Air travel through time zones may confuse the natural sleep/wake body rhythms. In part one of a two-part jet lag study, 68 participants, healthy or with high blood pressure, took 50 mg of Pycnogenol, an extract of French maritime pine bark, or a placebo three times per day for seven days starting two days before a flight. Jet lag symptoms lasted an average of 18 hours for Pycnogenol compared to 39 hours for placebo. In part two, 64 participants similar to the first group also took Pycnogenol or placebo. A brain scan shortly after flight found more brain and leg swelling in the placebo group and less short-term memory with memory loss symptoms rising as leg-swelling increased. Those with high blood pressure were prone to brain swelling. Overall, the Pycnogenol group reported 62 percent fewer symptoms than the placebo group.
Reference: Minerva Cardioangiologica; 2008, Vol. 56, No. 1, 1-7.