Thursday, 6 October 2011

Olive Leaf Lowers Blood Pressure

Olive Leaf Lowers Cholesterol, Blood Pressure           
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A new study has found that 1,000 milligrams (mg)of olive-leaf extract can lower both cholesterol and blood pressure in certain patients. The extract was one called “EFLA®943.” It worked in people who had mild “hypertension.” 
This is high blood pressure, a condition that’s common throughout the Western world. Previous studies on rats indicated that olive leaf could be yet another herbal medicine that influences our blood pressure.
So Swiss and German scientists tested the idea in humans — specifically, in 20 identical twins who had high blood pressure. They were given placebo or either 500 mg or 1,000 mg of olive-leaf extract. After two months, they measured blood pressure and discovered that those who were taking the herb had significant reductions in blood pressure. More studies, as usual, are needed.

Cancer Patients Turning to Alternative Medicine

A new American Cancer Society study shows that many cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicines to improve their quality of life. The most common include prayer, relaxation, supplements, meditation and massage. Other methods, though, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, homeopathy and acupressure, are not so common.
It shows that cancer patients use similar methods as others with chronic diseases. About half of all cancer patients are believed to use supplements and relaxation therapies, but there is a gap here, as the least-used alternative treatments were hypnosis, biofeedback and acupuncture or acupressure. This was surprising, as these methods have been found to be successful in providing relief for cancer-related symptoms such as pain. All cancer patients should know that many complementary therapies could provide help in coping with the disease — and with the side effects of chemotherapy, as well.21

Probiotics Useful for IBS: Studies

Two new studies in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice illustrate that probiotics are effective in managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They both find that one probiotic bacterium in particular is effective: Bifantis. This is a form that is found in supplements marketed as “Align.” The probiotic fights inflammation and can get the gut to function healthily again.
One study compared Lactobacillus to Bifantis, as well as placebo. After two months, patients taking Bifantis had the greatest reduction in IBS symptoms. The second study found that Bifantis was significantly superior to placebo in improving stomach pain, bloating, bowel dysfunction, straining and gas at the end of the four weeks. The great effects on inflammation suggest that Bifantis could be used to treat other inflammatory conditions — such as arthritis — but that, for now, we will have to wait and see.

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