The Effects of Aesculus hippocastanum on Cardiovascular Parameters and Vascular Function
(2015) The Effects of Aesculus hippocastanum on Cardiovascular Parameters and Vascular Function, no. 38.
Background: The herbal supplement Aesculus hippocastanum has been marketed as a phytotherapeutic agent that possesses anti-oedematous, anti-inflammatory and venotonic properties. For these reasons, individuals turn to this supplement to aid various ailments including chronic venous insufficiency. Despite Aesculus hippocastanum growing in popularity, there is a lack of current research in to the area with the majority of literature dating from beyond the past decade and reporting widely conflicting results. As a result of this, it is difficult to determine any benefits which Aesculus hippocastanum has on cardiovascular health. Aim: To investigate the effects of Aesculus hippocastanum supplementation on cardiovascular parameters and vascular function in healthy adults. Methods: Twenty healthy participants were given one Aesculus hippocastanum tablet, twice per day, for a period of two weeks. Anthropometrics, blood pressure, blood flowmetry (Flux), body water distribution and assessment of kidney function through 24 hour creatinine urinalysis were measured at baseline and post-intervention. Any changes between baseline and post-intervention were analysed using a Students paired t-test with results of p≤0.05 taken as significant. Results: Mean reductions were found in systolic (and diastolic blood pressures, however these results were insignificant (p=0.096; p=0.070, respectively). Changes in Flux were also insignificant (p=0.189) despite improvements in the mean. Mean extracellular water decreased, but not significantly (p=0.089), along with an insignificant (p=0.339) increase in intracellular water. Weight remained fairly constant with means of 71.91kg at baseline and post-intervention at 71.97kg. There were no significant changes observed in creatinine levels (p=0.342). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that, although not to a significant level, Aesculus supplementation can exert positive effects on blood pressure, body fluid composition and blood flowmetry. However, it does not change body weight or improve kidney function. Future research which takes the current study limitations into account could lead to significant results and an improvement in both reliability and validity of the findings of this study. Key Words: Aesculus hippocastanum, herbal supplement, intervention, blood pressure, blood flowmetry, body water composition, weight, creatinine