Carotid plaque stabilization induced by the supplement association Pycnogenol® and centella asiatica (Centellicum®)

Minerva Cardioangiol. 2016 Dec;64(6):603-9. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


Background: Aim of this registry study was the evaluation of the stability of carotid plaques by ultrasound in asymptomatic subjects with high oxidative stress following supplementation with a combination of the extract from bark of Pinus pinaster, Pycnogenol®, with an extract from Centella asiatica leaves, Centellicum®.

Methods: 50 patients, mean age 61.5 years, with carotid plaques (<50% stenosis) and high oxidative stress were included in this 3 months registry study. 26 patients received the combination of Pycnogenol® and Centellicum® and standard management, a control group received standard management only. The 2 groups were comparable.

Results: The combination of Pycnogenol® and Centellicum® reduced significantly (p<0.05) plaque height and length as well as the number of plaques relative to controls. The plaque stability index, based on the echogenicity in the ultrasound picture of the "white" components of the plaque, increased significantly (p<0.01) in the verum group, no changes were observed in the controls. Plasma free radicals were significantly (p<0.05) decreased by the combination product, whereas the levels of plasma free radicals remained unchanged in the control group. No unwanted effects or abnormal laboratory tests were recorded.

Conclusions: This registry study revealed a significant increase in stability of plaques, indicated by an enhanced density of the plaques, following supplementation with the combination of Pycnogenol® and Centellicum®. As size and number of plaques was simultaneously reduced, the combination of the two plant extracts could be a safe option for prevention of cardiovascular events for patients with carotid plaques.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Centella / chemistry
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pinus / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / diagnostic imaging
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / drug therapy*
  • Triterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Centella asiatica extract
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triterpenes
  • pycnogenols