Flavonoids are naturally occurring plant compounds with established in vitro antioxidant properties and potential cardioprotective effects. We carried out a 12-week pilot study on the effects of dietary supplementation with an extract of bioflavonoids prepared from the bark of Pinus radiata trees [Enzogenol] containing added vitamin C. Data was collected from 24 healthy subjects aged between 55-75 years at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks and included, routine biochemical and haematological indices, and anthropometric, blood pressure, forearm blood flow and haemorheological measurements. Enzogenol supplementation at a dosage of 480 mg/day of pine bark extract and 240 mg/day vitamin C did not result in changes in any biochemical or haematological indice and was associated with a significant reduction in the means of body weight, percentage body fat, systolic blood pressure and plasma viscosity. Basal and hyperaemic blood fl ow in forearm resistance vessels measured by plethysmography increased significantly during the study. The findings of this pilot study indicate that dietary supplementation with Enzogenol is safe and well tolerated and is associated with a number of beneficial effects on a range of established cardiovascular risk factors. These changes need to be validated by a placebo-controlled study but are consistent with other studies that have reported beneficial clinical effects following supplementation with bioflavonoids.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.