High Blood Pressure: Health’s big dilemma
High blood pressure continues to plague America, especially as life expectancy and ageing of the general population continues to increase. A new statistic estimated 103 million, or about half, of U.S. adults to have high blood pressure.1
This coincides with a growing number of deaths and various cardiovascular diseases. It’s no secret that this is a growing health issue that is difficult to tackle. In today’s hectic world, maintaining a healthy lifestyle between diet and exercise isn’t easy. Enter Frutarom’s Benolea, a high quality olive leaf extract that is clinically proven to support a healthy blood pressure range, in addition to a healthy cholesterol level, vascular protection, and a healthy blood sugar level.
The overall cardiovascular market remains enormous at about $2.5 billion, according to Nutrition Business Journal.2 With a plethora of supplements ranging from garlic to CoQ10, the market provides consumers with a wide variety of options. Between choosing from which ingredient to take, and their various dosage amounts, it’s often hard to decide which product is the most effective or in some cases, if they even actually work. However, there’s a reason why olive leaf extract, specifically Benolea, stands out.
Olive: Nature’s cure-all for ages
The olive leaf has been used all the way back to Biblical times and has been highly regarded throughout the world from the Roman Empire and ancient Egypt to modern day use globally. The main health benefits come from its phenolic compounds oleuropein, as well as its metabolite hydroxytyrosol.3 Oleuropein has been studied in recent years for its systolic and diastolic blood pressure-lowering effect while hydroxytyrosol has been associated with anti-inflammation leading to preventing LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Beyond just blood pressure and overall heart health, olive leaf extract has also been studied for its effect on many other health issues ranging from diabetes to cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
More recently, olives have become an important part of the traditional Mediterranean diet which has been associated with a number of health benefits, especially reducing the risk of heart disease. A meta-analysis of more than 1.5 million adults showed the effectiveness of this diet against not only cardiovascular mortality, but overall mortality.4 The olive is a vital and one of the more popular components of this diet.
Benolea: Clinically backed to support a healthy blood pressure range
What exactly is Benolea and why is it better? Simply put, it is olive leaf standardized to at least 16% oleuropein, which is a phenolic compound known for many health benefits. Standardized olive leaf extract is quite common but Benolea takes it a notch above with several advantages. First, the minimum 16% oleuropein standardization is much higher than what is typically seen on the market. It is also standardized to a minimum 30% total polyphenols, which is important as the various components work together to provide more complete health benefits. The product undergoes Frutarom’s proprietary EFLA Hyperpure technology to guarantee the absence of contaminants. Being sourced in Spain close to the manufacturing facility also ensures a steady and consistent supply chain.
To break it down simply, Benolea acts to support healthy blood pressure levels through two main modes of action. First, it promotes nitric oxide (NO) production. NO is an important mediator of vasodilation in blood vessels and thus helps relax the smooth muscles around the vessels to decrease blood pressure. In addition, its phenolic substances inhibit the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). As angiotensin is a peptide hormone that causes blood pressure to increase and vasoconstriction, inhibiting ACE is crucial to preventing Angiotensin I (simply a precursor) from turning into Angiotensin II and becoming harmful.
Beyond just the oleuropein, the various components of Benolea work synergistically to support the reduction of cholesterol, which is why the minimum 30% total polyphenol standardization is crucial. First hydroxytyrosol (a phenylethanoid naturally found in olive leaf) improves cholesterol efflux, which then works with oleuropein to inhibit cholesterol oxidation. Oleuropein in turn works with other components towards peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) modulation (PPAR agonists are drugs used to lower triglycerides and blood sugars). Finally, the remaining components reduce intestinal cholesterol absorption and inhibit Acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) to further lower cholesterol.
With three clinical studies for support, Benolea has the proper science to back up its claims. One study focusing on hypertension had an in vitro study looking at the acute dose-dependent effect of the extract on oxidative stress and an in vivo study investigating the regional and systemic hemodynamic parameters.5 The in vitro study showed that Benolea had higher ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) than vitamin C and the synthetic antioxidant butylhydroxytoluol (BHT), as well as greater free radical scavenging activity (TEAC) than BHT. All this points to its strong antioxidant properties. On the in vivo study, 35 subjects were divided into five groups that received either control, oleuropein, or varying amounts of Benolea. Each varying group showed different benefits. For example, the group receiving lower Benolea dosage showed improved regional hemodynamics with elevated carotid blood flow and a decrease in carotid vascular resistance. The group with the medium amount of Benolea showed effective improvements in blood lipid profiles with reduction in both total cholesterol and triglycerides. The group with higher amounts of Benolea showed significance decreases in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure. Interestingly, the hemodynamic effects were not observed simply from the oleuropein group, which goes to show it’s the entirety of the Benolea product that is responsible for the positive effects.
An additional study had 20 monozygotic twins being randomly placed into either a Benolea or a strictly diet/lifestyle change group for 8 weeks .6 Blood pressure and blood samples were collected throughout the weeks and in the end, results for both lowered blood pressure and serum lipids proved to be more significant for the Benolea group. This indicates its benefit versus non-pharmacological measures, with the use of twins eliminating other variables.
In another randomized, double-blind study, 232 adults with stage 1 hypertension either were given Benolea or captopril, a well known ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure.7 Results showed that Benolea had similar effects in blood pressure reduction with the Ccaptopril group. However, there was a much more significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels for the Benolea group. This study confirms both the blood pressure-reducing and lipid-lowering properties that were previously already suggested in the twins study, particularly in those with stage-1 hypertension.
Benolea takes a well-known and widely used product in the olive leaf extract and enhances it in a way to provide optimal health benefits. It combines high quality that goes behind standardizing and manufacturing the product with years of clinically backed research. The end result is a product that rises above the rest in a saturated cardiovascular market to provide a truly effective health solution to combat high blood pressure and other heart health issues plaguing a huge amount of the adult population.
About Frutarom Health
Frutarom Health, part of IFF, is a leading global manufacturer of high-quality ingredients for healthy nutrition. It provides effective ingredients that meet the increasing consumer demand for natural and safe alternatives to support health.
- American Heart Association, More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/05/01/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-says ; accessed December 12, 2018.
- Nutraceuticals World, Getting to the Heart of Cardiovascular Health https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2017-04/view_features/getting-to-the-heart-of-cardiovascular-health/ ; December 12, 2018.
- Examine.com, Summary of Olive Leaf Extract. https://examine.com/supplements/olive-leaf-extract/ ; December 18, 2018
- Mayo Clinic, Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801; December 11, 2018.
- M.T. Khayyal, et al., Blood pressure lowering effect of an olive leaf extract (olea europaea) in l-NAME-induced hypertension in rats, Arzneimittelforschung 2002, 52(11), 797-802.
- T.Perrinjaquet-Moccetti, et al., Food supplementation with an olive (Olea euopaea L.) leaf extract reduces blood pressure in borderline hypertensive monocygotic twins, Phytotherapy Research 2008, 22: 1239-1242.
- E. Susalit, et al., Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: comparison with Captopril, Phytomedicine 2011, 18: 251-258