Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes by PycnogenolR supplementation – Source: Nutrition Research, May 2008

Patients with type 2 diabetes are at considerable risk of excessive morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD). We investigated the clinical effectiveness of PycnogenolR, a flavonoid-rich dietary supplement, in reducing antihypertensive medication use and CVD risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes.

Forty-eight individuals were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with parallel-group design. Patients were diagnosed with both type 2 diabetes and mild to moderate hypertension and were undergoing treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either Pycnogenol pill (125 mg daily) or matched placebo for 12 weeks. According to the values of blood pressure (BP) measured at 2-week intervals, the pretrial ACE inhibitor dosage was left unchanged, reduced by 50%, or brought back to the pretrial dosage until a stable BP was obtained. Fasting plasma glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), serum endothelin-1, and urinary albumin were evaluated monthly.

  • Pycnogenol treatment achieved BP control in 58.3% of subjects at the end of the 12 weeks with 50% reduction in individual pretrial dose of ACE-inhibitors (P < .05).
  • Plasma endothelin-1 decreased by 3.9 pg/mL in Pycnogenol-treated group vs 0.5 pg/mL increase in control group (P < .001).
  • Mean HbA1c dropped by 0.8% in Pycnogenol-treated group (P < .05), whereas it decreased by 0.1% in control group.
  • Fasting plasma glucose declined by 23.7 mg/dL in Pycnogenol-treated group vs 5.7 mg/dL in control group (P < .0001).
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol improved significantly in Pycnogenol-treated group, declining by 12.7 mg/dL (P < .001).
  • A significant decrease in urinary albumin level was observed at week 8 compared with the control group (P < .05). However, this reduction was not significant at 12th week.

After 12 weeks of supplementation, Pycnogenol resulted in improved diabetes control, lowered CVD risk factors, and reduced antihypertensive medicine use vs. controls.

Source: Nutrition Research, May 2008. 28(5)pp 315-320. PMID, by Zibadi S, Rohdewald PJ, Park D, Watson RR. Departments of Nutritional Sciences, Medicine, and Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson; Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Munster, Munster, Germany.

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