Natural antioxidant helps curb muscle loss ageing

Posted: 28 September 2016 | Niamh Louise Marriott, Digital Content Producer | No comments yet

Daily supplementation with pycnogenol helps to stabilise muscles through this natural process and supports muscular function and endurance…

A new study shows French maritime pine bark extract, pycnogenol, may be effective in curbing muscle loss that occurs with ageing – a natural process that leads to sarcopenia, a common condition affecting adults as early as age 65.

The study revealed that daily supplementation with pycnogenol helps to stabilise muscles through this natural process and supports muscular function and endurance.

Muscle loss

According to the National Library of Medicine, physically inactive individuals can lose as much as 8% of muscle mass each decade after 30. Those who are physically active can maintain more muscle mass yet are still affected by muscle loss due to ageing.

“Muscle loss due to aging can affect even the most active individuals and can result in feelings of weakness and frustrating fatigue which can interfere with our daily activities. This natural process is why opening a jar of pickles gets harder as we get older. We have less muscle to work with, so our muscles must work harder and, thus, we get tired faster,” said natural nutrition expert Dr Fred Pescatore.

“This new study builds on a body of research connecting pycnogenol to healthy aging,” said Pescatore. “As we age, muscle loss starts to impact the daily activities we tend to take for granted like climbing stairs, lifting groceries or enjoying walks without getting tired. This research shows that pycnogenol can help alleviate the symptoms of sarcopenia and can support muscle function as we age.”

In the study, participants between ages 70 – 78 and exhibiting symptoms of muscle loss, sarcopenia and fatigue but otherwise healthy, reported feeling increased muscle endurance in completing daily tasks such as walking and stair climbing, and improved overall muscular function by more than 40% after 8 weeks of taking 150 mg of pycnogenol

Results of trial

Daily use by participants led to:

  • greater muscular function and endurance in daily tasks such as carrying items (4-5 lbs.) (71% improvement with pycnogenol/23% control), climbing stairs (52% improvement with pycnogenol/20% control) and distance walked (38% improvement with pycnogenol/17% control)
  • reduced oxidative stress by 14%, a common measurement of sarcopenia which prevents the body from normal detoxifying and repair
  • reduced proteinuria by 40% – presence of protein in urine which, with normal kidney function, can indicate waste from muscle erosion
  • general fitness scores by more than 46% percent in comparison with placebo

While experts recommend adequate amounts of sleep, in addition to diet and daily exercise to maintain physical fitness in later years, the study results are encouraging for those looking for an added boost in muscle function overall.

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