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Celery Seed Extract Is Shown to be Safe and Improve Metabolic Function in Patients with Hypertension

Date 07-29-2022
HC# 062235-693
Celery (Apium graveolens, Apiaceae)
Biochemical Effects

Rad MS, Moohebati M, Mohammad Ebrahimi S, Motamedshariaty VS, Mohajeri SA. Safety evaluation and biochemical efficacy of celery seed extract (Apium graveolens) capsules in hypertensive patients: a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over, clinical trial. [published online May 10, 2022]. Inflammopharmacology. doi: 10.1007/s10787-022-00986-0.

Celery (Apium graveolens, Apiaceae) has been shown to help control blood pressure (BP), serum lipids, and diabetes mellitus. Celery seeds include a group of bioactive phytochemicals called phthalides. These compounds and celery seed extracts have been associated with hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, antihypertensive, antihyperglycemic, and cognitive strengthening effects. These authors conducted a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to evaluate the short-term safety and biochemical efficacy of celery seed extract in patients with hypertension. 

The study was conducted at Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Mashhad, Iran. Eligibility criteria included the following: age of 20-70 years, ability to understand the study protocol, completion of the consent form, and systolic BP (SBP) of 120-160 mm Hg or diastolic BP (DPB) of 80-100 mm Hg.

Fifty-nine patients with hypertension were randomly assigned at the beginning of the study into celery (n = 29) and placebo (n = 30) groups. They were instructed to take four capsules daily (two capsules every 12 hours before a meal) for four weeks along with their usual medications. After a four-week washout period, in the second phase, the patients crossed over into the other treatment group.

Celery seeds were purchased from Imam Pharmacy in Mashhad, Iran and were certified by the Herbarium of the School of Pharmacy at the university. The seeds (800 g) were ground into powder and extracted and filter three times with 80% ethanol, spray-dried and placed in capsules. The four capsules taken daily provided 1.34 g celery seed extract. High-performance liquid chromatography revealed that the amount of 3-n-butylphthalide in the final form was 15.68 mg/g, and the amount in each capsule was 5.23 ± 0.06 mg.

Hematological tests conducted before and after each treatment phase included complete blood count with differentiation, plasma lipids, liver function tests (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase [SGOT], serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase [SGPT], and alkaline phosphatase [ALP]), kidney function tests (blood urea nitrogen [BUN] and serum creatinine [SCr]), and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus).

During the first phase of the crossover trial, eight patients were excluded because of changes in medication or physical activity. Fifty-one patients completed the study.

At baseline, the two groups were similar in age, gender, marital status, lifestyle factors, blood pressure, daily nutrition intake, and biochemical parameters. The mean ages of the patients were 50.21 ± 6.66 years in the celery group and 51.34 ± 5.91 years in the placebo group. BP parameters did not significantly change with the placebo treatment during the study; however, SBP and DBP decreased significantly with the celery treatment (P < 0.001). No significant within-group or between-group differences were observed in blood cell counts or electrolytes. The kidney function markers BUN and SCr decreased significantly with the celery treatment (P < 0.05).

Among the liver function tests, ALP values did not differ between the treatments or within each group. SGOT and SGPT did not change with the placebo treatment but did significantly decrease after treatment with the celery seed extract (P < 0.05). Fasting blood sugar (FBS) levels (P < 0.001) and serum lipids (P < 0.001) improved with the celery treatment but did not change with the placebo treatment.

No significant adverse effects were reported during the study. Positive effects reported with the celery treatment included improved sleep quality, a sense of relaxation and freshness during the day, better breathing, and less dizziness. These were significant compared with the placebo treatment (P < 0.05 for all).

Limitations of this study include the small sample size, short duration, and the lack of consideration of certain confounding factors, such as ethnicity or genetic diversity.

The authors conclude these results "indicated that the celery seed capsule not only is safe for hypertensive patients but also caused a reduction in BP values, improved kidney and liver function, FBS, and lipid profile" and that "celery seed extract can be considered a safe supplement for hypertensive patients.

This study was funded by Mashhad University of Medical Sciences. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

 —Shari Henson