June 7/Geneva, Switzerland/University of Indonesia -- A new study, conducted at the University of Indonesia, has proven that an olive leaf extract is as efficient as the widely used pharmaceutical Captopril in lowering elevated blood pressure levels. The results were presented during this year’s Vitafoods in Geneva. According to the study, the extract significantly reduces total cholesterol and plasma triglyceride levels, an effect which was not observed with the conventional drug.
The randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, active controlled study involved 232 participants aged 25-60 years with stage-1 hypertension (systolic blood pressure 140-159 mmHg, and/or diastolic blood pressure 90-99 mmHg) who were not taking any medication or were asked to stop it upon consent. A four-week run-in period without treatment was followed by eight weeks of treatment with either one 500mg extract caplet or one 12.5mg Captopril tablet, each taken twice a day. After two weeks, if participants showed no response to Captopril, they received a double dose of the drug.
Dietary advice was given to help participants manage their hypertension, and adverse events and changes in laboratory parameters such as routine hematology, serum electrolytes, liver and renal function were monitored.
At the end of the study, both groups had clearly lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to baseline. The reduction of blood pressure in the natural treatment group with the extract was comparable to the pharmaceutical group with Captopril.
With regards to lipid profile, the extract significantly reduced total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Particularly in participants with high baseline triglyceride levels (>200mg/dl), the reduction was remarkable: the triglycerides diminished by 53.13mg/dl. Such positive effects were not observed in the Captopril group.
In summary, the results of this clinical study show that the olive leaf extract has similar blood pressure reducing effects in people with mild elevated values as a standard anti-hypertensive drug. It also positively influences the lipid profile of this population, and was reported to be safe and well-tolerated.
From the June 7, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.