The 7+ Benefits of Losartan

Not Just An Antihypertensive Drug

Typically, losartan is used in treating hypertension (high blood pressure), but it has many more off-label uses, like improving muscle growth.

 
 

Basics

Losartan (Cozaar) is an Angiotensin II receptor blocker. R

Angiotensin II is a potent vasoactive peptide that can increase arterial blood pressure. R

Its main uses are in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage due to diabetes), and congestive heart failure. R

Benefits

1. Is Neuroprotective

 
 

In animal models, losartan has shown to been neuroprotective against glaucoma. R

It also is neuroprotective against chronic fatigue induced by stress (my modulating COX), so may be useful for chronic fatigue syndrome. R

Injections of losartan into the hippocampus was able to improve learning and memory in animal studies. R

Losartan is able to improve cognition in young adults. R

2. Improves Muscle Recovery and Wound Healing

Trans-human Growth Factor-beta (TGFb) is important in regulating wound healing and when it is elevated, it hinders muscle recovery and wound repair.

Losartan inhibits TGFb1 and improves muscle recovery. R

In animals, losartan helps regenerates wound healing. R

In humans, losartan ameliorates dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (a severe skin fragility disorder associated with lifelong blistering and disabling progressive soft tissue fibrosis). R

3. Improves The Vascular System

 
 

In multiple studies, losartan can effectively lower blood pressure.  R R 

At the same time it prevents blood pressure elevation from brain derived neurotrophic factorR

It also improves blood flow and reduces the severity and frequency of Raynaud's phenomenon (when some areas of the body feel numb and cool in certain circumstances). R

Losartan has also been shown to protect the heart and arteries.

It inhibits scarring (via TGF-b/Smad pathway) and calcification  (by suppressing BMP2 and Runx2 expression) of the heart arteries. R R

When combined with Vitamin D, Losartan protects the heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury. R

Losartan can also improve Marfan syndome by attenuating aorta and lung tissue degradation. R

4. Improves Diabetes

Losartan is able to improve insulin sensitivity. R

It also lowers triglyceride levels in diabetic patients. R

In animals, losartan was able to prevent diabetic otopathy (hearing impairment). R

5. Protects The Kidneys

 
 

Albuminuria is the presence of albumin in the urine, which is typically a symptom of kidney disease.

Losartan is able to improve albuminuria. R

It can also reduce the incidence of chronic kidney disease and improve mortality. R

6. Protects The Gut And Liver

In animal studies, losartan is helpful for Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. R

It restores the normal histological structure of the colonic mucosa and submucosa (decreasing proinflammatory cytokines). R

It also decreases intestinal permeability (by inhibiting IEC apoptosis). R

In hepatic fibrosis models, losartan was able to improve serum liver enzyme levels. R

7. Helpful Against Certain Viruses

 
 

In animals, losartan was able to help some of the symptoms from dengue fever (by reducing IL-1β production). R

Mechanism Of Action

Losartan:

  • Antagonizes CB1 receptors R
  • Blocks AT1R (angiotensin II type 1 receptor) so antagonises it R
  • Blocks the vasoconstrictor and aldosterone-secreting effects of angiotensin II R
  • Decreaes Resistin and RBP-4 R
  • Does not change HDAC expressions R
  • Has high-affinity BDNF receptor TrkB antagonist ANA-12 R
  • Reduces Th17 activity in renal cells R
  • Increases M-Value, Adiponectin, and Visfatin R
  • Inhibits MMP9, but increases TIMP1 expression R
  • Inhibits NF-kB R
  • Inhibits NOX2 transcription R
  • Inhibits TGF-B, although in this study upregulated it R R
  • Inhibits VDR R
  • Its principal active metabolite is losartan carboxylic acid (LCA) R
  • Lowers CRP R
  • Modulates PPAR-gamma R
  • Processed via Cytochrome P-450 R
  • Reduces TNF‐α and IL‐6 expression R
  • Suppresses BMP2 and Runx2 expression R

Caveats

Losartan can induce hyponatremia (abnormally low sodium levels in blood). R

It may increase chance of kidney stones. R

Rhodiola rosea decreases its effectiveness. R

Losartan is well tolerated, even in children. R

It should NOT be used while pregnant. R

More Research

  • Telmisartan may be more useful for pancreatic function in obese patients. R
  • Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of losartan (5 μg) selectively inhibited increases in renal and brown adipose tissue (BAT) sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) produced by leptin (10 μg ICV) but did not reduce the SNA responses to corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) or the melanocortin receptor agonist MTII. R