This pilot study was aimed at investigating the hypotensive potential of hawthorn extract and magnesium dietary supplements individually and in combination, compared with a placebo. Thirty-six mildly hypertensive subjects completed the study. At baseline, anthropometric and dietary assessment, as well as blood pressure measurements were taken at rest, after exercise and after a computer 'stress' test. Volunteers were then randomly assigned to a daily supplement for 10 weeks of either: (a) 600 mg Mg, (b) 500 mg hawthorn extract, (c) a combination of (a) and (b), (d) placebo. Measurements were repeated at 5 and 10 weeks of intervention. There was a decline in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in all treatment groups, including placebo, but ANOVA provided no evidence of difference between treatments. However, factorial contrast analysis in ANOVA showed a promising reduction (p = 0.081) in the resting diastolic blood pressure at week 10 in the 19 subjects who were assigned to the hawthorn extract, compared with the other groups. Furthermore, a trend towards a reduction in anxiety (p = 0.094) was also observed in those taking hawthorn compared with the other groups. These findings warrant further study, particularly in view of the low dose of hawthorn extract used.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.