Adding a combination of three natural extracts to standard pharmacological treatments could help to fight hypertension, improving cardiovascular function, especially in those patients whose blood pressure is not well controlled. These are the conclusions of a study conducted by the Vascular Pathophysiology Laboratory of I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Pozzilli, in collaboration with the Medical University of Salerno, Federico II University in Naples, I.R.C.C.S. Multimedica in Milan, and Sapienza University of Rome. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Extracts used in this nutraceutical formulation come from Bacopa Monnieri, Ginko biloba and green tea leaves, complexed with phosphatidylcholine, a natural phospholipid. Researchers evaluated its effects on a group of hypertensive patients, all of them receiving standard therapies. The main characteristic of the selected patients was that, despite pharmacological treatments, their blood pressure remained poorly controlled.
Professor Carmine Vecchione, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Salerno University, says, “In a percentage of patients, blood pressure control, despite treatments, remains unsatisfactory. We also know that hypertension reduces tolerance to physical exercise, a parameter recognized as a valid indicator of the cardiovascular situation.”
In order to overcome this condition, researchers aimed to find an additional weapon in nutraceuticals. Selected patients, all of them receiving standard drug treatment, were divided into groups in order to test the efficacy of the plant extracts mix compared to placebo. Furthermore, they conducted experiments on cellular and animal models to highlight the biochemical mechanisms involved.
Dr. Albino Carrizzo, first author of the publication, says, “We saw that patients treated with this nutraceutical showed an improvement in crucial parameters such as oxygen consumption, strength, endurance to physical exercise. These are indicators of a more efficient endothelial function. Furthermore, cellular and animal models demonstrated that this effect is due to an increase of nitric oxide in the blood, an important element in vessels health. Finally, an interesting observation emerging from our research is that the four substances composing the mix have a hemodynamic action only when combined, while they are ineffective when used individually. It is a real synergistic action.”
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