Clinical research shows that pine bark extract may improve brain activities and cognitive performance in cognitive tests that compare loss of cognitive function with age.
In a five-week clinical trial, researchers studied the effects of high OPC pine bark extract on cognitive performance and brain neurological function. Using clinical markers, researchers confirmed:
Improved response times on cognitive tests
Positive changes in human brain electrical activities associated with improved concentration and cognition.
Study 4. Double-blind, controlled study of the effects of High OPC pine bark extract on neurological cognitive function
This study was carried out by Dr. Andrew Pipingas and Prof. Richard Silberstein at the Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. In this trial 42 male participants, 50-65 years of age, were assigned to treatment and control groups. The 22 treatment subjects received 960 mg of High OPC pine bark extract + 120 mg Vitamin C per day for 5 weeks. The control subjects received 120 mg Vitamin C only. This fourth formal clinical study once again confirmed the excellent safety profile and tolerability of High OPC pine bark extract at high dosage levels. The data indicated that taking High OPC pine bark extract was associated with significant beneficial effects for brain function shown below. Participants were tested with computer-based tasks to assess cognitive functions that involve short to medium term memory, concentration ability and decision making. These are typical cognitive abilities that normally decline when people age.
Shown here is the effect of High OPC pine bark extract + Vitamin C supplementation on cognitive performance on two independent memory tasks controlled against Vitamin C only supplementation (n=42). On computer-based tasks designed to test the working memory of participants the High OPC pine bark extract group showed significant improvements in performance in form of faster reaction times after 5 weeks of supplementation over the vitamin C control group (p
The clinical significance of these results can be better understood by comparing the improvements seen with High OPC pine bark extract to the normal age related decline in cognitive performance. Shown to the right is the decline of performance with age on the immediate recognition memory task. This is the same task as shown in white in the figure above. Given the average decline in performance on the IRM task for a normal healthy population as shown to the right, an improvement of 60 ms as seen with the High OPC pine bark extract is actually equivalent to 12 years of recovered loss in brain function. With other words, the participants in this study were performing on average like people 12 years their junior.
In this study it was also investigated how High OPC pine bark extract + Vitamin C supplementation may affect brain electrical activities and interactions between brain regions. The analyses showed that High OPC pine bark extract supplementation caused unique changes in brain electrical activities in particular phases of the memory tasks that were not seen in the vitamin C control group. These changes in brain activity correlated with accuracy of performance on the tasks suggesting that the changes indicate enhanced cognitive processing in the High OPC pine bark extract group. (Pipingas A et al. publication in preparation).
These findings demonstrated how High OPC pine bark extract may improve response times on cognitive tests and change people’s brain electrical activities associated with improved concentration and cognition. These benefits for brain function make High OPC pine bark extract a health product with great relevance to everyone concerned about their cognitive performance from young students under study stress to older people at risk of cognitive decline.