Normalization of cardiovascular risk factors in peri-menopausal women with Pycnogenol®.
Minerva Ginecol. 2017 Feb ;69(1):29-34. PMID: 28116886
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.