A clinical trial of a dietary supplement derived from Kalamata organic table olives by organic farms in Sparta, which were selected from among 150 different olive species for their high phenolic content, is now in its final stages.

“Starting in April,” NKUA Associate Professor of Pharmacy Dr. Prokopios Magiatis, who is coordinating the team conducting the third consecutive study, as well as award-winning olive grower George Sakellaropoulos, who offers part of its products for laboratory and clinical research, is beginning the final phase of the 3rd clinical trial, which is expected to be completed in the summer and will lead to the release of the nutritional supplement in a capsule. form”.

The first part of the 3rd study was conducted from 2021 to 2022 on patients with hyperlipidemia who received 2 capsules daily of a dietary supplement – already registered with the Greek authorities (EOF) – produced from olives by the organic farms of Sakellaropoulos. The health benefits of Kalamata table olives, mainly in the lipid profile of volunteers and in particular in the ratio of LDL/HDL cholesterol, as well as in the protection of the cardiovascular system, have been the result of clinical and research studies conducted from 2014 to date . . The exclusive selection of organic table olives from these specific organic farms was made due to their high content of phenols, in particular hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, two substances attributed to antioxidant and cardioprotective properties.

These olives, as Mr. Sakelaropoulos points out, are organic, unpasteurized. They are produced in a natural fermentation process without chemical additives and preservatives and have the highest organoleptic and quality characteristics, which are also confirmed by the consecutive awards they have received all over the world.

“The analysis using the nuclear magnetic resonance method showed that they exceed by a large percentage the average values ​​of other olives analyzed in the period 2014-2023, since they contain 1850 mg/kg of phenols and a daily consumption of only 2-3 grams of olives provides more than 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol or their derivatives. In total, our organic farms offered more than 700 kg for three clinical studies and for the preparation of a food supplement,” said Mr. Sakellaropoulos.

Ten years of research on organic Kalamata olives

The first study with table olives, which demonstrated at an international level the beneficial effect of certain olives on the lipid profile of participants, was conducted in healthy volunteers and lasted from 2014 to 2016. The results were presented at the conference of the International Oleocanthal Society at the International Olympic Academy.

This was followed by a second study in a larger group of patients from 2017 to 2022, entitled “Effect of daily consumption of Kalamata table olives on the lipid profile of patients with hyperlipidemia.” The study was conducted at the Hypertension Department of the First University Cardiology Clinic of Ippokratio GNA and at the Biopathology Laboratory 401 of the General Military Hospital of Athens in collaboration with the Department of Pharmacy of the NKUA. 94 volunteers participated, of which 71 completed the study. In 71 patients, significant results were found for cholesterol and LDL levels (p<0.05), while no significant changes in HDL and TG levels were observed. Cholesterol showed a significant reduction of 9.01 units and LDL levels showed a reduction of 10.98 units after just 30 days of consuming just five olives daily.

According to NKUA Associate Professor of Pharmacy, Dr. Magiatis Prokopios, it is noteworthy that the olives used were “Valsamikes Kalamata Olives” from Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms, which contained 1300 mg/kg of hydroxytyrosol and 560 mg/kg of tyrosol. kg Daily consumption of 5 olives yielded 25 mg of hydroxytyrosol and 10 mg of tyrosol in each patient, and the results were published in the May 2022 annual edition of the World Olive Health Center.

The impressive results of these two clinical studies, with the daily consumption of only 5 organic olives from Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms, allowed the research team of the NKUA Pharmaceutical Department to turn the olive powder into a capsule with an international patent (a German private company) and to conduct a 3rd study that was conducted on hyperlipidemic patients receiving 2 capsules daily of a food supplement registered with the National Medicines Agency (No. EOF: 94522/8-9-2022).

The first results of the 3rd clinical trial led to its expansion to a larger group of participating patients (>100 subjects, with borderline hyperlipidemia, who did not receive treatment), and the last part of the study started in April 2023. In this last part of the study , Kalamata olives from Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms with the commercial name “Plus Health Kalamata olives” will be used as raw material for the production of the food supplement.

“Let’s be clear: this is not medicine,” said Dr. Prokopios Magiatis, associate professor of the Department of Pharmacognosy and Natural Products Chemistry. “It should be noted that neither olives nor the dietary supplement is a substitute for medication to control hyperlipidemia, but the purpose of the study is to demonstrate that they can be used by people with borderline hyperlipidemia in combination with an appropriate dietary intervention. A reduction in hyperlipidemia of 10 units, he added, is important for a person whose hyperlipidemia is close to or slightly above the limit… Equally important is the laboratory finding that only five specific organic olives correspond to the preparation of one capsule of hydroxytyrosol – tyrosol supplement.

Other organic Kalamata olives with lower phenolic content increase the number of olives needed to produce one capsule. However, the professor pointed out that “the effectiveness of Kalamata olives with respect to phenols, and in particular hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, refers to their natural way of fermentation and not to olives that have undergone chemical or heat treatment.”

New Yale Greek Olive Study

“The findings we have and the ease of use of these (Kalamata) phenolic olives are an important advance for cholesterol control,” noted NKUA Assoc. The way is now paved for the next steps…

Two of the leading US universities (Harvard and Yale) have conducted similar studies on the nutritional value of organic olive oils and Kalamata organic olives by Sakellaropoulos Organic Farms in recent years. In fact, at Yale University, since last year, researchers from the Department of Cardiology have been conducting a (new) study on 226 volunteers called “Olives for Health”, studying the benefits of their daily consumption for human health.

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