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Pine bark extract may keep away colds

New research suggests the extract of French maritime pine bark may be a promising weapon against the common cold.

We’ve figured out how to send a drone 4 billion miles through space to land on an asteroid, grow hamburger in a test tube and lure millions to care about Orange County housewives, but that pesky common cold continues to take us out of the game for days, even weeks, at a time. We are making progress, however. A recent pilot study suggests an extract of French maritime pine bark may help conquer the crud.

Italian researchers found that French maritime pine bark extract “appears to decrease symptoms of cold and shorten its course, preventing some complications,” according to research published in Panminerva Medica.

Researchers briefed 70 subjects between the ages of 25 and 65 at the beginning of winter to contact them on the first day of a probable cold. When the cold and symptoms were clearly identified, subjects were asked to use “best management practices” for colds, and about half were also given a twice daily dose of 50 mg of the extract.

The pine bark seemed to help. Subjects who took the supplement were sick for fewer days, lost fewer days of work, needed to use fewer other compounds to treat their symptoms and had significantly fewer complications from the cold.

The researchers wrote that while more research is needed, “there could be an important role for the pine bark extract in decreasing the length and intensity of cold episodes, both when used alone in comparison with control and when used in association with other supplements.”

Recent research has also suggested that French Maritime pine bark extract may also help athletes recover more quickly from workouts.

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