Aim: This study compared the effects of supplementation with Pycnogenol® on cognitive function, attention and mental performance in students with an 8 week, evaluation study. Pycnogenol® was used in healthy students; the supplement was used with the aim of enhancing "normal" mental performances.
Methods: Attention, memory, evaluation of executive functions were included and students were also evaluated - in the 8-week study - according to results of the university tests. Fifty-three students (range 18-27 years) were included and Pycnogenol® was administered for 8 weeks. A group of equivalent students were followed up as a control group.
Results: In the 8-week study Pycnogenol® supplementation improved sustained attention, memory, executive functions and mood ratings in the students. The improvement was statistically significant. The actual performance on real tests was measured in students undergoing university examinations. The controls failed 9 tests out a total of 84 (10.71%). In the Pycnogenol® group the students failed 7 tests out of 112 (6.25%) with a difference of 4.46% of failures in the Pycnogenol® group that performed, statistically, generally better. The average test score measured by the marks obtained was 23.81 (1.1) in controls vs. 26.1(1.3) (P<0.024) in the Pycnogenol® group (+2.29 equivalent to 7.6%).
Conclusion: This study indicates a role for Pycnogenol® to improve cognitive function in normal students.