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International Angiology 2015 February;34(1):43-52


language: English

Effects of Pycnogenol® on endothelial dysfunction in borderline hypertensive, hyperlipidemic, and hyperglycemic individuals: the borderline study

Hu S., Belcaro G., Cornelli U., Luzzi R., Cesarone M. R., Dugall M., Feragalli B., Errichi B., Ippolito E., Grossi M. G., Hosoi M., Gizzi G., Trignani M.

Irvine3 Circulation Vascular Labs and San Valentino Epidemiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Chieti-Pescara University, Pescara, Italy


AIM: This registry study aimed to evaluate the effects of supplementation with pycnogenol on altered endothelial function (EF) in borderline hypertensive, hyperlipidemic and hyperglycemic subjects without atherosclerotic changes in their main arteries and no coronary artery disease.
METHODS: Flow mediated dilatation (FMD) and endothelium-independent (EID) dilatation were measured with brachial ultrasound after occlusion. Also, after occlusion, laser Doppler (LDF) flux and distal straingauge flow were measured. Oxidative stress (oxstress) was evaluated at 8 and 12 weeks. 93 subjects with borderline symptoms were enrolled into the study: 32 hypertensives, 31 hyperlipidemics, 30 hyperglycemics. All participants were instructed to follow the best available management to control their symptoms. In addition to best management, half of the subjects in each group used 150 mg/day Pycnogenol®. 31 normal subjects were included as control.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks metabolic values and blood pressure were back to normal in all subjects. Values were slightly better under Pycnogenol®. FMD increased after 8 weeks from an average 5.3;3.4% to 8.2;2.2% with a further increase to 8.8;3.1% (P<0.05) at 12 weeks. No effects were found in controls and normal subjects. EID of normal subjects was consistently higher with 26%. LDF skin flux increased with Pycnogenol® at 8 weeks and 12 weeks. The final flux increase was not different from normal values. In controls flux after occlusion was not improved at 8 weeks; there was a significant but minor increase at 12 weeks. Flux increases were superior in all Pycnogenol® subjects. In Pycnogenol® subjects, limb flow after occlusion increased at 8 weeks with a further increase at 12 weeks. In controls inclusion flow after occlusion was comparable at 8 and 12 weeks. Oxidative stress was significantly decreased in Pycnogenol® subjects at 8 and 12 weeks. Minor differences were observed in controls.
CONCLUSION: This open registry study indicates that Pycnogenol® improves EF in preclinical, borderline subjects in a macro-microcirculatory model. This observation may suggest an important preventive possibility for borderline hypertensive, hyperglycemic and hyperlipidemic subjects.

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