Can Pine Bark Save the NFL ?

The research is clear: Concussions early in life can cause dementia years later. The problem is so serious in the NFL that the league is spending over $700 million in court-ordered payments to retired football players suffering brain impairment.1
Some players have prematurely quit because of worries about dementia. And recently, even an announcer quit over the issue. ESPN analyst Ed Cunningham said he no longer wanted to promote a sport that causes brain damage. Some experts believe football cannot survive as a sport if a solution isn’t found.2
A new study by Penn State researchers shows that a little-known supplement might be at least part of the answer.3
Researchers tested the supplement Enzogenol in 42 student athletes who had suffered sports-related concussions. It’s an extract from the bark of the New Zealand pine tree Pinus radiata.
Enzogenol is one of nature’s most concentrated sources of flavonoids and other plant polyphenols. It has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The scientists wanted to find out if Enzogenol would help heal the brain after concussions.4
At the start of the study, the participants were given cognitive tasks while their brain activity was recorded using electroencephalography scans (EEGs).
An EEG measures electrical activity in the brain. Your brain cells use electrical impulses to communicate. High levels of electrical activity indicate properly functioning neurons.5
For six weeks, participants took either 1,000 mg of Enzogenol or a placebo daily.
Afterward, the researchers tested the subjects again. The EEGs revealed that the group that took Enzogenol had increased electrical activity. This was particularly pronounced in the frontal cortex area of the brain. That’s where cognitive processing takes place. When your frontal cortex is active, you are able to solve problems quickly and remember things easier.
The subjects had reduced activity in the parietal cortex. This is a sign they had less mental fatigue. It showed that their brain was able work on tasks without tiring.

Can Pine Bark Save the NFL?