The 12-week single-blinded, placebo-controlled observational study was conducted at Chieti-Pescara University in Italy and investigated the effectiveness of Pycnogenol and Kaneka CoQ10 (PycnoQ10) supplementation in 53 patients. Patients were between the ages of 54 and 68 and had mild to moderate hypertension, with stable congestive heart failure. Patients recruited had been diagnosed with heart failure with an ejection fraction lower than 40% of their original capacity. The ejection fraction, the pumped blood volume to total left heart ventricle volume, was measured by high-resolution ultrasound. All patients were taking prescribed heart medication and most patients used three or more drugs for heart failure treatment.
Patients received a combination of 15 mg Pycnogenol and 50 mg CoQ10 from Kaneka or placebo. Exercise capacity, as judged by walking on a treadmill, ejection fraction and distal edema (swelling in the leg) were evaluated. Researchers found a significant decrease of systolic and diastolic pressure as well as a decrease in heart rate in the PycnoQ10 group, compared to marginal improvements in the control group. Heart rate was also significantly lowered from 78.4 to 74.2 beats per minute as compared to 79.1 to 78.4 in the control group. There was also considerable decrease in respiratory rate in PycnoQ10 patients from 23.1 to 21.2 breaths per minute versus 23.3 to 22.3 in the control group. The treatment with PycnoQ10 was found to increase heart ejection fraction by 22.4% after treatment, whereas it only slightly decreased in the control group. The physical abilities of patients improved substantially as evidenced by 3.3 times longer walking distance on a treadmill in PycnoQ10 treated patients, versus marginal improvement in the control group.
The quality of life of patients also improved with PycnoQ10, as validated with the Karnofsky Index, a performance scale that rates patients according to their functional impairment. At baseline patients had Karnofsky values of 43%, which is categorized as “handicapped and dependent on qualified medical help.” After treatment with PycnoQ10 the values were up to 54.7%, described as “help and medical assistance are often required.” For further information: www.pycnogenol.com