A study to be published in an upcoming edition of the journal of Cardiovascular Toxicology reveals Pycnogenol natural pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, helps prevent damage that high blood pressure causes to the heart. The study demonstrates Pycnogenol counteracts the "wearing out" of the heart, which may aid the five million Americans living with heart failure. Previous studies have shown Pycnogenol supplementation to be associated with improved cardiovascular health, such as cholesterol reduction, blood pressure control and prevention of thrombosis.
In hypertension, the over-worked heart gradually wears out, resulting in the weakening of the heart muscle and increasing of heart chamber volume. This process (known as cardiac remodeling) may eventually cause heart failure when the heart insufficiently supplies the body with oxygenated blood. The study showed that Pycnogenol prevents the heart from getting worn out during hypertension. Cardiac chamber walls showed a significantly higher rate of collagen connective tissues than control groups.
"Alternative treatments such as Pycnogenol are crucial components in the fight against heart disease,"said Dr. Ronald Watson, professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona and a lead researcher of the study. "The effectiveness of Pycnogenol supplementation is a great option for many people who want an alternative to prescription medications such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors. This new study shows Pycnogenol administers a therapeutic effect to limit the degenerative process in patients predisposed to congestive heart failure, such as the aged."
The study was conducted at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Elderly female mice (18 months old) were randomly divided into four groups: control mice, mice receiving Pycnogenol only, mice receiving L-NAME only (a substance which causes arterial constriction) and mice receiving both Pycnogenol
Contact: Melanie Nimrodi