olive leaf extract improves blood pressure and cholesterol

You know about olives. And you know about olive oil. But did you know that olive leaf may be even better for your heart health? . . .
Olive leaves contain way more of the phenolic compounds that are so good for you than olives or olive oil do. So, researchers were curious how olive leaf extract would affect 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure and other markers of heart health in men with pre-high blood pressure. 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure measures your blood pressure as you go about your everyday life.

The week double-blind study included 60 men with systolic blood pressure between 121-140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure between 81-90 mm Hg. Healthy levels would be around 120 and 80. The men also had elevated cholesterol levels. The men were given either the olive leaf extract or a placebo. The dose of olive leaf extract was 10 mL twice a day.

The olive leaf extract clearly improved blood pressure. 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as daytime systolic and diastolic blood pressure were all significantly lower on the olive leaf extract than on the placebo.

It also improved cholesterol. The olive leaf extract significantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. The olive leaf also improved the inflammatory interleukin (IL)-8, a marker of increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

This study shows that olive leaf extract improves several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.

This new study supports an earlier one that found that olive leaf extract improves vascular function, as measured by arterial stiffness, and IL-8. Even earlier research had already found that olive leaf extract improves cholesterol and triglycerides.

Olive leaf extract works so well that it reduces 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 (Phytomed 2011;18(4):251-8).

Eur J Nutr 2017;56(4):1421-1432

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