Boston, MA (PressExposure) July 06, 2011 -- Two herbal cures combined together have been found to strengthen the heart in those who have suffered heart failure. The natural remedies involved are pine bark ("Pycnogenol") and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), two relatively popular natural supplements.
The new study found that the combination -- called "PycnoQ10" -- strengthened the heart when used along with medical treatment. It increased the blood volume ejected with each beat, meaning more oxygen to the organs, and greater physical energy for the individual. The study also found that the herbal duo improved blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rates among patients.
Pycnogenol is an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. CoQ10 is a natural compound in the body that is linked to improvements in a wide variety of health conditions.
Each year, there are 400,000 new cases of heart failure in the U.S. It is a chronic, long-term condition that develops as a result of high blood pressure, and makes the heart unable to pump sufficient amounts of blood.
The new study lasted 12 weeks, with 53 patients between the ages of 54 and 68. They had mild to moderate hypertension, with stable congestive heart failure, their hearts ejecting about 40% of their original capacity of blood. The combination included 15 mg of Pycnogenol and 50 mg of CoQ10. At the study's end, they found a significant decrease of systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as a decrease in heart rate in the PycnoQ10 group. There was also a 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 significantly increase heart ejection fraction by 22.4%.
And the patients had improved capacity to exercise. They could walk 3.3 times longer distances on the treadmill after taking PycnoQ10. As the heart is strengthened, a larger blood volume is pumped with every beat. The patients reported a better quality of life.
If you or someone you know has suffered heart failure, speak to your doctor about what potential natural supplements might complement your standard treatment.