Discover how a special kind of pine bark improves heart health by reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome
(NaturalHealth365) Metabolic syndrome – a linked cluster of undesirable health conditions that can include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess abdominal fat and elevated cholesterol – has reached pandemic status in the United States. Yet, we know of many natural substances – like pine bark – that can help to support a healthy life – especially good heart function.
And, to be perfectly blunt: the reason why so many people remain uneducated about how to eliminate these health issues is largely due to the power and influence of the pharmaceutical industry – which controls the mainstream media and Western medicine.
Keep in mind, metabolic syndrome currently affects a shocking 33 percent of American adults – and has been shown to greatly increase the risk of heart disease and early death. However, a specific type of pine bark from the coast of southern France is showing potential for improving metabolic syndrome and protecting heart health.
Researchers say that French maritime pine bark is rich in disease-fighting natural pigments known as oligomeric procyanidins, or OPCs. Extensive research has demonstrated that these powerful antioxidant compounds decrease the systemic chronic inflammation that contributes to conditions such as metabolic syndrome (not to mention arthritis, autoimmune disease, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and more).
Influential study reveals how pine bark works to defeat metabolic syndrome
In a recent study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Phytotherapy Research, 64 adults with metabolic syndrome were given 150 mg a day of French maritime pine bark extract for six months.
The findings were extremely encouraging.
Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air. These chemicals - the 'off-gassing' of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials - increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
Get the BEST indoor air purification system - at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers. I, personally use this system in my home AND office. Click HERE to order now - before the sale ends.
The researchers reported that participants in the pine bark group experienced decreases in blood sugar levels of over 14 percent – thereby reducing their risk for type 2 diabetes.
Waist circumference, as well, dropped by more than 7 percent, demonstrating that the pine bark extract promoted the loss of unhealthy abdominal fat. (Note: excess abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat, raises the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes).
And, there was more.
The pine bark extract group also displayed lower levels of triglycerides, along with increased amounts of beneficial HDL cholesterol and decreased blood pressure – when compared to a matched control group of 66 patients.
Finally, the antioxidant properties of pine bark extract were revealed – with the team reporting that the compound reduced markers of oxidative stress by almost 35 percent.
Clearly, the study demonstrated the ability of pine bark extract to regulate blood glucose, blood pressure and fats – thereby helping to combat metabolic syndrome.
While metabolic syndrome is primarily associated with sedentary lifestyle and excess caloric intake, chronic inflammation can also be a trigger.
Let’s take a closer look at pine bark extract’s ability to safely and effectively target inflammation.
Pine bark extract reduces the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules
Disease-fighting OPCs in pine bark are not only antioxidant (helping to scavenge dangerous free radicals), but have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-allergenic, antibacterial and anti-aging effects as well.
Scientists say that OPCs combat chronic inflammation specifically by reducing the expression of nuclear factor-kappa B, a pro-inflammatory molecule that contributes to atherosclerosis and other ills.
OPCs in pine bark have also been found to reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that is implicated in heart disease.
In fact, combating cardiovascular disease is where pine bark really shines – with over five decades of cell, animal and clinical studies and reviews corroborating its remarkable ability to protect heart health.
Pine bark extract “declares war” on atherosclerotic plaque and blood clots
When it comes to fighting heart disease, French maritime pine bark extract rolls up its sleeves and gets to work.
Not only do OPCs in pine bark have proven effects to reduce atherosclerotic plaque, but they have anti-platelet effects, meaning they can reduce the “stickiness” of blood platelets and the tendency of blood to form into dangerous clots.
Pine bark extract has been shown to be a particular boon to smokers, with studies showing that it specifically targets smoking-induced platelet aggregation.
In addition, pine bark is particularly effective at improving the health of the endothelium, the fragile, all-important lining of the blood vessels. And pine bark extract has the beneficial ability to dilate small blood vessels in patients with heart disease, helping to promote better blood flow.
Pine bark has been shown to improve the left ventricular ejection fraction, a measure of the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Some studies even suggest that pine bark has an action similar to that of ACE inhibitors, pharmaceutical medications for lowering blood pressure.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in European Heart Journal, patients with coronary artery disease received 200 mg a day of pine bark extract for eight weeks. The researchers concluded that the pine bark improved endothelial function – while reducing markers of oxidative stress.
BONUS benefits: Relieve allergies and asthma, combat colds and sharpen cognitive function with pine bark
Pine bark’s benefits extend beyond the cardiovascular system.
Pine bark has been shown to alleviate allergic symptoms – as well as symptoms of the common cold – by inhibiting mast cell response and suppressing the release of histamine that is at the root of allergic reactions.
In one study, the use of pine bark helped asthmatic participants to significantly cut their use of steroids and inhalers.
In addition, researchers have found that pine bark extract increases endurance and performance in trained athletes. However, you don’t need to be an elite athlete to benefit from yet another of pine bark extract’s effects – the ability to reduce post-exercise pain and alleviate muscle cramping.
Holistic healers may also recommend pine bark to ease a range of disorders including jet lag, irritable bowel syndrome, tinnitus, vertigo and psoriasis.
Finally, researchers have found that pine bark can improve cognitive function and memory.
How can I take pine bark for maximum benefit?
French maritime pine bark, from the tree botanically known as Pinus pinaster, is often sold under the trade name Pycnogenol. Natural health experts recommend using a high-quality formulation containing 85 to 90 percent OPCs.
Bonus: pine bark, which was used in the seventeenth century as a remedy for scurvy, helps to improve the absorption of vitamin C, while regenerating and protecting vitamins C and E in the body.
To promote heart health and enhance circulation, natural healers may recommend dosages of 200 to 360 mg of pine bark extract a day.
Pine bark extract is sometimes advised in conjunction with Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola.
Of course, don’t take pine bark extract without first discussing it with a trusted integrative healthcare provider – especially if you take blood thinning medication.
Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the U.S., while metabolic syndrome continues to affect a daunting percentage of Americans. But, natural substances like pine bark extract simple represent a safe, non-toxic and effective defense against these dangerous health conditions.
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Heart Disease
NaturalHealth365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The Food & Nutrition articles found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on eating healthy, nutritious foods and safely using supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you up to date on the latest information! Articles range in topic from the causes of cancer, cancer-fighting foods, to natural cancer treatments, cancer prevention & specific research-backed information on Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, etc. We also write extensively on Heart Disease because it is accounts for 25% of all deaths in the United States – that’s one in four! We take an in depth look at the symptoms of heart disease, the causes and treatment of high blood pressure, benefits of CoQ10 and healthy, natural ways to unclog arteries.
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Grape Seed Extract More Effective than Chemotherapy, Olive Oil is AWESOME, Store Bought Almond Milk is Basically Just Sugar Water, Antioxidants, Cancer & Blueberries.
More Food & Nutrition Articles
Fresh Organic Produce Fights Cancer, Susan G. Komen on Organic Foods, Hemp Seeds for Inflammation, Pau D’Arco For Improved Immunity
In addition to publishing articles on cutting edge natural cancer treatments and heart disease prevention, we also aim to connect healthy lifestyles, diets and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to long-lasting cancer-free health and adding happy years to your life. For example, did you know that the amount of emotional stress in your life can contribute to your risk of cancer? Or that raw, expeller-pressed olive oil has cancer fighting qualities? Perhaps you didn’t know that Fresh Organic Produce has been found to have higher concentrations of key, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and vitamins than conventional produce? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
Join Our Email List
Each day, visitors sign up for our weekly informative news sent directly to their email or RSS feed agregator. We send out three weekly emails keeping you informed and involved on the latest Natural Health News, information about our FREE SHOWS and updates on your favorite topics including Food & Nutrition, Cancer & Heart Disease, Vaccines & Autism, & – of course – GMOs & Dangerous Chemicals!
You can also check out our VIP member area, The Inner Circle, where you get access to thousands of recorded interview (audio/video), pod casts, & literature by some of the worlds foremost experts on Natural Health and Treatments that could save you thousands! Learn how to REVERSE disease without the use of toxic and expensive medications.
Natural Health 365 also is a venue for webinars on various topics, has a flourishing e-commerce store where you can purchase vitamins, pro biotics, supplements and unique products such as Grazing Goat Whey Protein.
Grazing Goat Whey Protein™ is formulated exclusively for the health-conscious consumer looking for the finest whey protein nutritional supplement on the planet.* Best of all, this goat whey protein comes from goats that graze – 365 days per year – on pesticide and chemical free pastures. No hormones, antibiotics or pesticides are used – ever. This product is non-GMO and gluten free.