The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Peri-menopausal symptoms treated with pycnogenol

    This is apparently the first study of pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) to treat peri-menopausal symptoms.

    First, the details.

    • 200 women were randomly assigned to take 200 mg of pycnogenol or a placebo daily.
    • They reported their symptoms using the Women’s Health Questionnaire, which covers somatic (physical) symptoms, depressed mood, vasomotor (constriction/dilation of blood vessels) symptoms, memory and concentration, attractiveness, anxiety, sexual behavior, sleep problems and menstrual symptoms.
    • Women visited the clinic at 1, 3, and 6 months.

    And, the results.

    • Only 155 women completed the study.
    • The pycnogenol group reported improvement of symptoms compared to the start of the treatment.
    • Improvement was reported after one-month.
    • There were no changes in placebo group.
    • In addition, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were reduced 10% with pycnogenol vs placebo at 6 months.
    • No side effects were reported.

    The bottom line?
    The researchers at the Ham-Ming Hospital in Taiwan concluded, pycnogenol “may offer an alternative method to reducing climacteric symptoms,”

    It’s not clear why so many women dropped out of the study.

    8/30/07 17:34 JR

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