Olive Extract May Be Able to Reduce Blood Pressure
An extract made from olive leaves may be just as effective at lowering blood pressure as traditional medical treatments according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Indonesia. Their findings were published in the February 2011 issue of the journal Phytomedicine.
The researchers recruited hypertensive patients to participate in the study. Half of the participants were given a twice daily 500 mg dose of olive leaf extract (EFLA 943) orally for eight weeks. The other half were given 12.5 mg of a common blood pressure medication called Captopril twice daily for eight weeks.
Blood pressure levels were evaluated every week and lipid profiles were recorded every four weeks.
The researchers found that both treatments resulted in a similar decrease in blood pressure. The olive extract group saw an 11.5mmHG drop in systolic (the top number) blood pressure and a 4.8mmHG drop in dialostic (the bottom number) blood pressure. The Captopril group was a 13.7mmHG reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 5.5 reduction in dialostic blood pressure.
The researchers also found that the olive leaf extract performed better in reducing triglyceride levels.
Although there are several prescription drugs for lowering blood pressure, they are often associated with adverse reactions and it often takes a combination of two or more drugs to effectively do the job.
Beyond olive leaf extracts, other foods shown to provide anti-hypertensive properties include soy products, tea, cereals and fruits.