Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pycnogenol counteracts kidney damage due to hyprtension...

Pycnogenol® is the patented trade name for a water extract of the bark of the French maritime pine (Pinus pinaster ssp. atlantica), which is grown in coastal southwest France.  Pycnogenol® contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) as well as several other bioflavonoids (catechin, epicatechin), phenolic fruit acids (such as ferulic acid and caffeic acid), and taxifolin. Procyanidins are oligometric catechins found at high concentrations in red wine, grapes, cocoa, cranberries, apples, and some supplements such as Pycnogenol.

Scientific evidence on its antioxidative capacity and protective action on the vascular system have been published in the most renowned scientific journals. Additional published findings have demonstrated Pycnogenol’s beneficial effects in cardiovascular health (reduces LDL), skincare (e.g., Melasma, erythema, Chronic venous insufficiency), cognitive function, diabetes health, inflammation, sports nutrition, asthma and allergy relief and menstrual disorders, among others.

Earlier research suggested that, supplementation of Pycnogenol® with  conventional diabetes treatment may lower glucose levels and improve endothelial function and may improve symptoms associated with diabetic microangiopathy.

Now researchers lead by Dr. Gianni Belcaro, have come up with an interesting finding.i.e.,  Pycnogenol®  counteracts kidney damage caused by hypertension, lowering urinary proteins and improving blood flow to the kidneys.

The randomized, controlled study conducted by the G D'Annunzio University in Italy investigated 55 hypertensive patients who showed early signs of impaired kidney function, as judged by elevated amounts of proteins found in their urine.  The patients were divided into two groups.  Both groups were treated with anti-hypertensive medication Ramipril and one group of 29 patients took Pycnogenol in addition to the Ramipril.

After six months of treatment with Ramipril, average protein levels decreased to 64 mg per 24-hour period, remaining well above an acceptable level.  Conversely, the group taking Pycnogenol® as an adjunct to Ramipril had an average of only 39 mg per 24-hour period, a decrease of nearly double compared with anti-hypertensive medication taken alone.

The study also found a statistically significant decrease in patients' blood pressure when taking Pycnogenol® in conjunction with Ramipril.  As per the clam by the researchers, the addition of Pycnogenol® decreased both systolic and diastolic pressures by an additional three to six percent.  Pycnogenol® was also found to lower the patients' elevated levels of inflammatory marker CRP, a blood protein associated with the risk for acute cardiovascular events such as heart attack, reducing values to a healthy level.

Researchers conclude that, Pycnogenol® as an adjunct to the medication produced significantly greater results, particularly for kidney function restoration  and Pycnogenol® continues to demonstrate its abilities as a natural solution for the complete cardiovascular system....

Ref :  Dr. Gianni Belcaro, March 2010, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology...

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