Taking pine bark extract could reduce jet lag and lower the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long-haul flights, a study suggests.
The antioxidant properties of the bark, available on the High Street in capsule form, are thought to reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow.
It could reduce the risk of leg swelling and blood clots, as well as minimising the tiredness and confusion caused by jet lag.
Sitting still for long periods in a confined space can trigger DVT, where a potentially life-threatening blood clot forms in a major vein.
Flyers who are overweight, smoke, have high blood pressure or are taking the combined contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are most at risk.
The study by Italian researchers showed flyers who took pine bark extract for three days before and after flying were less likely to suffer leg swelling and pain – warning signs for DVT – than those who wore compression socks or took no action.
The paper was published in the journal Minerva Cardioangiologica.
Lead author Gianni Belcaro, of the Gabriele d’Annunzio University in Chieti, wrote: “[The pine bark extract] seems to effectively control oedema (leg swelling), and there is indication that it may also contribute to control some early thrombotic events.
“For the study, 295 people were asked to take two eight-hour flights in economy class within a week.”
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