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A balanced diet provides us with a variety of compounds necessary to sustain the complex systems and functions of the human body, however, some foods and/or supplements can provide more health benefits than the basic nutrition. Tomatoes, for example, are rich in lycopene, a compound that can reduce the risk of stroke and prostate cancer. While the list of beneficial substances is growing, one substance has gained more recognition from healthcare professionals when it comes to preventing and treating cardiovascular disease: pycnogenol.
Pycnogenol, a pine bark extract that you may have never heard of, may be a fundamental ingredient which can give your general well-being a boost. In fact, Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report, believes it ought to be a part of everybody’s health regimen, especially when it comes to it’s benefits towards cardiovascular disease.
Pycnogenol is a patented form of pine bark extract made using the bark of the maritime pine that grows in France. Pine bark extract contains procyanidins, a form of catechins, similiar to those found in green tea, cocoa, and grape seed extract. Pycnogenol also has a unique combination of powerful antioxidant components in addition to procyanidins, including bioflavonoids and phenolic acids, that neutralize disease-causing free radicals in the body. Furthermore, this form of pine bark extract is believed to increase skin elasticity as well as reduce both oxidative stress and collagen degradation, reducing the effects of aging.
An Italian study published in Phytotherapy Research found that supplementing a diet with Pycnogenol reduced the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
When the study began, study participants had all five risk factors for metabolic syndrome as defined by the American Heart Association. Patients were divided into 2 groups and were given either 50 milligram tablets of Pycnogenol, three times every day or placebo tablets. Almost 90 percent of the patients at the Pycnogenol group showed improvement in all five groups.
“Pycnogenol was also discovered to aid individuals struggling with metabolic syndrome by controlling blood lipids, blood glucose and blood pressure”, said lead researcher Dr. Gianni Belcaro. Results demonstrate that those who commissioned exercise and a healthy diet were able to boost heart health and lose weight, attaining an body mass index. “This research offers evidence that daily supplementation with Pycnogenol can offer a natural approach to help achieve wholesome blood pressure, improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels and finally, greater cardiovascular wellness”, Gianni said.
In a small study of healthy people, concerning the use of Pycnogenol to control bad cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or blood lipids, Pycnogenol lowered levels while good cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol, were raised. In a second randomized placebo-controlled study of men with cholesterol levels, Pycnogenol was found to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol but elevate HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides, another kind of fat found in the blood, weren’t affected. In a study of 48 patients with type 2 diabetes, Pycnogenol seemed to reduce LDL cholesterol compared with placebo.
In another research study, Pycnogenol at doses of 200 mg/d led to a substantial reduction in SBP from 139.9 mmHg into 132.7 mmHg (p < 0.05) in eleven patients with mild hypertension for more than eight weeks at a double-blind placebo placebo crossover trial. Diastolic BP fell from 93.8 mmHg to 92.0 mmHg. Pycnogenol functions as a ACEI, in which it improves renal cortical blood circulation, reduces serum thromboxane concentrations, decreases myelo-peroxidase activity, protects cell membranes from oxidative stress, reduces urinary albumin excretion, decreases HS-CRP and increases NO and improves endothelial function. Other studies have shown reductions in BP reductions in endothelin-1, and a need for CCB and ACEI, HgA1C, fasting glucose, LDL-C and myeloperoxidase.
The endothelium is the layer of the blood vessels. This thin layer that is cellular plays an significant function in the regulation of blood circulation. Endothelial function is found among individuals with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. One double-blind placebo-controlled analysis of 58 patients with blood pressure found that endothelial function daily enhanced. Another double-blind, randomized crossover study on 28 patients with coronary artery disease found that 200 mg of daily for eight weeks improved endothelial function
Dr. Blaylock adds even more benefits of Pycnogenol. “It is exceptional in reducing the signs and symptoms of varicose veins, inhibits oral and all other cancers, also protects against kidney and auditory nerve damage by antibiotics”, ” he states. “In addition, it suppresses atherosclerosis and soothes atherosclerotic plaque, the main cause of a heart attack”.
In conclusion, Pycnogenol has been widely researched in many studies, several of which demonstrated positive outcomes towards naturally preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, among other health issues. Pycnogenol, the form of pine bark extract we covered above, has been noted to help improve CVD by reducing the risk factors of metabolic syndrome, controlling “bad cholesterol” and balancing “good cholesterol”, as well as improving endothelial function, an important factor in the regulation of blood circulation, among many other health benefits.
Although Pycnogenol has shown to have many health benefits, it’s important to seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation for an existing condition or disease. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
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