Wayne Dyer’s Final Lesson

September 8, 2015 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

It’s time to come clean. I’ve been putting off writing this blog for several days. The research was ready. I had a mental outline of what I wanted to say. But, I was concerned that I wouldn’t do the topic justice. And, perhaps more importantly, composing this column will make real for me an event that I so wish never happened: the death of Dr. Wayne Dyer at the young age of age 75.

Over the last few weeks, I had listened to a number of Wayne’s interviews and presentations. I thought to myself, “I don’t know if he still has leukemia. But, he sure does seem energetic and well”. I delighted in his most recent interviews and social media posts featuring accounts and photos from his presentations in distant locales including Australia and New Zealand. Even his upcoming speaking calendar was quite intense for a man of any age. All of this brought me joy.

Some of you may already know that several years ago, the good doctor was unexpectedly diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) – a form of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. True to form, Dr. Dyer decided to address this potentially deadly disease in a decidedly unconventional way. He employed various alternative therapies ranging from coffee enemas to remote psychic surgery. To many, I’m sure this sounds pretty crazy. However, deeply held beliefs and the medicinal power of the mind cannot be underestimated. In fact, according to a family spokesman, the coroner’s report found no traces of leukemia in his body.

A very different cause of death was noted: myocardial infarction (MI) aka a heart attack. Now, this may come as a surprise to many who knew Wayne’s lifestyle. He meditated daily, practiced yoga and swam in the beautiful waters of Maui, Hawaii. Wayne gave up drinking alcohol and smoking many years ago. Also, among his large circle friends were numerous nutritional experts who helped shaped his dietary philosophy. Still, we all have certain blind spots when it comes to evaluating how healthy we truly are.

In 2003, Dr. Dyer had a heart attack that necessitated the placement of an arterial stent. It’s hard to say how closely he monitored the progression or lack thereof of his own cardiovascular risk after that lifesaving operation. I do know that, on some occasions, he mentioned an aversion to medical tests that monitored markers relating to CLL. In fact, in the final few years of his life, he apparently stopped having this type of blood testing at all. Instead, he felt and trusted that he was cancer-free. This apparently worked well in the case of his leukemia. However, proper monitoring of his cardiovascular status may have saved his life.

Another thing that I wish that Wayne had done was address the higher risk of heart attack that occurs during sleep and in the morning hours. According to some research, this risk can be threefold in comparison to other times of the day. This is true, in particular, of the latter stage of sleep, characterized by rapid eye movements or REM. During this time, the cardiovascular system shifts from a calmer to a more energetic state as indicated by higher blood pressure and heart rate. Also, there are a number of factors that diminish blood flow at this sensitive time – increased platelet adhesion and reduced fibrinolysis. When this is coupled with pre-existing arterial plaque, it can be a prescription for trouble. What’s more, early morning heart attacks tend to be much more damaging than mid-day MIs.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that Wayne would want a lot of good to come from his untimely passing. My contribution to this movement is a simple suggestion: Consider taking a capsule of Pycnogenol, a unique pine bark extract, prior to bed and upon rising in the morning.

Pycnogenol is one of the most thoroughly studied natural medicines in the world. It has been subjected to hundreds of clinical experiments and trials. Peer-reviewed studies reveal that it: a) slows the progression of arterial plaque; b) protects against abnormal blood clotting and supports healthier circulation without solely “thinning the blood” like aspirin; and c) improves blood sugar, lipid profile, oxidative stress and waist circumference in at-risk individuals such as those with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Best of all, it accomplishes all this and much more in a safer manner than aspirin or any other cardiovascular medications.

All of this is not to say that Pycnogenol is the be-all and end-all for maintaining a healthy heart. Diet, exercise, purpose in life, sleep hygiene and stress management are all foundations for cardiovascular and overall wellness. However, the addition of Pycnogenol, at a dosage or either 50 mg thrice daily or 100 mg twice daily, is a powerful adjunct. It can be taken on an empty stomach or with food. I highly recommend that you seriously consider it and discuss it with your health care team. Many of my clients, family members and friends already use this potent supplement and have been doing so for years. Ironically, I don’t. I plan to start today. I believe it’s Wayne’s parting gift to me, and hopefully to you too.

In closing, I’d like to share one of my favorite sayings from my dear friend who exited this world far too soon: “I am realistic. I expect miracles.” Upon his departure, Wayne demonstrated that miracles can be real and, lessons can be taught independent of physical form. Right up until his final days, he did not die with his “music still in him”. That’s something to which we can all aspire. Play on, Wayne. Play on.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - Wayne Dyer’s Facebook Page: Official Cause of Death Statement … (link)

Study 2 - Time Magazine: When Are You Most Likely to Have a Heart Attack? (link)

Study 3 – Science Express: Severity of Heart Attack Is Dependent On Time(link)

Study 4 - Pycnogenol® and Centella Asiatica in the Management of (link)

Study 5 - Effects of Pycnogenol® on Endothelial Dysfunction in Borderline (link)

Study 6 - Pycnogenol, French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, Augments (link)

Study 7 - Prevention of Post Thrombotic Syndrome with Pycnogenol® (link)

Study 8 - Prevention of Venous Thrombosis & Thrombophlebitis in Long-Haul (link)

Study 9 - Pine Bark Extract Reduces Platelet Aggregation (link)

Study 10 - Inhibition of Smoking-Induced Platelet Aggregation By Aspirin (link)

Study 11 - Pycnogenol® in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders (link)

Study 12 - Pycnogenol® Supplementation Improves Health Risk Factors (link)

Study 13 - Supplementation with a Pine Bark Extract Rich in Polyphenols (link)

Study 14 - Reduction of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in subjects with Type 2 … (link)

Study 15 - Recurrence of Retinal Vein Thrombosis w/ Pycnogenol or Aspirin (link)

Study 16 - Single and Multiple Dose Pharmacokinetics of Maritime Pine Bark (link)

Pycnogenol Improves Circulatory Health (Flow Mediated Dilation)

Source: Eur Heart J. 2012 Jul;33(13):1589-97. (link)

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14 Comments & Updates to “Wayne Dyer’s Final Lesson”

  1. JP Says:

    Updated 09/08/15:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4363979/

    Indian J Ophthalmol. 2015 Jan;63(1):9-14.

    Circulating levels of reactive oxygen species in patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and the influence of antioxidant supplementation: 6-month follow-up.

    AIMS: The aim was to evaluate circulating levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and changes in central macular thickness (CMT) in patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) after antioxidant supplementation.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 68 patients (68 eyes) with NPDR were enrolled. Patients were randomly divided into two groups: Treated with antioxidant supplement (Group A) and untreated control group (Group B). Each tablet, for oral administration, containing pycnogenol 50 mg, Vitamin E 30 mg and coenzyme Q10 20 mg. CMT and free oxygen radical test (FORT) were analyzed at baseline (T0), 3 (T1) and 6 (T2) months in both groups.

    RESULTS: In Group A, FORT levels and CMT were significantly reduced over time (P < 0.001 for both). In Group B, FORT levels were increased (P < 0.001) and CMT did not vary significantly (P = 0.81) over 3 time points.

    CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study showing the reduction of ROS levels in patients with NPDR thanks to antioxidant therapy. Moreover, our findings have suggested also an influence on retinal thickness.

    Be well!

    JP

  2. JP Says:

    Updated 09/08/15:

    http://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-urologica-nefrologica/article.php?cod=R19Y2015N01A0027

    Minerva Urol Nefrol. 2015 Mar;67(1):27-32.

    Improvement of erectile function by a combination of French maritime pine bark and roburins with aminoacids.

    AIM: Primary objective of the study was the evaluation of effects of a combination of plant extracts and aminoacids on erectile function (ED).

    METHODS: The study was performed as a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study. 50 men with moderate ED received a combination of Pycnogenol®, roburins, L-arginine, L-citrulline or placebo. Sexual wellness was evaluated by the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF).

    RESULTS: Treatment over a period of one month restored erectile function to normal.

    CONCLUSION: The combination offers an option for treatment of ED without unwanted effects.

    Be well!

    JP

  3. JP Says:

    Updated 09/08/15:

    https://www.dovepress.com/the-effect-of-pycnogenol-on-patients-with-dysmenorrhea-using-low-dose–peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-IJWH

    Int J Womens Health. 2014 Dec 11;6:1019-22.

    The effect of pycnogenol on patients with dysmenorrhea using low-dose oral contraceptives.

    OBJECTIVE: Menstrual symptoms such as dysmenorrhea usually occur during the hormone-free interval in oral contraceptive users. Progestin withdrawal activates NF-κB transcription factor, which upregulates both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Cox-2 expression in the endometrium. The use of natural NF-κB inhibitors such as pycnogenol may block this response, improving dysmenorrhea.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-four patients with severe dysmenorrhea were allocated to one of two treatment groups. In Group A (n=13), women were treated with an oral contraceptive containing 15 μg of ethinyl estradiol and 60 mg of gestodene (Adoless(®)) in a 24/4 regimen for three consecutive cycles. Women in Group B (n=11) used the same contraceptive regimen together with 100 mg of pycnogenol (Flebon(®)) continuously for 3 months. Pain scores were graded using a visual analog scale (VAS) before and during the hormone-free interval at the end of the third treatment cycle.

    RESULTS: Before treatment, VAS pain scores for dysmenorrhea were 8 and 9 in Groups A and B, respectively. However, by the end of the third treatment cycle, pain scores had decreased significantly (P<0.05) both in groups A and B. The final pain scores were 6 in Group A and 2 in Group B, a difference that was statistically significant (P<0.0001). In Group B, 27% of the patients became pain-free, while in Group A, none of the women reported complete disappearance of this symptom. The number of bleeding days was also lower in Group B.

    DISCUSSION: Pycnogenol effectively decreased pain scores and the number of bleeding days when administered concomitantly with a low-dose 24/4 oral contraceptive containing gestodene.

    Be well!

    JP

  4. JP Says:

    Updated 10/28/15:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26505327

    Minerva Cardioangiol. 2015 Oct 27.

    Pycnogenol® and Centella Asiatica for preventing asymptomatic atherosclerosis progression into clinical events.

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of the nutritional supplements Pycnogenol and Centella Asiatica (CA) on atherosclerosis progression in low-risk, asymptomatic subjects with carotid or femoral stenosing plaques.

    METHODS: The study included subjects aged 45-60 with stenosing atherosclerotic plaques (>50- 60%) in at least one carotid or common femoral bifurcation. Subjects were allocated into 3 groups: Group 1 (controls): management was based on education, exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. This same management plan was used in all other groups; Group 2 used Pycnogenol (100 mg/day); Group 3 used Pycnogenol 100 mg/day plus CA, 100 mg/day. The follow-up lasted 4 years. Plaque progression was assessed using the ultrasonic arterial score based on arterial wall morphology, considering plaque characteristics and the number of subjects that had cardiovascular events. Oxidative stress was also evaluated.

    RESULTS: Of the 413 individuals that were admitted, 391 individuals completed 4 years. Group distribution was comparable. The ultrasonic score increased significantly less in the two supplement groups (p<0.05) in comparison with controls suggesting a beneficial effect of Pycnogenol with a significant difference in favor of the combination (p<0.05). There was a reduction in plaques progression in the supplement groups with the best effects obtained by the combination, considering maximum plaque thickness and length and the grey scale median (p<0.05). Plaques became generally dense (more echogenic) achieving a mixed echogenicity. There was a reduction of anginal events to less than 3% in the two supplement groups (in comparison with 6.25% in controls)(p<0.05) with the best results obtained by the combination (p<005). The reduction in myocardial infarctions was significantly in favor of the combination (p<0.05). Minor TIAs and strokes and signs of peripheral vascular disease were also less with the supplements with the best results observed with the combination (p<0.05). Events in controls – requiring hospital admission – were globally seen in 16-4% of subjects (minor events) in comparison with 8-9% of subjects using Pycnogenol and only 3.3% of patients using the combination. At 4 years oxidative stress in the supplement groups was lower than in controls (p<0.05, with no significant difference between group 2 and 3).

    CONCLUSION: Pycnogenol and the combination Pycnogenol+CA reduce the progression of arterial plaques and the progression to clinical stages. The reduction in plaques and clinical progression was associated with a reduction in oxidative stress. The results justify a larger study to define the efficacy of the combination Pycnogenol+CA as a prophylaxis in preclinical atherosclerosis.

    Be well!

    JP

  5. JP Says:

    Updated 12/17/15:

    http://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/neurosurgical-sciences/article.php?cod=R38Y2015N04A0437

    J Neurosurg Sci. 2015 Dec;59(4):437-46.

    The COFU3 Study. Improvement in cognitive function, attention, mental performance with Pycnogenol® in healthy subjects (55-70) with high oxidative stress.

    AIM: This 12-month product registry study evaluated the effects of supplementation with French pine bark extract (Pycnogenol®) on cognitive function, attention, and mental performance in healthy subjects with high oxidative stress.

    METHODS: Healthy subjects (age range 55-70) were screened – within a cardiovascular screening program – for oxidative stress. Out of 150 subjects, high oxidative stress was present in 44; the use of the supplement Pycnogenol® was suggested (100 mg/day). These subjects decided to use Pycnogenol® and accepted to be evaluated by assessing cognitive functions. A group of subjects with comparable oxidative stress was followed as a reference. IQ Code (Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly), daily tasks, cognitive function, oxidative stress and the short Blessed tests (SBT) were used (in defined scales) to evaluate cognitive functions (COFU).

    RESULTS: As for the IQ Code, at 12 months there was a significantlty total lower score in Pycnogenol® patients and also a lower value (P<0.05) for 14 out of 16 items in the questionnaire. Daily tasks: all items were improved (P<0.05) with supplementation in comparison with controls. The improvement was seen for all 12 items (P<0.05) with the supplement. Cognitive function values (visual scale line) indicated a significant improvement (P<0.05) in all elements present in the questionnaire with the 12-month supplementation (no significant variations in controls). Oxidative stress was comparable in both groups at inclusion. It was significantly decreased with Pycnogenol® (-28.07%; P<0.05) at 12 months; there was no decrease in controls. The short blessed test (SBT) value was significantly increased in controls (P<0.05); but significantly decreased in the Pycnogenol® group (P<0.05). Values for supplemented patients at 12 months were almost within the normal range (21 out or 38 were below the normal value of 4). Tolerability and compliance for Pycnogenol® were optimal with >97% of the doses of the supplement correctly used. No side effects were observed, recorded or described.

    CONCLUSION: Pycnogenol® supplementation for 12 months appears to improve cognitive function and oxidative stress in normal subjects between 55 and 70 years of age.

    Be well!

    JP

  6. JP Says:

    Updated 12/29/15:

    https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0035-1556060

    Int J Angiol. 2015 Dec;24(4):268-74.

    A Clinical Comparison of Pycnogenol, Antistax, and Stocking in Chronic
    Venous Insufficiency.

    This 8-week registry study was a comparative evaluation of Pycnogenol
    (French Maritime Pine Bark extract; Horphag Research, Geneva) and
    Antistax (grape leaf extract [GLE, Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany]) in
    controlling symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). “Standard
    management” for CVI is compression; a group of comparable subjects was
    monitored to evaluate the effects of stockings. The registry included
    183 patients (166 completing). Supplementation with Antistax (two
    tablets of 360 mg/d) or Pycnogenol (100 mg/d) was used. The groups
    were comparable for age, symptoms, venous incompetence, and
    microcirculation (with increased capillary filtration and skin flux)
    at inclusion. At 8 weeks, the rate of swelling (p < 0.05) and skin
    flux decreased toward normal values; changes were more important with
    Pycnogenol (p < 0.05). Transcutaneous Po 2 was increased more with
    Pycnogenol (p < 0.05). Ankle circumference was decreased more (p <
    0.05) with Pycnogenol. An analog scale quantified symptoms. At 8
    weeks, pain and edema were decreased with Pycnogenol and elastic
    compression (p < 0.05) with prevalence for Pycnogenol (p < 0.05).
    Edema with Pycnogenol was decreased by 40%. Induration was reduced
    only in the Pycnogenol group (p < 0.05) with minimal variations in the
    other groups. Tolerability and compliance were optimal. Elastic
    compression was correctly used by 80% of the patients indicating that
    it may be more difficult to use, particularly in warmer days. Costs
    for Pycnogenol were lower (96; 3.3 Euros) in comparison with the other
    groups (132;1.4 Euros for GLE and 149; 2.2 Euros for compression).

    Be well!

    JP

  7. JP Says:

    Updated 05/16/16:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.5639/abstract

    Phytother Res. 2016 May 11.

    The Effects of Pycnogenol® as Add-on Drug to Metformin Therapy in Diabetic Rats.

    The progression of diabetes mellitus leads in time to the development of serious cardiovascular complications. Pycnogenol® (PYC) belongs to strong antioxidants that may interfere with different pathways playing an important role in diseases associated with oxidative stress. Metformin (MET), commonly used antidiabetic drug, has cardio-protective effects via activation of AMP kinase (AMPK). In our study, we examined the effects of PYC as add-on drug to metformin therapy in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Our results revealed that both used agents, PYC and MET, showed improvement of blood glucose levels, vascular reactivity, left ventricular hypertrophy, expression of AMPK, glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in left ventricle of the hearts. However, the combination of these interventions has failed to possess higher efficacy.

    Be well!

    JP

  8. JP Says:

    Updated 05/19/16:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27191247

    Sao Paulo Med J. 2016 May 13.

    The effect of red grape seed extract on serum paraoxonase activity in patients with mild to moderate hyperlipidemia.

    CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Red grape seed extract (RGSE) contains oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes as a class of flavonoids. These compounds are potent antioxidants and exert many health-promoting effects. This study aimed to determine the effects of RGSE on serum levels of triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), apolipoprotein AI (apo-AI) levels and paraoxonase (PON) activity in patients with mild to moderate hyperlipidemia (MMH).

    DESIGN AND SETTINGS: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at Shahid-Modarres Hospital (Tehran, Iran) and Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. Seventy MMH patients were randomly assigned to receive treatment (200 mg/day of RGSE) or placebo for eight weeks.

    RESULTS: Significant elevation in serum levels of apo-AI (P = 0.001), HDL-C (P = 0.001) and PON activity (P = 0.001) and marked decreases in concentrations of TC (P = 0.015), TG (P = 0.011) and LDL-C (P = 0.014) were found in the cases. PON activity was significantly correlated with apo-AI (r = 0.270; P < 0.01) and HDL-C (r = 0.45; P < 0.001). Significant differences between the RGSE and control groups (before and after treatment) for TC (P = 0.001), TG (P = 0.001), PON (P = 0.03), apo-AI (P = 0.001) and LDL-C (P = 0.002) were seen.

    CONCLUSION: It is possible that RGSE increases PON activity mostly through increasing HDL-C and apo-AI levels in MMH patients. It may thus have potential beneficial effects in preventing oxidative stress and atherosclerosis in these patients.

    Be well!

    JP

  9. JP Says:

    Updated 08/16/16:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27521821

    Ann Vasc Surg. 2016 Aug 10.

    Effect of Pycnogenol on the Healing of Venous Ulcers.

    BACKGROUND: Venous ulcers are common complications of chronic venous insufficiency that result in severe physical and mental suffering to patients. The oral administration of diosmin/hesperidin has been used as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the effect of pycnogenol and diosmin/hesperidin on the healing of venous ulcers.

    METHODS: This longitudinal, prospective, randomized clinical trial was conducted with 30 adult patients with venous ulcers from a vascular surgery outpatient clinic of a university hospital. The patients were randomly allocated to two groups: group 1 (n=15) was treated with pycnogenol (50 mg orally, three-times daily), and group 2 (n=15) was treated with diosmin/hesperidin (450/50 mg orally, twice daily). They were assessed every 15 days for 90 days. During follow-up visits, photo-documentation was obtained and the ulcer area and circumference of the affected limb were measured. Friedman’s test and the Mann-Whitney test were used to compare ulcer areas and circumference of affected limbs between and within groups at the different time points. The level of significance was set at 5% (P<0.05) for all tests.

    RESULTS: Both the pycnogenol and diosmin/hesperidin treatments had a similar effect on the healing of venous ulcers and led to a significant decrease in the circumference of affected limbs (P<0.0001).

    CONCLUSION: The results suggest that pycnogenol has an adjuvant effect on the healing of venous ulcers, similar to diosmin/hesperidin.

    Be well!

    JP

  10. JP Says:

    Updated 09/30/16:

    http://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-ortopedica-traumatol/article.php?cod=R14Y2016N03A0124

    Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2016 September;67(3):124-30

    Preservation of muscular mass and strength in aged subjects with Pycnogenol® supplementation

    Gianni BELCARO 1, 2, Mark DUGALL 1, 2

    1 Irvine3 Labs, Chieti, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, D’Annunzio University, Pescara, Italy

    BACKGROUND: The aim of this study is an evaluation of the effects of Pycnogenol® supplementation in a registry study in healthy aged subjects with sarcopenia, not using drugs and without any other clinical condition and risk condition.

    METHODS: The registry study included 64 healthy aged subjects (age range 70-78) with symptoms of fatigue. Two resulting groups included a control group (using an exercise plan and lifestyle changes) and a second group using the same plan and Pycnogenol® (150 mg/day).

    RESULTS: At start the groups were comparable. Subjects with loss of strength and apparent loss of muscular mass were included; no clinical disease was present; no other treatment was used. Significant improvements (P<0.0.5) in hand grip, weight lifts, walking distance without pain, number of stairs, in the time for feeling tired were observed in both groups due to the training. The supplementation group showed a more significant progress (P<0.05) in comparison with controls at 2 months. Proteinuria and general fitness were significantly better than values in controls at 2 months (P<0.05) with the supplementation. In the supplementation group a significant decrease in plasma oxidative stress was observed (P<0.05) in comparison with controls. Subjects using the supplement also improved their Karnofsky score (P<0.05) more than controls (who showed a minimal variation). The left ventricular ejection fraction (ultrasound) also had a significant improvement from 53.2±1.2% to 55.4±1.1% (P<0.05) with the supplement; this observations was superior (P<0.05) to the values observed in controls. Ejection fraction could be a very important parameter to evaluate, in a specific study, in more affected patients with more significant muscle loss and cardiac deterioration. There were no changes at 8 weeks in blood tests and physiological parameters.

    CONCLUSIONS: Supplementation with Pycnogenol® improved muscular strength and the general fitness level (also decreasing oxidative stress) in otherwise healthy, older subjects with symptoms of fatigue and signs of muscle mass loss.

    Be well!

    JP

  11. JP Says:

    Updated 10/24/16:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711316301490

    Phytomedicine. 2016 Nov 15;23(12):1451-1461.

    Effects of low molecular weight procyanidin rich extract from french maritime pine bark on cardiovascular disease risk factors in stage-1 hypertensive subjects: Randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled intervention trial.

    BACKGROUND: Oligopinۚ (OP) is a quantified extract from French Maritime Pine bark (FMPB) with low molecular weight procyanidins. The cardioprotective effects of OP need to be tested in human clinical intervention trials with an appropriate design.

    PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of subchronic consumption of OP on cardiovascular disease risk factors such as lipid profile, systolic blood pressure (BP) and oxidized-Low Density Lipoprotein (ox-LDL) in stage-1-hypertensive subjects.

    METHODS: Between February 14 and May 31, 2014, eligible subjects were recruited from the outpatient clinics of Hospital Universitari Sant Joan (Reus, Spain). A total of 24 participants (mean age ± DS; 57.36 ± 11.25; 17 men) with stage-1-hypertension who were not receiving BP-lowering medication and LDL cholesterol < 4.88 mmol/l were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. The subjects received 2 capsules/day with 75 mg of OP or placebo for 5-weeks.

    RESULTS: At 5-weeks, compared to the placebo, OP raised High Density Lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c) by 14.06% (p = 0.012) and apolipoprotein A-1 by 8.12% (p = 0.038) and reduced the ratio of apolipoprotein B-100/A-1 by 10.26% (p = 0.046). Moreover, at 5-weeks, compared to the baseline, OP reduced the systolic BP by 6.36 mmHg (p = 0.014), and decreased ox-LDL concentrations by 31.72 U/l (p = 0.015).

    CONCLUSION: At 5-weeks, the consumption of 150 mg/day of OP improve lipid cardiovascular profile and represents one of the scarce ways to increase HDL-c in stage-1-hypertensive subjects.

    Be well!

    JP

  12. JP Says:

    Updated 02/04/17:

    http://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-ginecologica/article.php?cod=R09Y2017N01A0029

    Minerva Ginecol. 2017 Feb;69(1):29-34.

    Normalization of cardiovascular risk factors in peri-menopausal women with Pycnogenol®.

    BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was the evaluation of the efficacy of Pycnogenol® in peri-menopausal women in controlling homocysteine and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, borderline cardiovascular risk factors, oxidative stress (OS) and symptoms associated to menopausal transition (MT).

    METHODS: Pycnogenol®, 100mg/day, was used as a supplement for 8 weeks by a group of 35 women. A comparable group of 35 women with identical cardiovascular risk factors was included as the control group. All women were instructed to participate in a best management plan of menopause.

    RESULTS: The two groups were comparable. All women completed the eight weeks study. Only minor deviations from the best management plan were observed. At inclusion, both groups were similar in respect to risk factors. Supplementation with Pycnogenol® decreased the slightly elevated cholesterol and triglycerides after 8 weeks (P<0.05). Also the fasting glucose levels were normalized (P<0.05). The borderline increased blood pressure was reduced to normal values at 8 weeks (P<0.05). Plasma free radicals dropped significantly by 22% (P<0.05). Homocysteine and CRP levels decreased sharply by 43% and 60%, respectively (P<0.05). No significant changes of these risk factors were noted in the control group. Almost all menopausal symptoms, scored by The Menopausal Symptoms Questionnaire 34, improved significantly following supplementation with Pycnogenol®. The supplementation was well tolerated.

    CONCLUSIONS: The supplementation with Pycnogenol® improved the quality of life of perimenopausal women and normalized a series of cardiovascular risk factors, especially factors connected to cardiovascular events, as homocysteine and CRP.

    Be well!

    JP

  13. JP Says:

    Updated 06/05/17:

    https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0036-1594292

    Int J Angiol. 2017 Jun;26(2):95-101.

    Variations in Echogenicity in Carotid and Femoral Atherosclerotic Plaques with Pycnogenol + Centella Asiatica Supplementation.

    This registry study evaluated echogenicity of carotid-femoral plaques in asymptomatic subjects with increased oxidative stress and risk factors (mild hypertension, hypercholesterolemia). Supplementation with the combination Pycnogenol-CA (centella asiatica) on the echogenicity of plaques was assessed at 6 months (79 subjects). A standard management (SM) plan was used in all subjects (control of risk factors, lifestyle changes); 36 subjects used the supplements +SM; 43 SM only. The groups were comparable. High-resolution ultrasound evaluated echogenicity and plaque structure. Pycnogenol (150 mg/day) and CA (Centellicum, 450 mg/day) were used. At 6 months, cholesterol was reduced (p < 0.05) in both groups (difference between groups not significant). At 6 months, plasma free radicals were decreased with the supplements (17.64%; p < 0.05; vs <2% in controls). The plaque stability index increased from 11.22;2.3 to 22.4;1.1 (p < 0.05) with the supplements; no significant changes were seen in controls. Plaque echogenicity (% of “whiter” component in images) increased with supplementation from 16.7;1.7% to 34.2;2% (p < 0.05); no variations were observed in controls. The maximum plaque height decreased (p < 0.05) with the supplements. No significant variations were observed in controls. Plaque length was decreased (p < 0.05) in the supplement group with no changes in controls. The number of plaques (carotid, femoral bifurcations) decreased with supplementation; no significant changes were observed in controls. No adverse events, tolerability problems, or variations in routine blood tests were recorded. The combination Pycnogenol-CA appears to improve echogenicity and stability of complex plaques in 6 months.

    Be well!

    JP

  14. JP Says:

    Updated 09/27/17:

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/effect-of-anthocyanin-supplementation-in-modulating-platelet-function-in-sedentary-population-a-randomised-doubleblind-placebocontrolled-crossover-trial/7E42DF0D3623562317FE9E28FA5CE8B2

    Br J Nutr. 2017 Sep;118(5):368-374.

    The effect of anthocyanin supplementation in modulating platelet function in sedentary population: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial.

    The anti-thrombotic properties of anthocyanin (ACN) supplementation was evaluated in this randomised, double-blind, placebo (PBO) controlled, cross-over design, dietary intervention trial in sedentary population. In all, sixteen participants (three males and thirteen females) consumed ACN (320 mg/d) or PBO capsules for 28 d followed by a 2-week wash-out period. Biomarkers of thrombogenesis and platelet activation induced by ADP; platelet aggregation induced by ADP, collagen and arachidonic acid; biochemical, lipid, inflammatory and coagulation profile were evaluated before and after supplementation. ACN supplementation reduced monocyte-platelet aggregate formation by 39 %; inhibited platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 expression by 14 %; reduced platelet activation-dependant conformational change and degranulation by reducing procaspase activating compound-1 (PAC-1) (↓10 %) and P-selectin expression (↓14 %), respectively; and reduced ADP-induced whole blood platelet aggregation by 29 %. Arachidonic acid and collagen-induced platelet aggregation; biochemical, lipid, inflammatory and coagulation parameters did not change post-ACN supplementation. PBO treatment did not have an effect on the parameters tested. The findings suggest that dietary ACN supplementation has the potential to alleviate biomarkers of thrombogenesis, platelet hyperactivation and hyper-aggregation in sedentary population.

    Be well!

    JP

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