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Pycnogenol and ADHD


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#1 chipdouglas

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 02:23 AM


http://www.scientifi...ymptoms_in_kids

#2 luv2increase

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 02:29 AM

It lowers dopamine in ADHD children. I'm guessing this may counterproductive in ADD children. Or, it may work in a similar fashion as conventional meds in that it calms ADHD sufferers and stimulates ADD sufferers?

Interesting though. If I had a child with ADHD, I'd definitely give it a shot along with fish oil, supplements, and healthy diet devoid of trans fats.
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#3 jackinbox

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 02:39 AM

It might decrease the symptom but does it really increase concentration? "Hey, the little bastards are quiet now, it works!"
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#4 chipdouglas

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 03:55 AM

I know that when I have GSE (grape seed extract) my concentration is much better, and I'm so much calmer. However I don't take it everyday so if I did perhaps I'd develop tachyphylaxis to it. This is one supps, that I'm going to take more regularly now, so time will tell.
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#5 chipdouglas

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 04:05 AM

It lowers dopamine in ADHD children.  I'm guessing this may counterproductive in ADD children.  Or, it may work in a similar fashion as conventional meds in that it calms ADHD sufferers and stimulates ADD sufferers?

Interesting though.  If I had a child with ADHD, I'd definitely give it a shot along with fish oil, supplements, and healthy diet devoid of trans fats.



There's something that isn't quite clear to me yet. When I consulted with Dr. Braverman I recieved the executive health plan (cost much money yep, but I got the works) and I was performed a BEAM (Brain Electrical Activity Map(ping) and i scored at 9.5 microvolts on DA, indicating high DA. Acetylcholine was smack dab where it's supposed to be for my age group, GABA and Serotonin were low though. Dr. Braverman did tell me that my ADHD was the results of my high anxiety--so far it makes sense.

Also, althoug the following articles is outdated, I wonder if the finding of the researcher in that article still holds water ?

http://72.14.205.104...clnk&cd=3&gl=ca


Also according to Daniel Amen, there are ADHD subtypes, innatentive, overfocused etc...I'm saying this from memory though.

Also depending on the DA receptor subtypes DA can be both stimulatory or inhibitory, adding to the confusion. So I'm somewhat perplexed about whether ADHD can consistently be connected with low DA in certain brain regions, or whether it can sometimes be connected with excess osf same giving rise to anxiety ?

#6 luv2increase

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 04:18 AM

It is a very complicated issue. Even if I were a guru researcher in this field, I still wouldn't know all the answers. No one does yet.

It is interesting that you exhibit low serotonin and GABA levels according to Braverman. I would say that that right there is your culprit of the anxiety in which you experience. I am assuming that your 5-HTP may be helping your serotonin part. I would next supplement with straight up GABA or L-glutamine to address the low levels of GABA. After your GABA is brought back up, you should be good to go.

I would stray from dopamine increasing substances such as dl-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine, and sam-e since your dopamine is high. Did he indicate what your norepinephrine level was?
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#7 chipdouglas

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 04:52 AM

It is a very complicated issue.  Even if I were a guru researcher in this field, I still wouldn't know all the answers.  No one does yet. 

It is interesting that you exhibit low serotonin and GABA levels according to Braverman.  I would say that that right there is your culprit of the anxiety in which you experience.  I am assuming that your 5-HTP may be helping your serotonin part.  I would next supplement with straight up GABA or L-glutamine to address the low levels of GABA.  After your GABA is brought back up, you should be good to go. 

I would stray from dopamine increasing substances such as dl-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine, and sam-e since your dopamine is high.  Did he indicate what your norepinephrine level was?



Nope, there's no mention of what my NE was at. I find his BEAM to be accurate though, cause after Deprenyl failed to increase my sex drive, whereas it should have.

When I had Deprenyl a while back, it actually lowered my libido.

#8 theta

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 06:45 PM

Hypothetically Pycnogenol prevents the break down of nitric oxide
and nitric oxide is known to activate the noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus. When that area of the brain is stimulated you become more alert, awake and focused. The problem is like alot of
results from studies the real effectiveness of it is very limited. A carefully crafted study may see real benefits but a person using
Pycnogenol is highly unlikely to notice significant improved focused.
I personally have used it and find it useless for my extreme inattentiveness.

I have experimented with the nitric oxide boosting hypothesis
trying garlic (stimulates production), L-arginine (precursor),
vitamin c (prevents break down?). Hard to be objective about results
but in the past I have always noted strange energy or improved mood
from eating alot of garlic (few raw cloves or chopped and aged for
30 minutes before cooked). Might be completely be explained by
vasodilation though. I do have moderate high blood pressure. But
its not effective for treating ADD/ADHD either.
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#9 Lufega

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 02:26 AM

If you have high DA, you should already have an amazingly high libido. Interestingly, tyrosine supplements only increase my libido further, but it also increases depression for me.

#10 bgwithadd

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 05:46 AM

Well, supposedly it increases blood supply and brain crosstalk, which is part of what some ADD drugs do. I take it every day and it seems to make me a little more mentally calm and less impulsive/reactive. I am not sure I'd say it gives focus per se, but it definitely helps a tad. It's easy to think of things as merely dopamine and serotonin but I can easily blitz my brain with dopamine and it doesn't do a hell of a lot to help my ADD. On the other hand, amphetamines help me an incredible amount in a wide variety of ways, and the really do much more than simply up dopamine.

#11 Lufega

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:40 AM

If you have high DA, you should already have an amazingly high libido. Interestingly, tyrosine supplements only increase my libido further, but it also increases depression for me.


Correction...how wrong I was. Tyrosine is the best anti-depressant I've ever used. It's been a life-savior for my dying motivation and overall mood. It also works wonders for social anxiety.

What was causing the depression I wrote about above was lecithin (choline-induced depression). Tyrosine helps balance this out too.

#12 navyblue

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 08:53 PM

Don't mean to bring back such an archeological post, but did want to share my Pycnogenol experience as there are so few on here. Today I took the financial plunge and managed to pick up some Standardized Pycnogenol (100mg capsules). http://www.vitaminsh...AUNE?id=VS-2604 was the stuff I had chosen. Please let me know if its garbage. Definitely wouldn't want it to be a waste. Not sure if I should take a 100mg 2x/day or 200mg 1x/day, so for now I will just do the later. I am hoping to treat both ADHD and some food allergies. Not sure if it will work, but I'll never know if I don't try. Besides my Ashwagandha has been pooping out and I don't much like the fact it raises my body temperature. The Inositol had much the same effect for me as the Ashwagandha but also similar side effects.

Aside from all that, so far today I took 200mg at once and a couple of hours later am noticing a slight bit of mental clarity + a little bit mental energy. As far as the ADHD goes, not much going on in that there. It is definitely no Adderall, but I'll will wait and see and post back with hopefully some good results.

#13 navyblue

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 10:50 PM

Didn't do a thing (not that I noticed anyway). There was a little bit of an overall better feeling, but I think it was placebo. I would not not buy this supplement again for any reason at all. You should get more out of a supplement for what you pay. This one just doesn't cut it. I will keep taking it until I finish the bottle, but my hopes aren't high.

#14 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:45 PM

I am getting semi-serious stimulation from pycnogenol that totally caught me off guard. I took 300mg yesterday as sort of a loading dose / test to see if I would experience any noticeable effect. I was sitting in my office chair with my foot bouncing with excess energy, it almost felt like I had ingested a large amount of caffeine. I even had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep in the evening. I did find it easier to get things done at work though.

Today I am planning to take 200mg and see if this dose is more manageable.

Has anyone experienced anything like this with pycnogenol? I would have expected to hear about it before if this reaction is commonplace, but I suppose few people have actually dosed that high.

Edited by FunkOdyssey, 23 October 2009 - 04:46 PM.


#15 nameless

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:18 PM

I've sort of been running a pycnogenol experiment on myself for allergies and asthma, although have noticed a couple of little odd things.

When taking a largish dose to begin with (200mg at one time), it felt like my vision was a little clearer. I'm not aware of any eyeball benefits, and it could have been indirect, such as an improvement in allergies, so my eyes felt better. Or it was a coincidence.

I've tried 300mg daily, but didn't notice a boost of energy from it. Perhaps a subtle increase in energy... but that be hard to determine.

One weirdness, which I chalked up to coincidence (but who knows)... my computer chess scores increased while on pycnogenol (towards the end of 2 months on it). I usually play around 1500-1600ish rank (not especially good), and found myself playing well in the 1800-2000+ range. When I test supplements I also drop them briefly, and did the same for pycnogenol... after about a week off I noticed I was sort of stinking at chess again (which is when I realized my chess play was better previously). Could be indirect too, such as allergy improvement making mind clearer, etc.

For navyblue, if you wish to save some money, you may be better off getting pycnogenol from iHerb (Healthy Origins) or Swanson's -- cheapest I've found it, and since it's a patented ingredient, it should be the same everywhere.
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#16 Lufega

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:55 PM

First few times I used pycnogenol last year I noticed my eyesight was better. Things just seemed more clearer and my attention span and focused also improved. When I tried the product again a few months ago, I didn't experience this effect. I took 300 mg as a loading dose and didn't notice anything. Then again, I also take many other things. HOWEVER, since dropping Pyc, I've noticed that my attention span, recall and memory is not as sharp as when I was on it. Maybe I'll add it back to retest. Or, maybe I left methylene blue out in the Sun again and it got degraded. Who knows...
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#17 nameless

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:21 PM

A quick followup: I started Pycnogenol again after about taking 2 weeks or so off from it.

I noticed the vision improvement thing again. I also noticed that I generally felt better overall, and more importantly, my breathing was improved (which is why I started taking it to begin with). The asthma benefit was much more noticeable this time, compared to when I tested it previously.

My brain feels a little sharper, but that very well could be indirect, like being able to breathe lets me sleep better, etc. Or it could be an actual benefit from the supplement.

One change I made this time is I used Swanson's Pycnogenol, instead of Healthy Origins, but I don't think that should really matter. I also did one test where I took Pycnogenol right before bed, and did notice a minor energy increase, which made it somewhat harder to sleep.

Previous to doing this test, I tried two brands of grape seed, MegaNatural and Masquelier's, and didn't notice any real benefit from either. Or if they had some sort of benefit, it was very subtle.

Edited by nameless, 28 October 2009 - 06:23 PM.


#18 tunt01

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:29 PM

One change I made this time is I used Swanson's Pycnogenol, instead of Healthy Origins, but I don't think that should really matter.



i traded emails w/ a researcher who wrote a peer reviewed study on pycnogenol. i think he was with the NIH or NIA (cant remember). he said they all basically come from the same source and brand doesn't really matter.

#19 nameless

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:40 PM

i traded emails w/ a researcher who wrote a peer reviewed study on pycnogenol. i think he was with the NIH or NIA (cant remember). he said they all basically come from the same source and brand doesn't really matter.


Yeah, different brands shouldn't matter and I don't really expect it did.

I just mentioned the change in brands, if by some rare chance other people noticed the same thing. I recall reading one study where they analyzed several brands, and did find some differences, but they expect that was from the fillers/extras in the supplements. Such as Now including rutin, or grapeseed, etc mixed in with the pycnogenol.

Do you happen to know what brands he tested? It'd be nice to find a cheaper source of pine bark identical to Pycnogenol, but the only one I expect to come close may be Masquelier's pine (since he was affilicated with Horphag before their big break-up). But his pine bark is just as expensive as pycnogenol. And I don't trust other no-name barks, as they usually don't even use the same species of pine tree.

Edited by nameless, 28 October 2009 - 06:41 PM.


#20 aLurker

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:12 PM

Anyone still taking this and if so what do you think it helps with? Not many anecdotes about pycnogenol and attentional deficits around on the interwebs. Are there tolerance issues? How does it stack with other stuff (modafinil for instance)?

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#21 aLurker

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:18 AM

I got 30 pills of 100mg pycnogenol this morning.

First impressions:
I took ~50 mg of the bitter pine tree tasting powder that is pycnogenol this morning and noticed feeling slightly sick in my stomach along with what might or might not have been an increased sense of clarity in my vision. I've been thinking about whether or not the mental effects are placebo or not. I took another 50 mg a couple of hours after my first dose (what was left in the pill). I don't really sense any noticeable increase in motivation yet I've taken care of the dishes, cleaned my room and now I'm going to do my laundry. Suffice to say these activities are all quite unlike me but I'm still leaving room for the possibility that I'm procrastinating other things I should be doing instead by taking care of the more menial tasks and that this is all a severe case of placebo. Nevertheless I'm going to give this a shot.

After a couple of hours my initial subjective impressions are:
*slightly upset stomach, no biggie though
*no distinct "feel" to it, I view this as a positive but it also increases my suspicions that any effects I might notice could be placebo induced. But with that said:
*might have an effect on vision (clarity/big picture/noticing stuff) although this could very well be just me looking for that effect (confirmation bias)
*it isn't sedative at all, might even be a little bit simulating although this is highly debatable
*might make me more organized even though it doesn't really "feel" motivating
*no idea if it helps my focus so far

So far it's either a good placebo pill or having subtle positive effects. If it was the magic pill we're all looking for I certainly wouldn't waste time by writing this post though. I'm hoping the effects are cumulative rather than acute and that this isn't another waste of time/money like most supplements. It's quite seldom nowadays I feel a supplement is good enough to warrant buying it again so we'll see about this when I've worked my way through the 29 remaining pills.

For those of you who have taken this in the past: are the effects subject to tolerance or cumulative or just remain the same?
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