Pescara, Italy—Metabolic syndrome affects an estimated 35% of adults in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and high glucose levels in the blood, eventually cause the kidneys to work improperly.
Now, one study is announcing that Pycnogenol, which is an antioxidant that is extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, may be able to improve kidney health and control blood pressure, blood sugar, and lower body mass index (BMI). The study, which was conducted at the L’Aquila Hospital in Italy and was published in Panminerva Medica, investigated 58 patients with hypertension and metabolic syndrome. Patients in the group that took Pycnogenol in doses of 50 mg three times a day showed improvement in their systolic and diastolic pressures, heart rate, and respiratory rate. The group that did not take Pycnogenol did not show significant improvement.
Though scientists state that Pycnogenol cannot be used as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, it does offer help to those who desperately need it.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2011 (online 3/7/11)