You forget important events... lose your train of thought... and get overwhelmed by life's little details.
And it’s happening more and more often.
When you're on the older side, those "senior moments" can make you feel, well, a little TOO senior.
Of course, everyone has trouble keeping track of their busy lives from time to time. Even your grandkids -- who carry around phones that are smarter than us all -- sometimes can't keep things straight!
But if your "brain hiccups" are stacking up, they could be a sign of something called mild cognitive impairment.
It's actually not so "mild," because 70 percent of folks with the condition go on to develop dementia.
And while there's no pill you can pop to make it go away, your doc might try giving you a prescription drug that's been approved for Alzheimer's (but not mild cognitive impairment) that comes with a bunch of risky side effects.
But he'd be barking up the wrong tree, because according to a new study, an extract that comes from the bark of a pine tree can stop mild cognitive impairment in its tracks… naturally!
In the study, Italian researchers divided a group of healthy older guys with mild cognitive impairment into two groups: Half took pine bark in addition to standard treatment for the condition, while the other half received standard treatment only.
After two months, those who'd taken pine bark scored significantly BETTER on the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) -- which measures memory loss and cognitive problems -- than they had at the beginning of the study.
Those who didn't take pine bark, on the other hand, didn't see ANY notable improvement in their MMSE scores.
The theory is that an extract from pine bark, called pycnogenol, can quickly reduce oxidative stress in your gray matter -- and we know that oxidative stress is a risk factor for cognitive decline.
What's more, previous studies have shown that pycnogenol boosts blood flow by increasing levels of nitric oxide.
As I’ve shared with you in the past, nitric oxide is a compound that relaxes blood vessels, which allows blood to gush through more freely to every nook and cranny in your body where it’s needed.
And increased blood flow to your brain means that your gray matter receives more critical oxygen and nutrients that nourish it, giving your cognitive function a boost.
Plus, the benefits don't stop there. Pycnogenol's ability to increase blood flow can also protect you from dangerous blood clots in your legs .
And guys, it can even help you regain your "oomph" in the bedroom.
Pycnogenol comes from the bark of the pine tree found in the forests of southwest France (Pinus pinaster) -- but it's widely available at health food stores and online.
And instead of driving over to the store to pick some up, you may even want to walk (briskly) -- because previous studies have shown that exercise can also ease mild cognitive impairment .