|Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor|
Metabolic syndrome effects 32% of American adults and has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. A recent study suggests that taking daily supplements of Pycnogenol® (French maritime pine bark extract) may reduce the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and high cholesterol.
Participants in the study included 130 participants between the ages of 45 and 55. Over the course of six months, half of the group took a placebo while the other half took 50 mg of Pycnogenol® daily.
At the three-month mark, all of the risk factors of metabolic syndrome showed improvement in the supplement group. These improvements included decreases in waist circumference, triglyceride levels, blood pressure as well as an increase in HDL cholesterol. That improvement was even greater at the six-month mark.
Researchers from Creighton University in Nebraska conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 28, 2013, in Phytotherapy Research.
Pycnogenol® has been shown to help with high blood pressure, muscle soreness, osteoarthritis, diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, ringing in the ears, erectile dysfunction and retinopathy.
Pycnogenol® is water soluble, meaning it can be added to the production of many common foods. It is currently included in dietary supplements, cosmetic products, and a variety of foods and drinks.