of nine-and-a-half years, were included in the research. Urine and blood samples were used to extrapolate information about levels of stress hormones.
Peter Rohdewald, PhD, of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Germany’s University of Munster, and an author of the study, notes, “Pycnogenol’s ability to naturally treat symptoms of ADHD is what makes this extract exceptionally pleasing to parents who may be uneasy about medicating their children with stimulant medications.”
Stimulants used to treat ADHD (Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, and others) can be addictive and cause side effects including depression and anxiety. [source: Taste for Life]