New Research Confirms That Pine Bark Extract Protects Blood Vessels
A new clinical study into the effects of pine bark extract on blood vessels
Results suggest that pine bark extract may be beneficial alongside other medications used to treat stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
Using flow-mediated dilation (FMD), it’s possible to determine the degree of relaxation and vasodilation. An increase in blood flow is indicative of healthier vessels. The results of this study provide evidence that pine bark extract has positive effects on blood circulation.
The research was conducted as a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study. These study parameters ensure a high degree of reliability. The study extended over eighteen weeks. Split into two groups, the first group received 200 milligrams of pine bark extract daily for eight weeks. The second group received a placebo. After eight weeks, nether group received the placebo or pine bark extract for two weeks.
After the two week stand-down period, the study recommenced. For the following 8 weeks, the groups swapped, with the first group receiving the placebo and the second group receiving the pine bark extract. Throughout the duration of the study, the CAD patients received their normal medications. This included blood thinners, antihypertensives and statins.
The results revealed clearly identifiable effects of taking the pine bark extract. Arterial enlargement in the respective pine bark extract group after eight weeks increased by 32 percent.
Conversely, in the first phase there were no effects observed in the placebo group. Additionally, plasma 8 isoprostane markers of oxidative stress were significantly reduced while patients took the pine bark extract.
The FMD analysis showed a significant improvement in the function of endothelial cells within blood vessels. The average FMD value increased from 5.3 to 7.0.
Based on these findings, study leader Dr. Frank Enseleit is convinced that pine back extract has a protective influence on blood vessels. The positive effects of pine bark extract was easily distinguishable. This is despite the statins, antihypertensives and anticoagulants study participants were taking.
The daily intake of Mediterranean pine bark extract (also known as Pycnogenol) may significantly improve cardiovascular health, especially in patients with coronary heart disease. Given the severity of this condition, a doctor should always be consulted prior to taking this supplement.
- “Enseleit, F., et al. “Effects of Pycnogenol on endothelial function in patients with stable coronary artery disease: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study,” European Heart Journal, published Epub ahead of print” ↩