(NaturalNews) The impact of high blood pressure places millions of Americans at significantly increased risk from cardiovascular disease and sudden death from a heart attack. Big Pharma and modern medicine are quick to prescribe a vast assortment of pharmaceuticals that fill the coffers of the drug giants and have no effect on true cardiac risk. Publishing in the journal Phytomedicine, researchers found that a natural extract from the olive leaf plant can effectively lower blood pressure without the devastating side effects experienced by many placed on a lifetime of synthetic pharmaceuticals.
Hypertension is one of the most devastating conditions that currently affects more than 50 million Americans. High blood pressure slowly and silently degrades the integrity of our vascular network of vessels and arteries, ultimately leading to heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia. Traditional medical practice calls for the administration of multiple pharmaceuticals that further degrade health and carry a long list of damaging side effects.
Researchers found that olive leaf extract taken at a dose of 500 mg twice per day naturally lowered blood pressure in Stage 1 hypertensive patients better than prescription ACE-inhibitor drugs. The study authors noted that extracts from leaves of the olive tree "have been used since ancient times to combat high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and diabetes and for other medicinal purposes."
Additionally, researchers found that the groups of subjects taking the olive leaf extract demonstrated significant improvements in triglyceride levels, a positive benefit not seen with the pharmaceutical group. Although the specific blood pressure lowering action of olive leaf extract is not known, the study designers believe it is related to the active compound in the leaf known as oleuropein. Oleuropein acts synergistically with other chemicals in the plant to "exert both ACE inhibitory and calcium channel blocking activities."
Further scientific evidence supporting the powerful impact exerted by the olive plant is provided by researchers published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. The study found that polyphenol rich, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil boosted levels of an antibody in the blood that neutralizes oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is implicated in the formation of coronary plaque. This significantly reduces the risk from atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries and from the progression of coronary artery disease.
Researchers again found that the antioxidant polyphenols oleuropein and caffeic acid found in olive oil exhibited powerful anti-diabetic, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-inflammatory properties. In response to increased dietary consumption of the polyphenols, the study found that critical immune response mechanisms were stimulated and deadly LDL oxidation was retarded.
Olive oil consumption was shown to yield reduced levels of systemic inflammation and a reduction in arterial plaque formation. Health-minded individuals will want to include 25 ml (just under two tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil daily to provide maximum cardiac health benefits.
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.