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Pycnogenol® reduces platelet aggregation.


Research presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Washington, DC, on May 19, showed that a single dose of the supplement Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) was as effective as a dose of aspirin five times larger for reducing platelet aggregation. Platelet aggregation occurs when the smallest blood cells stick together and form clumps in the blood. A clump of cells in a narrowed artery feeding a region of the brain can produce a stroke, while aggregated platelets in blood vessels that feed the heart can lead to heart attacks. 

Study author Ronald Watson, PhD, Professor at the University of Arizona Medical School at Tucson, said the supplement produces benefits in minutes and could have enormous health implications for an aging population. The study was conducted with a group of 38 healthy smokers at the University of Munster, Germany and at the University of Arizona 
 in Tucson. Volunteers were given a single dose of 100 to 120 mg of Pycnogenol or 500 mg of aspirin. The subjects then smoked cigarettes to increase platelet aggregation and blood clumping during the two hours prior to having their blood drawn. Two hours after smoking, participants were evaluated to measure the effects of Pycnogenol or aspirin. Results showed that both Pycnogenol and aspirin reduced platelet aggregation significantly. However, a smaller dose of Pycnogenol was as effective as a dose of aspirin five times larger. Pycnogenol did not increase bleeding, while aspirin did. Studies are now underway to assess the long-term effects of Pycnogenol supplementation in non-smokers and smokers. 

   PR Newswire, May 19, 1998.  
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