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Policosanol Reduces Blood Pressure, Macro Study Reveals

Friday June 14, 2019
Policosanol Reduces Blood Pressure, Macro Study Reveals

A simple extract from rice bran, called policosanol, has been shown to lower blood pressure, according to a new meta-analysis.

This recent review of multiple studies encourages the use of policosanol to lower blood pressure, offering a natural solution for the 1 in 4 adults currently diagnosed with hypertension (1). Hypertension is defined as chronic high blood pressure and is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Researchers at University of Medical Sciences, Iran, reviewed 19 trials on the effects of policosanol supplementation on blood pressure (1). The studies involved a total of 2,426 participants who took 5-20mg of policosanol for a period of between three to 54 weeks. To measure the effects on blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers were taken at different timepoints.  

 

After pooling the data, it was found that policosanol supplementation significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure across all studies. Additionally, higher doses were found to reduce systolic blood pressure further. Considering the mode of action, the team led by Moein Askarpour, suggest that policosanol may reduce blood pressure by improving blood flow and endothelial function.

High blood pressure affects more than 1 in 4 adults in England, around 12.5 million people in 2015, 31% among men and 26% among women, with little change over recent years.

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) using two numbers generally written one above the other. The top number represents systolic blood pressure (the pressure exerted when the heart contracts/beats), the bottom number is diastolic blood pressure (measuring the pressure in the relaxed heart between heartbeats). Ideal adult blood pressure is widely considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, while high blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as 140/90 mmHg or higher.

While this new meta-analysis is persuasive, some limitations were noted by the researchers. The studies reviewed by the team featured small sample sizes and used variable doses of policosanol. Some studies didn’t account for external factors that may affect blood pressure results in their findings, prompting future researchers to conduct larger scale longer-term studies. Despite limitations, this study highlights the therapeutic potential of policosanol on cardiovascular health as an aid to reduce blood pressure. 

 

Author: Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.


References:
1)          Moein Askarpour et. al (2019) Policosanol supplementation significantly improves blood pressure among adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 45, Pages 89-97

 

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet

 

TAGS: Nutrition News and ViewsCardiovascular health, Cardio

 

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