Study results show that nearly 90% of participants who supplemented a healthy diet and regular exercise with Pycnogenol had significant improvements of all metabolic syndrome characteristics including obesity and high blood pressure. The study was conduced at the Italian university of Chieti-Pescara and included 130 subjects, ages 45 to 55, who presented with all five risk factors of metabolic syndrome, as defined by the American Heart Association (AHA). These risk factors include central obesity which equates to a 40 inch or more waistline for men and a 35 inch or more waistline for women, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high glucose and high triglycerides. A controlled clinical trial was conducted and participants were given either placebo capsules or 50 mg of Pycnogenol three times daily. Participants were managed using counseling and dietary education, and a moderate exercise program was initiated. They were followed for six months. Subjects were evaluated at three months and six months for waist circumference, BMI, weight and blood pressure. At each visit they were tested for cholesterol and blood pressure and heart rate was monitored in the mornings.
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HOBOKEN, N.J—Supplementation with Pycnogenol®, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, effectively helps to reduce all five risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in Phytotherapy Research.
Results showed risk factors of metabolic syndrome we all improved at three months with supplementation of Pycnogenol, and improved even further at six months. Participants who supplemented with Pycnogenol were free of all five risk factors and were within normal values in six months. Over half of the subjects in the placebo group still presented with all five metabolic syndrome risk factors even after six months of diet and exercise.
Additionally, those who took Pycnogenol, along with having a healthy diet and exercise, achieved weight loss and a waist circumference at non-obese levels after three months which qualifies as 30 inches and 34 inches for men and women respectively. These participants also had a healthy BMI with a baseline average BMI decrease from 26.7 to 25.1 kg/m2, healthy glucose, triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels, reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and a reduction in oxidative stress. Also, improved endothelial function, assisting in reaching healthy blood pressure levels, and inhibition of alpha-glucosidase, which may be the cause for lower blood glucose levels.
“This study adds to the already established portfolio of studies on Pycnogenol and heart health conducted over the last 30 years,” said Frank Schonlau, Ph.D., scientific director for Horphag Research, worldwide distributors of Pycnogenol. “Previous studies have shown Pycnogenol is a natural solution for individuals with metabolic syndrome, particularly for kidney protection,” he added. It has also been shown to lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients and has been associated with improved cardiovascular health like cholesterol reduction, blood pressure control and prevention of thrombosis, he said.