Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Olive Leave Extract Equally Effective at Lowering Blood Pressure as ACE Inhibitor Captopril

For those who read yesterday's news on the negative effect of caffeine on exercise induced blood pressure response, it might be of interest that no more than 500mg of Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract may well counteract the negative effect of caffeine intake and help with triglyceride levels, as well.

In a double-blind, randomized, parallel and active-controlled clinical study (Susalit. 2010) an international team of scientists found that after a run-in period of 4 weeks continued subsequently by an 8-week treatment period supplementation with Olive (Olea europaea L.) leaf extract (EFLA®943) at 500 mg twice daily was equally effective in reducing blood pressure as the ACE inhibitor Captopril, which was given at the dosage regimen of 12.5 mg twice daily for the first two weeks and (if necessary) at 25 mg twice daily for the rest of the treatment period:
After 8 weeks of treatment, both groups experienced a significant reduction of systolic blood pressure (SBP) as well as diastolic blood pressure (DBP) from baseline; while such reductions were not significantly different between groups. Means of SBP reduction from baseline to the end of study were −11.5 ± 8.5 and −13.7 ± 7.6 mm Hg in Olive and Captopril groups, respectively; and those of DBP were −4.8 ± 5.5 and −6.4 ± 5.2 mm Hg, respectively.
What is even more intriguing is the concomitant reduction in triglyceride level, which was observed exclusively in the Olive, but not in Captopril group.
Figure1: Plasma Triglyceride levels throughout the study in the subgroup with baseline triglyceride level of > 200 mg/dl (Susalit. 2010).
So, if you are on blood pressure medication, you may well consider talking to your doctor if you could test-drive some Olive leaf extract to get off those nasty ACE inhibitors. But beware, I strongly advise against dropping the ACE "cold turkey"! It would rather be wise to reduce the dosage and to simultaneously begin supplementing Olive leaf extract to see how your body reacts.