Pine bark extract may improve inattention and impulsivity in kids with ADHD: Study

By Stephen Daniells contact

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© MissTuni / Getty Images
© MissTuni / Getty Images

Related tags: Pine bark extract, Adhd

Four weeks of supplementation with pine bark extract may improve ADHA scores as assessed by parents and teachers of children with attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), says a new study from Taiwan.

Data published in Phytotherapy Research ​indicated that one month of supplementation with the pine bark extract improved both inattention and impulsivity in ten-year-olds with ADHD, while the antioxidative status of the children also improved.

However, no correlation between the inattention and impulsivity improvements and antioxidant status could be elucidated by the researchers, led by Dr Suh‐Ching Yang from Taipei Medical University.

“In spite of no correlation between improvements in ADHD symptoms and the elevated antioxidative capacity by the statistical analysis, it is still desirable to determine neurotransmitter levels in ADHD patients and clarify the pathogenic mechanisms related to oxidative stress in future studies as a reference for clinical treatment,” ​they wrote.

Study details

The researchers used the commercial Oligopin ingredient from France’s DRT. The company supplied the capsules used in the trial but had no role in the study. Each capsule contained 25 mg of extract, composed of 67%–75% OPCs, 4%–10% catechin, 4%–10% ferrulate glucoside, 3%–8% taxifoliol glucoside, and 1%–5% ferulic acid.

The researcher recruited 20 children with ADHD  (mean age of 10 ± 2.1 years) to participate in their randomized, double‐blind, crossover, placebo‐controlled study. The children were randomly assigned to received the pine bark extract or placebo for four weeks with a two‐week washout period separating each intervention. The daily pine bark dose was 25 mg for children under 50 kg or 50 mg for those over 50 kg.

“In this study, an administered questionnaire (SNAP‐IV) and quantitative data (CPT‐III) were used to evaluate improvements in ADHD symptoms,” ​explained the researchers. “Based on a reduction in the SNAP‐IV rating and commission score during the PE supplementation period, we speculated that the symptoms of inattention and impulsivity were improved after 4 weeks of [Oligopin] supplementation in ADHD participants.”

The pine bark extract was also associated with improvements in antioxidant status of the children, as assessed ratio of reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione in erythrocytes, plus plasma TBARs levels

“This study indicated that 4‐week supplementation with PE significantly decreased the SNAP‐IV [Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham‐IV] parent and teacher ratings and the commission score of the CPTIII [Continuous Performance Test III], which represent improvements in inattention and impulsivity in ADHD participants,” ​wrote the researchers.

“In addition, reduction of oxidative stress was also observed based on increased erythrocytic GSH/GSSG ratio and decreased plasma TBARS levels in ADHD participants after 4‐week supplementation with PE.

“However, further research is needed to determine whether there was any correlation between the improvement of ADHD symptoms and a reduction of oxidative stress.”

Source: Phytotherapy Research
Published online ahead of print, Early View​, doi: 10.1002/ptr.7036
“Complementary effects of pine bark extract supplementation on inattention, impulsivity, and antioxidative status in children with attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder: A double‐blinded randomized placebo‐controlled cross‐over study”
Authors: C‐D. Hsu et al.

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