Pine bark extract can help improve heart health

Washington: A combination of pycnogenol, or pine bark, and Coenzyme Q10 can help heart patients become more physically energetic by naturally strengthening the heart, and increasing the blood volume ejected with each beat, according to a new study.

Furthermore, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rates were improved among patients.

"Many conditions that lead to heart failure cannot be reversed, but heart failure can often be medically managed with good results," said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, a lead researcher of the study.

"This study shows that a combination of Pycnogenol and Coenzyme Q10 -- PycnoQ10 -- offers an effective, natural solution as adjunct for heart health management."

The 12-week single-blinded, placebo-controlled observational study investigated the effectiveness of Pycnogenol and PycnoQ10 supplementation in 53 patients. Patients were between the ages of 54 and 68 and had mild to moderate hypertension, with stable congestive heart failure.

Patients recruited had been diagnosed with heart failure with an ejection fraction lower than 40 percent of their original capacity. All patients were taking prescribed heart medication and most patients used three or more drugs for heart failure treatment.

Patients were divided into two groups: One group received capsules with a combination of 15 mg Pycnogenol and 50 mg CoQ10 from Kaneka. The second group received placebo capsules in addition to their individual prescription medications.

The study found the group that got PycnoQ10 showed decreased blood pressure and heart rate. Patients`` exercise capacity improved, heart ejection fraction improved and distal edema -- swelling in the leg evaluated. The study showed decreased blood pressure and heart rate and distal edema decreased significantly to 72 percent.

The study has been published in Panminerva Medica.


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