Pine bark extract is rich in antioxidants and it has been touted as a natural way to lower blood pressure. A new study compared a Japanese version of the supplement to placebo and found no cardiovascular benefits. The study subjects were 130 overweight people with untreated high blood pressure. They took either 200 mg of the pine bark extract or a look-alike placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of the study there were no differences in blood pressure or any other cardiovascular measure between the two groups. The researchers did determine that the extract, although ineffective, was safe.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, Sept.27, 2010]