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Pycnogenol eased menopausal symptoms

In this study, researchers compared 38 menopausal women, aged 40 to 50, who took 100 mg of Pycnogenol per day, to 32 similar women who did not take any treatment. After eight weeks, while there were no changes for the women who did not take treatment, those who took Pycnogenol had an average decrease of more than 50 percent for the six most common menopausal symptoms; hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular periods, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness. The Pycnogenol group also had much lower levels of free radicals circulating in the blood, meaning less oxidative stress.

Several other symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disorders, concentration and memory problems, dizziness, and irritability also tended to improve for Pycnogenol but did not reach statistical significance, according to researchers, who suggested that Pycnogenol may be an effective daily dietary supplement for reducing symptoms in menopausal women.

Soy isoflavones reduce hot flashes

Researchers in this review analyzed 17 placebo-controlled studies in which the average dose of soy isoflavones was 54 mg per day, delivering 19 mg of the soy isoflavone genistein. Women who took part in the studies were perimenopausal to postmenopausal, and the studies ranged from six weeks to 12 months. Combining all the data, compared to placebo, women who took soy isoflavones saw hot flash frequency and severity decline respectively by 21 percent and 26 percent. Women who took more than the average 19 mg of genistein had twice the relief from hot flashes as women who took lower doses.

Reference:Menopause; March, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the July 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on August - 29 - 2012
categories: Supplements

Vitamin D reduces chances of cardiovascular disease in men

Researchers analyzed data on 118,864 men and women who began this study without cardiovascular disease and followed up for 19 years. While there was no link between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease in women, men who met the Dietary Reference Intake of 600 IU of vitamin D per day were 16 percent less likely to develop heart disease compared to men who got no more than 100 IU of vitamin D per day. Doctors think vitamin D may influence chemicals that regulate blood pressure, blood vessel flexibility, and may lower inflammation.

Pycnogenol, CoQ10 improve function in heart failure

In heart failure, heart muscles gradually weaken or stiffen, failing to pump enough blood to tissues and organs. In this study, 53 participants with stable heart failure, average age 61, took a daily combination of Pycnogenol plus coenzyme Q10, or a placebo. Three in four participants were also taking three or more prescription heart failure drugs. After 12 weeks, 14 percent of participants in the placebo group improved compared to 28 percent for Pycnogenol/CoQ10. All improvements were greater in the Pycnogenol/CoQ10 group, including lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, lower heart rate, and lower rate of breathing. In the heart pumping capacity, the Pycnogenol/CoQ10 improved 22 percent compared to 4 percent for placebo. While there was little change for placebo, walking distance increased 3.3 times, and leg and foot swelling decreased significantly in the Pycnogenol/CoQ10 group.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2011, Vol. 94, No. 2, 534-42

From the November 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on March - 10 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins
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