The use of Oral contraceptive pills has its benefits and side effects, that major adverse effect its potential to put female at the risk of heart and blood diseases, but changing their cholesterol profile. Researchers have now found a safer alternative to medicine for lowering cholesterol levels in such women, that is by the use of a Candyleaf plant, thereby reducing their risk of developing cardiovascular complications.
Oral contraceptives are one of the common births controlling methods, but their use is not limited to contraception, instead, it is used in other hormonal problems like menstrual irregularity, acne, hirsutism, endometriosis, to reduce risks of ovarian and uterine cancer. There are different types of OCPs available in the market, like combined estrogen-progesterone pills, progesterone-only pills, and extended use pills. The use of OCPs puts females are risk of obesity by changing lipid profile and cardiovascular diseases.
The change in lipid profile is mainly seen as a reduction of HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins or good cholesterol) and elevation of LDL (Low-Density Lipoproteins or bad cholesterol). This change in lipid profile can be an alarming sign for heart and blood-related complications in the future. Certain lipid-lowering medicines can be used to combat this problem, but they are either too pricy or have some adverse effects that make them not very safe for use in women using OCPs.
Akram Atalla explored the lipid-lowering property of the Candyleaf plant, also known as Stevia rebaudiana. Generally, the compounds that are extracted from a natural source are safer. Also,Candyleaf has many other health benefits to offer. This plant is abundantly found in South and Central America. Candyleaf is a very sweet plant with a slightly bitter after taste, but if it is exposed to a good amount of sunlight its sweetness increases. The researcher took female rabbits to study the effects of plant extract, because of their anatomical and physiological resemblance to humans.
The results of the study showed elevated levels of LDL in the blood with the use of combined oral contraceptive pills (COCPs) and a reduction in the levels of good cholesterol. But by using Candyleaf extracts, the levels of bad cholesterol are reduced, and good cholesterol increases, suggesting that stevia leaf extracts can reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases in females using oral contraceptive pills. Furthermore, Candyleaf extracts are well known for their fat losing and weight control effects to help in maintaining ideal body mass.
The study highlighted the importance of continuous monitoring of lipid levels in women who are using an oral contraceptive. Such women can use Stevia leaf powder extracts to limit the complications of OCPs. Further dose-finding studies should be done, also, its safety and effectiveness in humans should be thoroughly explored.
Lipid profile, Stevia leaf powder extracts, Stevia extracts, Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), combined oral contraceptive pills (COCPs), Candyleaf extract, LHL, HDL, cardiovascular diseases.