Phosphatidylserine Benefits and Side Effects

 Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an essential lipid component of the cerebral cellular membranes. Is naturally found in every cell membrane in the body, however in very high levels in cell membranes in the brain. PS is the key nutrient that regulates how brain cells work. It regulates which nutrients enter brain cells, how waste gets out of brain cells, and communication between brain cells. Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that is found in all cells, but is most highly concentrated in the walls  of brain cells, making up about 70% of its nerve tissue mass.

Phosphatidylserine plays a important role in neurotransmission and synaptic function. Along with another essential fatty acids, may also play a critical role in cognitive function, including maintaining concentration and memory. Over 3,000 published research papers and more than 60 clinical trials have established that PS can rejuvenate your brain cell membranes and thereby. PS has been used widely in Europe to help declining mental function and depression in the elderly.

Phosphatidylserine Benefits

Significant findings from numerous double-blind studies suggests that animal-source PS is an influential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of age-related mental decline. Phosphatidylserine specifically influences cellular metabolism and communication by enhancing the fluidity of cell membranes. This function is essential to your brain cells’ capacity to send and receive biochemical communication. It increases the communication between brain cells and also restores the brain’s supply of acetylcholine, a primary neurotransmitter that is significant to memory and cognitive function. Impaired short term memory and mental function, in severe cases depression, may result from PS deficiency.

PS stimulates the release of dopamine, increases the production of acetylcholine, enhances brain glucose metabolism, reduces cortisol levels, and boosts the activity of nerve growth factor (NGF), which oversees the health of cholinergic neurons. Human clinical studies show phosphatidyl serine may assist against the symptoms of dementia and Age-Associated Memory Impairment, including reducing the risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction.

According to a study described University of New Mexico and Mark McDaniel, there is a possibility that depression, (especially age-related depression), may be linked to falling phosphatidylserine levels. Scientists at the University of Milan conducted a study of the effects of PS on mood, stress, cortisol, and memory. They studied 10 women, aged 70-81 years old, who were suffering with depression. They found that phosphatidylserine increased brain turnover of dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine and glucose reserves. This means that phosphatidylserine was effective in reducing anxiety, while also lessening their symptoms of depression, and improving long-term memory and learning.

In a 1991 study of phosphatidyl serine among people aged 50 to 75, researchers found positive effects when they used 100 mg doses of PS, three times daily. Researchers found a 30 % improvement in cognitive function that included memory, learning, recalling names, faces, and numbers.  In one double-blind study that enrolled 149 people with memory loss but not dementia, PS provided important effects as compared with placebo. People with the most severe memory loss showed the most development. In a large, multicenter study of geriatric patients, from 23 geriatric or general medicine units with moderate to severe age-related cognitive decline, those who received phosphatidyl serine therapy showed significantly improved behavior, such as increased motivation, initiative and socialization, compared to the placebo group. In  another 6 month study of 40  individuals, PS  supplementation enhanced cerebral metabolism and outcomes of cognitive training.

Placebo-controlled and double-blind studies have shown mild effects from phosphatidylserine supplementation when used in the amount of 300 mg per day for 3 to 12 weeks in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. In a study reported in 1992 in the journal, Psychopharmacological Bulletin, PS  was found to develop several measures of cognitive function in people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Best Food Sources Phosphatidylserine

It’s manufactured by the body but can also be obtained through dietary sources such as meat, fish,  white beans, barley and soy lecithin. Notably mackerel and cod, contain significant level of phosphatidylserine.  100 g serving of cow brains contains 713 mg of phosphatidylserine. But, phosphatidylserine derived from the brains of infected cows could transmit the disease to humans.

PS Supplements

Phosphatidylserine is a semi-synthetic product manufactured from soy lecithin. Originally, PS supplements were derived from the brain cells of cows. But, because of concerns about mad cow disease, many firms now produce phosphatidylserine supplements from soy  derivatives. Early studies, were based on cow-derived supplements. According to a survey conducted in 2001; using soy as a source of phosphatidylserine does not show the same positive outcome for treatment as the bovine source.

Phosphatidylserine Dosage

For the purpose of improving mental function, phosphatidylserine is usually taken in doses of 100 mg two to three times daily. Most of the trials were conducted at 300 mg per day but for people with motor impairment, more doses may be necessary.

Side Effects

PS is generally regarded as safe when used at recommended dosages. Phosphatidylserine has infrequently caused gastro-intestinal upset and can cause insomnia if taken in 600 mg dose  before going to bed. Phosphatidylserine interacts with blood-thinning medications. Can compound the effect of blood thinners, such as warfarin, heparin, aspirin, pentoxifylline, ticlopidine and clopidogrel.

Diindolylmethane Side Effects Benefits and Facts

Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a compound derived from the digestion of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. On average 10-20 percent of  I3C is metabolized to DIM. When you chew raw or lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables, plant enzymes are activated, which allows Diindolylmethane (DIM) to enter your body. However to get the most efficacy from this indole, you would need to consume too much quantities of raw vegetables each day. Therefore, absorbable forms of pure Diindolylmethane (DIM) have been developed as dietary supplements that use special absorption-enhancing formulas.

Diindolylmethane Sources

Diindolylmethane is a natural substance formed when the human digestive system breaks down a compound named glucobrassicin, found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. With cruciferous intake the human diet provides up to 0.3 mg/kg of DIM.

Diindolylmethane Benefits

Many of the health problems commonly associated with estrogen and testosterone are linked to the imbalance of these hormones and improper hormone metabolism. Diindolylmethane stimulates more efficient estrogen metabolism. The most active dietary indole in cruciferous vegetables, is a healthy stimulus for the useful metabolism of estrogen in women and men. When Diindolylmethane (DIM) increases the “good” estrogen metabolites, there is a simultaneous reduction in the levels of “bad” estrogen metabolites. Research has shown “4-hydroxy” and “16-hydroxy” estrogens to be promoters of inflammation and impact the normal growth of cells. These bad estrogen metabolites are responsible for many of estrogen’s undesirable actions in women and men, including further unwanted weight gain, breast cancer. Whereas, 2-hydroxy estrogens have been shown to be powerful protective of tissues, helping to support healthy cell growth. Supplemental use of Diindolylmethane (DIM) in humans is effective in adjusting the pathways of estrogen metabolism to favor the production of 2-hydroxy estrogen metabolites. These shifts in estrogen metabolites were significant and showed an 75 percent increase in production of 2-hydroxyestrone and a 50 percent decrease in 16-hydroxyestrone. Case-control studies have  documented that low levels of 2-hydroxy metabolites are associated with breast cancer in women.

Good estrogens 2-hydroxy help maintain healthful levels of the catecholamine hormones that specifically stimulate enzymes in fat cells to release stored fat for energy. The salutary estrogen metabolites have antioxidant effects and help to protect the heart and brain from free-radical damage. Breast, prostate, uterine and cervical health all rely on suitable estrogen metabolism to stay healthy. Diindolylmethane (DIM) prevents estrogen dominance and low testosterone levels that can lead to diseases.

Some research show that diindolylmethane contributes significantly to, not only the balancing of hormones, but also to the prevention of abnormal cell growth. Diindolylmethane  is a promising cancer chemopreventive agent. Demonstrated antiproliferative effects in animal and cancer cell models through various mechanisms. In addition shown to inhibit invasion of normal tissue by cancer cells and to inhibit angiogenesis in cell culture models. In a article published in the journal In Vivo in 2008, Diindolylmethane (DIM) was recommended as a chemoprotective agent for both breast and prostate cancer. In a study published in 2009 found that Diindolylmethane prevents the development of cervical lesions and delays the progression of cervical cancer from cervical dysplasia in mice. (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention). A study  published in the April 2009 Journal of Cell Physiology reported growth arrest and death of prostate cancer cells cultured with Diindolylmethane.

Healthy hormone detoxification is a very important part of the normal functioning of the immune system. DIM is one molecule known for the supportive role it plays in stimulating natural detoxification enzymes and supporting normal hormone metabolism.

Diindolylmethane For Men

Diindolylmethane is the key to eliminating unwanted estrogen in men. Diindolylmethan (DIM) helps to eliminate active estrogen from the male body by promoting its conversion into the “good” metabolites. Estrogen metabolism slows as men age, especially when coupled with obesity and regular alcohol use. Men using DIM can minimize or avoid accelerating their testosterone metabolism, especially the unwanted conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Diindolylmethane  demonstrates an anti-androgenic effect in prostate cancer by inhibiting effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), likely by directly competing for DHT at the androgen receptor. In 2007, the “National Cancer Institute” reported that men who consumed one cruciferous vegetable a week reduces prostate cancer risks by 52%. Supplementation with diindolylmethane resulted in reports of improved prostate function based on reduced nighttime urination in symptomatic older men.

Diindolylmethane Side Effects

Rash, nausea, vomiting, headache, arthralgia and hot flashes have been reported. DIM supplements is commonly taken in doses of 100 mg to 200 mg. No adverse effects have been reported from Diindolylmethane supplements at doses up to 200 mg; however, mild nausea and headache have been reported with doses of 300 mg. Safety in , pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe kidney or liver disease has not been established. Theoretically, DIM can induce cytochrome P450 1 enzyme and may reduce serum concentration of medications that it metabolizes. Therefore, please consult your healthcare professional about possible interactions DIM may have with any medications you are taking. Anyone who has cancer or is at increased risk of getting the disease should not take DIM  without a physician approval and supervision.

Lycopene Benefits for Men and Usage

Lycopene  is a bright red carotenoid pigment, a phytochemical found in tomatoes and red fruits. (Is found in particularly high amounts in tomatoes and tomato products). Its name is derived from the tomato’s species classification, “Solanum lycopersicum“. This pigment is an acrylic isomer of beta carotene and it is synthesized by plants and microorganisms. The substance called lycopene is one of the most potent carotenoid antioxidants. The important carotenoids in the human body include; beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lycopene. Lycopene is readily absorbed by the organism and is naturally present in human plasma and tissues in more concentrations than the other carotenoids.

Lycopene Facts and Lycopene Benefits for Men

Lycopene shows antioxidant and anticancer properties. Some research shows lycopene may be help to prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis, prostate and breast cancers. Also found in cell membranes and plays an effective role in maintaining the cell’s integrity when it is under assault by toxins. Lycopene is a constituent of human redox defence mechanism against free radicals. It is found in intensive concentrations in the testes and seminal plasma and decreased levels have been demonstrated in men suffering from infertility.


Lycopene acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from the free radicals formed when body cells burn oxygen for energy. Free radicals are molecules that have at least one unpaired electron. By donating an electron lycopene can stabilize the free molecule. The oxidative damage caused by free radicals has been linked to many degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and cataracts. This pigment is a effective antioxidant that can help protect against degenerative diseases. It does this by neutralizing free radicals. Lab experiments indicate that lycopene is a more strong antioxidant than other carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Lycopene antioxidant effect is twice as high as that of beta carotene and ten times higher than that of alpha tocopherol.


Observational studies in have shown that the risk for some types of cancer is lower in people who have higher levels of lycopene in their blood. Evidence is strongest for lycopene protective effect against cancer of the lung, prostate, and stomach. Serum and tissue lycopene levels have  been inversely related to the risk of prostate and lung cancers. It may also help to protect against cancer of the breast, cervix, pancreas, esophagus, and colon and rectum. Lycopene has also been demonstrated to have other possible anti cancer activities particularly relating to modulation of intercellular communication and alterations in intracellular signalling pathways. Developing clinical research shows that taking 8 mg/day or 4 mg/day of a special lycopene supplement  significantly improves oral leukoplakia. An Italian study showed that people who ate at least one tomato-based product per day had a 50 percent lower chance of contracting digestive tract cancer than those who did not eat tomatoes.

Lycopene and Prostate Cancer

A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1995 followed more than 47,000 men for 8 years. Found a 21 % lower risk of prostate cancer in men who consumes the most lycopene. A study cited in the February 1999 issue of Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that a high intake of lycopene, was linked with a reduced risk for a number of cancers.  A 2002 writing in the American Journal of Medicine describes epidemiologic studies that report diets high in lycopene protect against cancers. Scientists  have found that patients with prostate cancer were found to have low levels of lycopene and high levels of oxidation of serum lipids and proteins. Preliminary research in men with precancerous changes in their prostate shows that taking 4 mg of lycopene  twice daily might delay or prevent progression to prostate cancer. In a “Harvard University” study (1995) conducted with 47,894 men, researchers found that eating 10 or more servings a week of tomato products was linked with a reduced risk of prostate cancer by as much a 34%. In a 2002 study, patients with diagnosed prostate cancer showed a decrease in plasma prostate specific antigen after 3 weeks of lycopene supplementation in the amount of 15 mg twice/day.


Free oxygen radicals are one of the important causes of male infertility, and antioxidant lycopene is known to get rid of these free radicals. The antioxidant lycopene may exert useful effects on human sperm as well as eggs, according to preliminary research. A study conducted at the All “India Institute of Medical Sciences” found that lycopene, can boost sperm concentrations in infertile men. A 2000 study in India examined thirty men with idiopathic infertility. Were given 2000 micrograms of lycopene, twice a day for 3 months. Their semen was analyzed after the three-month period and twenty patients  showed an improvement in sperm concentration, sixteen had improved motility and fourteen showed improvement in sperm morphology.


The optimal dose of lycopene is not known. The recommended daily intake of lycopene is 6 to 30 milligrams. The man in the Harvard study with the greatest protection against cancer consumed at least 6.5 mg per day.

Best Lycopene Sources

Lycopene is found in tomatoes, watermelons, pink grapefruits, pink guavas papaya, and rosehip. 240 mL (one cup) of tomato juice provides about 23 mg of lycopene. Is found in particularly high levels in tomatoes and tomato products. Processed tomato products have high amounts of lycopene than raw tomatoes. Eating tomato products with oil helps the lycopene to be more readily absorbed by the body.

Side Effects

Excess intake of lycopene can cause a deep orange discoloration of the skin, a harmless condition called lycopenodermia. Lycopenodermia is a temporary condition and fully resolves after discontinuing tomato products for a few weeks.

Pycnogenol Benefits Side Effects and Tinnitus

Pycnogenol® (Pinus maritima) is a unique plant extract that originates from the bark of the maritime pine trees grown in forests in south-western France. Pycnogenol goes beyond being a powerful antioxidant, its proven safe and effective with over 220 documented published articles and 75 clinical trials. Pycnogenol contains nutrients like proanthocyanidins, monomers, ferulic acid and caffeic acid, taxifolin, catechin and epicatechin.

Pycnogenol Benefits

Pycnogenol demonstrates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. In addition, has been studied for a wide range of conditions, including chronic venous insufficiency, asthma, retinopathy, cardiovascular problems, and erectile dysfunction. It’s a powerful antioxidant, acts as a anti-inflammatory, selectively binds to collagen and elastin and it aids in the production of endothelial nitric oxide, which helps to dilate blood vessels.


Pycnogenol is a potent antioxidant. Free radicals are the result of some oxygen molecules that are converted into oxidizing substances during the process that creates energy in cells, cellular respiration. Oxygen is a very active element, and in the stage of exchanging the molecules in the bloodstream, oxygen combines with many different compounds. Some of these compounds can cause damage to body tissue. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of a number of conditions including  arthritic disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular problems.

Pycnogenol, acts  as an antioxidant by scavenging reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and suppressing production of peroxides. It increases the activities of antioxidant enzymes by increasing the intracellular glutathione amount. Pyncogenol gets quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract due to its excellent water solubility. The compound fixes rapidly to cell membranes in veins and capillaries and connective tissue where it exerts a stabilizing effect  on cellular membranes of all types. Outside and inside the membranes it counteracts destructive oxidation by free radicals from this solubility property. This super antioxidant; It can be retained for as 72 hours while it neutralizes free radicals and prevents oxidation. An in vivo study showed a 40 percent increase in antioxidant potency in blood following 3 weeks supplementation with 150 mg pycnogenol a day. Pycnogenol also, it recycles vitamin C, regenerates vitamin E and increases the endogenous antioxidant enzyme system.

Heart and Circulatory System

Pycnogenol helps to protect capillaries by binding to blood vessels walls and reducing permeability. Pine Bark Extract contains substances that might improve blood flow. Has been shown to improve endothelial function and blood flow. Pycnogenol, inhibits superoxide radical in blood flow, and protects blood vessel walls. The most positive improvements are in peripheral microcirculation. Corrects platelet activity which is responsible for the development of blood clots following vascular damage. Pycnogenol gives a protection against the cardiovascular risks by preventing the clotting of blood platelets, caused by smoking, and inhibits the nicotine-induced constriction of blood vessels. In a study, blood was drawn before and 2 hours after administration of a single pycnogenol dose. The results clearly showed a dose-dependent reduction of platelet activity. Already the lowest dose of 25 mg pycnogenol noticeably lowered the blood platelet activity. Next research revealed that pycnogenol inhibits release of thromboxane from platelets of cigarette smokers to levels of healthy non-smokers.

Pycnogenol is in its ability to cause the blood vessels to relax. Therefore, blood can flow easily through the blood vessels, decreasing blood pressure and hypertension and improving circulation. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study with type II diabetic people medicated with ACE inhibitor Lisinopril and hypoglycaemic medication, pycnogenol significantly lowered blood pressure and half of the patients were able to lower their individual hypotensive medication dosage. By virtue of increasing the production of endothelial nitric oxide, pycnogenol significantly lowers the activity of blood platelets. Nitric oxide represents the natural body-own messenger molecule for releasing elevated thrombocyte activity.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency  is a disease that includes leg swelling, varicose veins, itching, pain, skin changes, and skin ulcers. Is caused by leg veins inability to pump blood back to the heart.  Left untreated, it can lead to varicose veins, spider veins, pain during walking, and the life threatening condition deep vein thrombosis. Pycnogenol enables restoration of the functions of the small veins through inhibition of the production of inflammatory agents. 15 clinical studies involving over 500 people showed that pycnogenol reduces pain, oedema and other symptoms associated with vein problems. This clinical studies were conducted with doses ranging from 30 mg to 360 mg  a day.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Some studies report effects of pine bark extract in the treatment and prevention of retinopathy, including slowing the progression of retinopathy in diabetics. Intake of pycnogenol has been found to reduce the micro bleedings in the retina and to improve eyesight. Pycnogenol has been tested for treatment and prevention of retinopathy in clinical trials. Studies involving more than 1200 patients showed that pycnogenol repaired permeable capillaries. Progressive deterioration of vision ceased and in some patients, visual acuity increased slightly. In a study published in the “Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics”,  found that taken in the early stages of retinopathy, pycnogenol may enhance retinal blood circulation accompanied by regression of edema, which favorably  improves vision
of patients. Retinopathy is a major cause of blindness in patients with diabetes and is one of the most feared diabetic complications.


Found that pycnogenol improves symptoms of mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis. Also, patients were able to reduce their dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. During three months in a study, received pycnogenol or a placebo. After three months; pycnogenol group experienced decreases in C-reactive protein compared to the placebo group. 100 patients were treated for three months either by 150 mg pycnogenol per day at  taking or by placebo. Patients had to report any change of use of previously prescribed antiinflammatory medication during the study time. Following treatment with pycnogenol patients reported an improvement of WOMAC index, and a significant alleviation of pain by visual analogue scale, the placebo had no effect. According to researchers, results show that pycnogenol in patients with mild to moderate OA improves symptoms and is able to spare NSAIDs. One recent study showed that patients taking 200 milligram of pycnogenol per day for 5 days reduced several key markers of inflammation. Another study found that pycnogenol inhibited the COX-1 and COX-2 inflammatory enzymes.


Pycnogenol may guard  against the formation of tumors or another cell mutations caused by free radicals and may help protect against degenerative diseases like cancer. In vitro studies show antimetastatic effects of pycnogenol extract. Pycnogenol has the ability to induce apoptosis and slow down the proliferation of leukemia, ovarian, and  breast cancer cells in vitro. Pycnogenol has been recognized as an anti-oxidant and for its ability to prevent activation of NFkappaB, a transcription factor that is generally overactive in cancer cells. Pycnogenol Dr . D. White reported that it inhibits the enzyme monooxygenase, preventing the formation of highly carcinogenic diole epoxide of benzopyrene. Pycnogenol was found to block the spread of human lung carcinoma cells. A study published in 2009 found that pycnogenol caused a 50 % reduction of thioredoxin reductase activity.


Treatment of pycnogenol decreases the level of circulating inflammatory substances in the blood stream and has been shown to improve asthma symptoms and the lung function. Pycnogenol inhibits expression of 5-lipoxygenase and therefore decreases leukotriene levels in asthmatic patients. According to a study of 2002; that pycnogenol may decrease asthma symptom scores and levels of circulating leukotrienes, molecules that cause inflammation. (International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics – number of April 2002). In a clinical study; 26 with asthma participated in this study. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either 1 mg/lb/day (most 200 mg/day) Pycnogenol or placebo for the first period of  four weeks and then crossed over to the alternate regimen for the next  four weeks. 22 patients who completed the study, all responded favorably to pycnogenol in contrast to placebo. Pycnogenol noticeably extent reduced serum leukotrienes compared with placebo.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erection requires the relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle, which is triggered by nitric oxide. Pycnogenol in combination with L-arginine, may cause an improvement in sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction. Pycnogenol enhances NO (nitric oxide) production which leads to an improvement in blood vessel dilation and an increase in blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles. a study published in 2003 showed that after 3 months of treatment, 92.5 % of male participants taking pycnogenol and l-arginine experienced normal erections.


Melasma is a common disorder of hyperpigmentation of the skin usually affecting sun-exposed areas in women. More sunlight exposure is considered the leading factor of melasma, especially in people with a genetic predisposition to this condition. 90% of occurs in women. Thirty women with melasma completed a 30-day trial in which they took one 25 mg tablet of pycnogenol 3 times daily. They were aged between 29 and 59 years  and their mean course of disease was 8 years. All 30 patients completed the 30 day treatment period. At the end of the period, the researchers found that the average area of skin affected by melasma went down by approximate 26 mm squared. Overall effective rate was 80%.

Pycnogenol and Tinnitus

Tinnitus is commonly defined as the subjective perception of sound by an individual, in the absence of external sounds. The word ‘tinnitus’ means tinkling or ringing like a bell. Episodes of tinnitus may be brief or it can be a permanent problem. In many people with tinnitus, the cause is not known. Some medications and other diseases of the inner ear  can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus can in  rare situations be a symptom of such important problems as a brain aneurysm or a brain tumor.

Recent research shows pycnogenol, is useful in relieving tinnitus symptoms and improving inner ear blood flow. In a study; involving 82 people with mild to moderate tinnitus in one ear, 58 took pycnogenol (100 mg or 150 mg per day) and 24 acted as controls. Patients were assigned to one of 3 groups:  first group consisted of 24 patients who were administered 150 mg/day of pycnogenol, second group consisted of 34 patients who were administered 100 mg/day of pycnogenol, and the control group consisted of 24 patients who received no pycnogenol. At the beginning of the study, patients’ average initial systolic and diastolic blood flow velocities were 14.3 and 4.22 cm/sec in the low dose pycnogenol group and 13.2 and 3.2 cm/sec in the high dose pycnogenol group, indicative of insufficient blood perfusion of the ear in both groups. The study found that after 4 weeks of treatment with pycnogenol, inner ear systolic and diastolic blood flow velocities in the affected ear rose to an average of 21.2 and 8.23 cm/sec in the low dose group and to 24.3 and 12.5 cm/sec in the high dose group (Panminerva Medica 2010 June).  ‘This study, clearly  indicates pycnogenol ability to improve vascular function and restore cochlear blood perfusion, which in turn relieves the severity of tinnitus symptoms‘ said Dr. Belcaro.

Pycnogenol Dosage

Some doctors who have used pycnogenol recommend a dose of 20 mg for every 20lbs of body weight to obtain optimal results. (approximately 150-200mg per day.) Pycnogenol is absorbed by the body within 30 minutes and it’s effectiveness lasts 72 hours.

Pycnogenol Side Effects

Is generally safe and well tolerated. By thinning the blood it could cause adverse reactions in those who are on aspirin, coumadin or other medications that cause blood thinning. As a general precaution, pregnant women should not take pycnogenol within the first three months of pregnancy.

Lutein Benefits and Dosage

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in the human eye. The highest concentration is found in the macular area of the retina. About 80% of the carotenoid content in the retina is Lutein and zeaxanthin. The macula is a specialized region in the back of the eye which allows you to clearly see fine details. In addition to sunlight exposure, age, smoking and diet have been identified as risk factors for age-related macular degeneration. One function of zeaxanthin and lutein revealed by research is their capacity to serve as an antioxidant.

What is Age Related Macular Degeneration?

Age related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in those aged over 50. The macula is a small spot in the centre of the retina that processes sharp, clear vision. With age-related macular degeneration, the macula cells become damaged, leading to gradual loss of your central vision. Macular degeneration disables this retinal function, leaving only a margin of peripheral vision. There are different kinds of macular problems, but the most common is age-related macular degeneration. The worldwide incidence of the disease grows from 1 in 10 people over the age of 60 to more than 1 in 4 people over the age of 75.

Zeaxanthin and Lutein Benefits

Zeaxanthin and lutein may protect the retina in two ways, as antioxidants to oxidative stress from metabolism, and by filtering short wavelengths of light they also reduce the oxidative effect of blue light .Within the skin, lutein appears to be deposited in the epidermis  and dermis, providing its antioxidant and blue-light absorption functions throughout the depth of the skin.

According to a 1995 study, increasing the consumption of dark green, leafy vegetables appears to offer some protection against macular degeneration. In a study of 380 people aged 66-75 years in the UK, people with lower blood levels of lutein plus zeaxanthin were more likely to have age-related macular degeneration.

A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association provided the  of evidence that lutein supplements, taken in capsule form  6-30 mg per day, can lower the risk of macular degeneration up to 43 percent. In a 2009 study of 37 healthy adults, researchers found that subjects who took lutein supplements for 12 weeks experienced improvements in visual function. A  study from Beijing-based researchers, reported in the British Journal of Nutrition, has noted improvements in the sensitivity to contrast on a computer screen in subjects taking lutein. The study concluded that “a higher intake of lutein may have beneficial effects on the visual performance. A research study published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, suggests that zeaxanthin supplementation preventeddiabetes-induced increase in retinal damage. The Health Professional’s Follow-Up Study also found that high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin  lowered the need for cataract surgery.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Food Sources

Lutein is found in egg yolk and many plants and vegetables, including red peppers, broccoli, mustard, zucchini, corn, garden peas, spinach, collard greens and kale. Rich sources of zeaxanthin  are dark, leafy greens, as well as broccoli, corn, Brussels sprouts, zucchini and peas.

Carotenoids such as lutein, and zeaxanthin are fat-soluble substances, and as such require the presence of dietary fat for proper absorption through the digestive tract. The concentrations of various carotenoids in human serum and tissues are highly variable and depend on food sources, efficiency of absorption, and amount of fat in the diet. The researchers suspect that lutein from eggs is more readily absorbed into the bloodstream than lutein from other sources because of components in the egg’s yolk, such as lecithin.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Dosage

Lutein supplements are available in soft-gel capsule form. Daily amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin are generally recommended at 20 mg of lutein and 3-10 mg of zeaxanthin. 12mg dose of lutein improved vision in health computer users. Lutein supplements contain trace amounts of natural or dietary zeaxanthin. A recommended amount of zeaxanthin is 10 mg daily for anyone diagnosed with macular degeneration and 3 mg for those taking it as a preventative measure.