Pycnogenol Improves Heart Disease Symptoms

June 7, 2012

2 Min Read
Pycnogenol Improves Heart Disease Symptoms

HOBOKEN,N.J. Pycnogenol® improved endothelial functions in patients with stable coronary artery disease in a study published in the January 2012 issue of European Hearth Journal Pycnogenol is a plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree that can be formulated into dietary supplements.  

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study was carried out at the Clinic for Cardiology at the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. The study investigated 23 patients with stable coronary artery disease, as documented by coronary angiography. All patients were in stable cardiovascular health owing to excellent medication with statins, anti-hypertensives and blood thinners throughout the study.

Patients were randomly assigned to two groups. Patients in group one received Pycnogenol (200 mg/d) for eight weeks followed by a two-week washout-period, then took placebo for another eight weeks. Group two received the opposite sequence of placebo first, then two weeks wash-out, followed by eight weeks with Pycnogenol (200 mg/d). All patients had well-controlled blood lipids, blood pressure and blood coagulability due to their individual complex medication regimens.

 After eight weeks of treatment with Pycnogenol, artery dilatation increased significantly by 32 percent, while it remained unchanged in the placebo group. The study also found that plasma-8-isoprostanes, an index of oxidative stress, were reduced significantly after eight weeks of treatment with Pycnogenol, compared to baseline and placebo, from 0.71±0.09 to 0.66±0.13 (P=0.049 vs. baseline and P=0.005 vs. placebo). Several lines of evidence suggested oxidative stress promotes endothelial dysfunction. The study also found plasma levels of artery-constricting endothelin-1 were reduced, providing further evidence of an improvement to endothelial function. No effects of Pycnogenol were found regarding platelet function, which the study authors contribute to the general use of blood thinners in their patients.

 The balance between endothelial function and dysfunction plays an important role in the cause and progression of atherosclerosis, and in the transition from a stable to an unstable disease state," said Frank Enseleit, Ph.D., the lead researcher of the study." As such, the evaluation of endothelial function has emerged as an important end point in cardiovascular research. After Pycnogenol usage, we were able to identify a significant improvement of endothelial function in individuals who depend on medications as a result of their heart disease. Pycnogenol appears to help restore the bodys own functions in flow-mediated arterial dilatation."

Pycnogenol has a number of other health benefits including its ability to decrease allergy symptoms.

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