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A proprietary extract of French maritime bark, Pycnogenol improves the health of arteries, according to an Italian study published in International Angiology. Researchers compared effects of a healthy diet and exercise, with and without Pycnogenol, among 93 people who had borderline high blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar. Compared to diet and exercise alone.
Pycnogenol improved all three markers, indicating reduced risk for heart disease. Ultrasound showed that 150 mg daily of the supplement improved function of the inner lining of blood vessels-the endothelium-which helps to regulate the contraction and dilation of arteries.