High blood pressure affects around a third of adults in the UK, but many people don’t realise they have it. The best way to find out if you have a high reading is to have your blood pressure regularly checked, either by your GP or local pharmacist or using a blood pressure monitor at home. Whether a person has the condition or not, it’s important to do what you can to prevent or reduce high blood pressure – if high blood pressure persists, it can put strain on blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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Eating healthily is one way to prevent or reduce blood pressure.
Experts recommend cutting down on the amount of salt in food, because too much salt can raise blood pressure, and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and these counteract the negative impact of salt.
Individual foods and drinks have also been proven to have a positive impact on blood pressure, one of these is olive leaf tea.
Olive leaves have long been used by people in the Mediterranean as part of their diet and traditional medicine.
Olive leaves contain several key polyphenols, such as oleacein and oleuropein, and research suggests these may help protect against a range of diseases.
In a 2011 study, researchers randomised people with stage 1 hypertension (blood pressure) to take either 500 milligrams of olive leaf extract or 12.5-25mg of captopril, a high blood pressure medication, twice per day.
After eight weeks, both groups showed significantly lower blood pressure.
the team of researchers concluded olive leaf extract was as effective at lowering blood pressure in people with stage 1 hypertension as captopril.
In another study carried out in 2017, researchers randomised people with stage 1 hypertension to take higher an olive leaf extract containing 136mg of oleuropein or a placebo each day.
After six weeks, those who took the olive lead extract had much lower blood pressure than those who took the placebo.
Being overweight forces the heart to work harder to pump blood around the body, which can raise blood pressure.
While healthy eating and exercise are the most effective ways of losing weight, olive leaf extract has also proven effective at preventing weight gain.
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In a study published in 2016, researchers orally administered oleuropein to rats with obesity that were consuming a high-cholesterol diet,
After eight weeks, the rats had a lower body weight, less fat tissue, and an improved metabolic profile.
Another study published in 2014 found oleuropein supplementation reduced body weight and weight gain in mice that were consuming a high-fat diet.
These findings suggest olive leaf extract containing oleuropein may have the potential to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of obesity.
Researchers do note that further studies in humans are necessary to substantiate the health benefits of olive lead extract.
Olive leaf extract is available in the form of capsules and tea.
There are no official guidelines for how much olive leaf extract a person should take, but human studies have suggested taking 500 to 1,000mg per day.
But a person should speak to their doctor before taking olive leaf extract to treat a specific condition.
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