A new peer-reviewed, published study shows that natural French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol is effective in reducing lower leg swelling known as edema and relieving jet lag often associated with long-haul flights and road trips.

The study, published in Minerva Cardioangiologica, tested 295 individuals at varying risk levels for thrombosis, flying in economy class twice a week for more than 8 hours. Three groups were tested—a control group, a group wearing compression stockings, and a group supplementing with Pycnogenol. These participants supplemented with 150mg of Pycnogenol daily during the three days leading up to their travel, and the three days following.

Study participants were tested using D-dimer tests to detect blood clots and ultrasound scanning to study vein compression before and after each flight. Results show that along with standard measurement practices, study participants who supplemented with Pycnogenol experienced significant improvement of their edema symptoms, including:

  • Significant reduction of edema in the lower legs and ankle circumference compared to control groups (22.4 cm Pycnogenol / 23.3 cm Control / 22.6 cm Stockings)
  • Decrease in study participants who reported leg pain after flights (6 percent Pycnogenol / 17% Control / 19% Stockings)

In addition to the reported benefits for edema symptoms, participants in this new research also showed notable improvement in the following jet lag symptoms:

  • Improved sleep quality
  • Enhanced synchronization
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Improved visual impairment
  • Boosted cognitive function

“Jet lag can stress your immune system and contribute to higher risk to catch a cold or the flu when traveling. A natural option to relieve jet lag, without the common over-the-counter side effects, can help travelers feel more rested and ready,” says natural medicine physician Fred Pescatore, MD, in a release.

Pycnogenol is available in more than 700 dietary supplements, multivitamins, and health products worldwide.