Arjuna Bark Clinical Evidence

Journal of the Association of Physicians of India
Gupta R et al. Antioxidant and hypocholesterolaemic effects of Terminalia arjuna tree-bark powder: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. 2001 Feb; 49:231–5.

Topic:

How does arjuna bark powder compare with vitamin E as an antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering treatment?

Background:

Arjuna bark is used in traditional Indian medicine to support heart health.

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial

Study Design:

Randomized, controlled. Subjects stopped taking any vitamin supplements 1 month before the trial began, and all subjects received dietary advice from the American Heart Association. Base line levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and byproducts of oxidative stress were measured. Subjects took arjuna bark powder, vitamin E, or a placebo.

Dosage:

500 mg/day for 30 days

Subjects:

105 subjects not taking cholesterol-lowering drugs or vitamin supplements

Results:

There were no significant changes in total, HDL, or LDL cholesterol, or triglycerides in the vitamin E or control group, but in the arjuna group, there were significant decreases in total and LDL cholesterol. Oxidative stress decreased significantly in both the vitamin E and arjuna groups. The effect was more pronounced in the vitamin E group (a 36.4 ± 17.7% decrease for vitamin E versus a 29.3 ± 18.9% decrease for arjuna).

Conclusions:

Terminalia arjuna bark powder has significant antioxidant action that is comparable to vitamin E. In addition, it also has a significant hypocholesterolaemic effect.”

 

 

International Journal of Cardiology

Dwivedi S et al. Role of Terminalia arjuna in ischaemic mitral regurgitation. 2005 Apr 28; 100(3):507–8.

 

Topic:

Can arjuna bark powder help treat ischemic mitral regurgitation?

Background:

Ischemic mitral regurgitation (IMR) is a complication following a heart attack, in which the mitral valve does not function properly. Previous research has shown arjuna bark powder has cardiovascular benefits and cholesterol-lowering effects. Can it treat this problem?

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention

Study Design:

Placebo-controlled. Subjects took arjuna bark or placebo and their heart health was assessed at 1 and 3 months.

Dosage:

500 mg/day for 3 months in addition to anti-ischemic treatment

Subjects:

40 patients with a recent heart attack and IMR

Results:

Subjects in the treatment group showed a significant decrease in IMR, an improvement in the E/A ratio (the pattern with which the ventricles fill with blood), and reduction in angina (chest pain).

 

 

Indian Heart Journal

Bharani A et al. Efficacy of Terminalia arjuna in chronic stable angina: a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study comparing Terminalia arjuna with isosorbide mononitrate. 2002 Mar-Apr; 54(2):170–5.

Topic:

How does arjuna bark extract compare with isosorbide mononitrate as a treatment for stable angina (chest pain)?

Background:

Preliminary research has shown cardiovascular benefits for arjuna bark extract, but there has not yet been a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study with adequate sample size.

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial

Study Design:

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover. Subjects took arjuna bark extract for 1 week, isosorbide mononitrate for 1 week, and a placebo for 1 week, with a washout period of 3 or more days in between. Subjects were examined and took treadmill tests at the end of each treatment period. 

Dosage:

500 mg every 8 hours for 1 week

Subjects:

58 men with chronic, stable chest pain and evidence of probable ischemia (restriction of blood flow to the heart)

Results:

When subjects took the arjuna bark powder they experienced significantly less chest pain and needed to take less isosorbide dinitrate for the pain (5.69 ± 6/91 mg/week during the arjuna week versus 18.22 mg ± 9.29 mg during the placebo week). They were also able to exercise longer on the treadmill test (6.14 ± 2.51 minutes versus 4.76 ± 2.38 minutes). Other exercise parameters improved as well. Improvements in clinical and treadmill tests were similar during the isosorbide mononitrate and arjuna weeks, when compared with placebo. There were no significant side effects.

Conclusions:

Terminalia arjuna bark extract, 500 mg 8 hourly, given to patients with stable angina with provocable ischemia on treadmill exercise, led to improvement in clinical and treadmill exercise parameters as compared to placebo therapy. These benefits are similar to those observed with isosorbide mononitrate (40 mg/day) therapy and the extract was well tolerated.”

 

 

Indian Heart Journal

Bharani A, LK Ahirwa, N Jain. Terminalia arjuna reverses impaired endothelial function in chronic smokers. 2004 Mar-Apr; 56(2):123–8.

Topic:

Can Terminalia arjuna improve blood vessel function in smokers?

Background:

Smoking increases oxidative stress and causes blood vessel dysfunction, which can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). But improvement is possible through smoking cessation and antioxidant supplementation. Can arjuna, a medicinal plant from India with antioxidant action, help?

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial

Study Design:

Double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover. The smokers’ and nonsmokers’ brachial artery function was compared at base line. Smoking subjects then took arjuna or a placebo for 2 weeks each and their brachial artery function was assessed again.

Dosage:

500 mg every 8 hours for 2 weeks

Subjects:

18 healthy male smokers, mean age 28.16 ± 9.45 years, and 18 age-matched nonsmoking controls

Results:

Flow-mediated dilation, a measure of blood vessel function, improved after arjuna treatment but not after placebo.

Conclusions:

“Smokers have impaired endothelium-dependent but normal vasodilation as determined by brachial artery reactivity studies. Further, Terminalia arjuna therapy for two weeks leads to significant regression of this endothelial abnormality amongst smokers.”

Mechanism of Action

Arjuna bark’s cardio-protective action comes from several of its constituents, such as glycosides, which strengthen contractions of heart muscle, and flavonoids, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering effects. Arjuna bark decreases chest pain, increases coronary artery flow, decreases blood pressure, and increases ejection fraction (the ratio of blood flowing through the left ventricle).