High blood pressure, or hypertension, is very common but many people won’t realise they have it because symptoms don’t always show. The condition can cause the arteries to thicken and harden, which can lead to health complications such as heart attack and stroke. A healthy diet is recommended to prevent the condition or to control a high reading – this should include cutting down on the amount of salt in your food and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. Specific foods and drinks have also been shown to have high blood pressure-lowering effects, including olive leaf tea.
Olive leaf has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks used the leaves to clean wounds and the ingredient is even mentioned in the Bible for its healing properties.
Today, researchers have attempted to prove olive leaf’s effectiveness, particularly when it comes to high blood pressure.
In 2008, scientists in Germany and Switzerland looked at how sets of identical human twins with borderline hypertension responded to taking olive leaf extract.
To keep the data consistent, identical twins were used. This is because genetic differences can effect how people respond to treatments.
The olive leaf extract was derived from olive leaves and put into capsule form.
The researchers carried out two experiments – one compared twins who tok 500mg of olive leaf extract a day at breakfast with their siblings who didn’t take anything. The second experiment compared a group who took 500mg a day with participants who took 1,000mg a day.
A total of 40 people took part in the experiments – 28 women and 12 men, aged between 18 and 60.
The results showed those who took the highest daily dosage of olive leaf extract received the highest benefits, with it “significantly” lowering their blood pressure compared to the group who took 500mg.
At the end of the eight-week-long study, this group’s systolic blood pressure (the top number on a reading) had dropped by an average of 11 points.
The group who took 500mg of olive leaf extract a day dropped their systolic blood pressure by an average of five points.
Those who took nothing saw their blood pressure rise by two points.
The researchers noted they were looking to see if olive leaf extract had a blood pressure-lowering effect, not what dosage was most effective.
They also called for more investigation into the possible benefits of olive leaf extract on high blood pressure.
The research was funded by Frutarom and published in Phytotherapy Research.
Olive leaf extract is available in supplement form but can also be enjoyed as a tea.
As part of a healthy, balanced diet, health experts also recommend eating plenty of potassium-rich foods to counteract the negative effects of salt on blood pressure.
Published at Mon, 11 Mar 2019 07:55:00 +0000