Central cardiovascular calcifications: supplementation with Pycnogenol® and Centellicum®: variations over 12 months

Minerva Cardioangiol. 2020 Feb;68(1):22-26. doi: 10.23736/S0026-4725.19.05052-7. Epub 2019 Oct 15.


Background: This 'concept' registry study evaluated the efficacy of Pycnogenol® and the combination Pycnogenol® and Centella Asiatica (Centellicum®) in controlling over 12 months the increasing number of arterial/cardiac calcifications in subjects with asymptomatic atherosclerosis.

Methods: The study included 3 groups of 30 males with asymptomatic coronary calcifications. Group one was followed with standard management (SM); group 2 used SM and Pycnogenol® (150 mg/day); group 3 used the combination Pycnogenol® (150 mg/day) + Centellicum® (450 mg/day). All subjects took cardioaspirin (Bayer, 100 mg/day).

Results: No dropouts, no clinical events were observed in 12 months. The 3 groups had comparable demographic and medical characteristics at baseline. No tolerability problems and no side effects from supplementation were reported. After 12 months, oxidative stress was significantly decreased (P<0.05) in both groups taking Pycnogenol®. The evaluation of the number of calcifications >1 mm indicated a trend in controls using SM towards a progressive increase in calcifications. At 12 months the decrease in the number of calcifications with the combined supplements (Pycnogenol® and Centellicum®) (group 3) was -9.952% and thus significantly better that in the other two groups (P<0.05). Pycnogenol® alone was more effective than SM alone in controlling the variation in calcifications (P<0.05). Considering a 34.88% increase in SM subjects, the total absolute difference between SM (34.8%) and the decrease observed in group 3 (-9.95%) was 44.75% (P<0.02). This indicates that supplementation with the combined supplements blocks the increase in calcified areas and, possibly, in time may decrease the number of calcified spots.

Conclusions: This study shows that there is a significant activity of the complex Pycnogenol®+ Centellicum® in reducing the progressive diffusion of central cardiovascular calcifications-associated with advanced plaques - in a relatively short period of time. Longer studies - focusing also on events - may better evaluate the efficacy of these standardized supplements combination on the evolution of atherosclerosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Centella
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Management
  • Disease Progression
  • Flavonoids / adverse effects
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / pathology
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / prevention & control
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triterpenes / adverse effects
  • Triterpenes / therapeutic use*
  • Vascular Calcification / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Calcification / prevention & control*


  • Centella asiatica extract
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Triterpenes
  • pycnogenols
  • Aspirin