Pine bark extract may benefit kidney health

by Wellness Warrior on March 9, 2010

Supplements of an extract from French maritime pine bark may improve kidney health by improving blood flow and reducing the risk of hypertension-related kidney damage, says a new study.

Pinus_pinaster

Pinus_pinaster

Following six months of supplementation with the pine bark extract, Pycnogenol, to a normal ACE-inhibiting intervention produced improvements in blood flow of about 10 per cent in the kidneys, according to findings published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

In addition, kidney function improved when the extract was used in conjunction with anti-hypertensive medication Ramipril, with urinary protein levels, a measure of kidney function, resuming to almost sufficient levels, report researchers from G D’Annunzio University in Italy.

“Kidney disease is a common problem for people with hypertension and is an equally ‘silent’ threat to the body. There are no warning signals and inefficient fluid removal may further increase the blood pressure, causing a vicious circle to set in,” said research Dr Gianni Belcaro.

“The results of this study demonstrated Pycnogenol’s ability not only to reduce blood pressure, but also to relieve the kidney damage caused by chronic hypertension.”

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is linked to increased prevalence in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events and hospitalization. These people are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and modifiable risk factors include high blood pressure (hypertension) – J. Hypertension Vol. 27, pp. 1863-1872.

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