Ask the Experts

Pycnogenol and Alternative Treatments

“Can you tell me about Pycnogenol and Maquelier’s OPC (pine bark extract and grape seed oil extract)? I have heard many good things about these treatments but would like to know more regarding any side effects.”

The scientific literature shows that neither of the products you list helps individuals with ADHD. Manufacturer trying to sell the products provide the only literature available suggesting that they work. I discourage you from considering either. If you want a summary of the literature on these proposed alternative therapies, you might read the chapter on such therapies in my book (either The Misunderstood Child or Dr. Larry Silver’s Advice to Parents on ADHD).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends treating ADHD in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 with FDA-approved medications, plus parent training in behavior modification and behavioral classroom interventions. Research studies like this one conducted by scientists at McGill University have found that “stimulant medications are most effective, and combined medication and psychosocial treatment is the most beneficial treatment option for most adult patients with ADHD.” All ADHD treatment decisions should be made in consultation and coordination with a licensed medical provider.

[Alternatives to ADHD Stimulants?]