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J Reprod Med. 2013 Jan-Feb;58(1-2):39-46.

Effect of low-dose French maritime pine bark extract on climacteric syndrome in 170 perimenopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Keiju Medical Center, Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.



To evaluate the efficacy of a relatively low daily dosage of Pycnogenol French maritime pine bark extract for improvement of climacteric symptoms.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study 170 perimenopausal women were enrolled and treated with 30 mg Pycnogenol or placebo twice daily over a period of 3 months. Climacteric symptoms were evaluated by the Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ) and by the Kupperman index, accompanied by an investigation of sex hormones and routine blood chemistry.


Seven women dropped out of each group due to noncompliance or personal reasons, but not as a result of treatment. A significant placebo effect was apparent in this study, suggesting an improvement of a majority of the WHQ categories. Compared to baseline, Pycnogenol significantly (p < 0.05) improved all symptoms with the exception of formication sensation and abnormal perceptions. Pycnogenol was found to be especially effective for improving vasomotor and insomnia/sleep problem symptoms, which were significantly better after 4 and 12 weeks than with placebo (p < 0.05). Total Kupperman's index for perimenopausal symptom severity score decreased significantly by 56% as compared to placebo (-39%) after 12 weeks of treatment (p < 0.05). Symptom score was also significantly better already after 4 weeks of treatment with Pycnogenol as compared to placebo.


This study, applying a relatively low daily dose, allows identification of those climacteric symptoms which respond particularly well to supplementation with Pycnogenol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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