RESEARCHERS have said that a pill made out of the leaves of olive tree can be useful in combating heart disease. In the study, patients who took the olive leaf pill for eight weeks saw a significant decline in blood pressure readings and levels of triglycerides, harmful blood fats that accentuate the risk of heart attacks and strokes, reports the Daily Mail. High blood pressure is thought to be responsible for 50 per cent of all heart attacks and strokes. If further studies confirm the powerful effects of olive leaf tablets, they could be used to help patients who presently take blood pressure drugs with serious side-effects. The studies have shown that olive oil can protect the heart by reducing the build-up of fatty deposits inside the coronary arteries. Olives have also been credited with helping to lower the risk of breast cancer, ulcerative colitis and even depression. These plant chemicals have been shown to help slash the risk of major diseases by helping to protect against the harmful effects of free radicals. However, with all their potential benefits, findings need to be replicated in larger studies before olive pills can be used more widely. TOI