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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2013 August;104(4):439-46

language: English

A controlled study shows daily intake of 50 mg of French Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®) lowers plasma reactive oxygen metabolites in healthy smokers

Belcaro G., Hu S., Cesarone M. R., Dugall M.

Irvine 3 Circulation/Vascular Labs, Chieti-Pescara University, Spoltore, Pescara, Italy


Aim: We investigated a low daily dosage of 50 mg of the antioxidant Pycnogenol for lowering oxidative stress in cigarette smokers who presented with good health.
Methods: A group of 78 smokers were supplemented with 50 mg Pycnogenol over an eight-week period, followed by two weeks cessation. Another 77 smokers took placebo tablets. Plasma reactive oxygen metabolites were detected by d-ROM test and the biological antioxidant potential (BAP) was quantified by photometric analysis of ferric iron reduction to ferrous form.
Results: BAP and d-ROM values in the Pycnogenol and placebo group were comparative at trial start. Pycnogenol lowered d-ROM values by 25.3% from baseline 459.4±65 to 342.2±56 Carr units after 2 weeks. At time points 4, 5 and 8 weeks treatment d-ROM values in the Pycnogenol group were significantly lower than in the control group (P<0.05). After cessation of Pycnogenol from week 8 to 10 d-ROM values increased from 288.4±32 to 381.3±39 Carr units. BAP values increased in the Pycnogenol group from baseline 1698±231 to 2349±294 μM after 8 weeks and dropped to 2002±203 μM after two weeks washout period. Values in the control group remained largely unaltered with 1669±311, 1673±229 and 1656±221 μM, at 0, 8 and 10 weeks, respectively.
Conclusion: A daily dosage of 50 mg Pycnogenol significantly lowers reactive oxygen species as compared to a placebo-treated equivalent control group.

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