polyphenols from olive and flavonoids from citrus reduce risk of cardiovascular disease

Olive leaf extract is little discussed, but it has shown great promise as a supplement for heart health. Now a new study on a supplement that sounds more like a salad has combined olives with citrus and come up with remarkable results for preventing cardiovascular disease.

Olive leaves contain way more of the phenolic compounds that are so good for you than olives or olive oil do. Olive leaf extract has been shown to improve several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It has a beneficial effect on blood pressure and cholesterol, including total and LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. It also improves the inflammatory interleukin (IL)-8, a marker of increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

And olive leaf extract’s success was not a one off. It has been shown to improve vascular function, as measured by arterial stiffness, and IL-8. Even earlier research had already found that olive leaf extract improves cholesterol and triglycerides.

How good is olive leaf extract for your heart? As good as the drugs. In one of the most important olive leaf extract studies, the herb was shown to reduce  high blood pressure as well as the drug captopril in people with high blood pressure. Actually, it does it better because it reduces cholesterol and triglycerides significantly better than the drug.

And now a new study has tried something new. And the result pad the resume of the olive.

The new study combined 85-90mg of olive polyphenols with 250-300mg of flavone-glycosides and 175-200mg of flavones. The flavone-glycosides and the flavones were from extracts of grapefruit and bitter orange. Bitter orange, also known as Citrus aurantium, is well known as a helpful herb for weight loss.

The Spanish study was double-blinded and included 96 healthy people. They got either a placebo or 500mg twice a day of the combination supplement. The researchers described the results they saw as “remarkable.”

After 8 weeks, flow-mediated dilation (FMD) increased by a significantly superior 3% on the supplement versus only .5% on the placebo. FMD measures blood vessel dilation in response to increased blood flow. The supplement also significantly dropped diastolic blood pressure.

For cholesterol, it showed huge numbers. The heart hazardous oxidized LDL-cholesterol plummeted by 40-45%: that is the result the researchers found most remarkable. Total cholesterol went down by 13,57mg/dL while it continued to rise in the placebo group. LDL-cholesterol went down by 8.8mg/dL while they got higher in the placebo group. The heart healthy HDL-cholesterol went up by 1.65mg/dL on the supplement but dropped on the placebo.

The olive/citrus supplement also significantly lowered inflammation as measured by the inflammatory marker IL-6. There was no such improvement in the placebo group.

This constellation of improvements suggests that the polyphenol/flavonoid supplement can help blood vessel function, blood pressure, cholesterol, free radical damage and inflammation, making it an interesting natural supplement for reducing cardiovascular risk in healthy people.


Nutrients 2020;12(5):1475


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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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