Olive leaf extract comes from the olive plant leaves. It contains the nutrient oleuropein, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Oleuropein has a distinctively pungent, tangy and almost bitter taste, which is usually found in high-quality virgin olive oils. Because of its properties, there are claims that it can help assist in many kinds of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes, cognitive-related problems, and cancer.
In fact, olive leaf has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries in some countries including Tunisia, Morocco, and Greece.
Perhaps you are familiar with the Mediterranian diet. This diet has been linked to decreasing chronic diseases, especially heart problems for centuries. The components of the olive tree–oil, leaves, and fruit–are what thought to be the reason behind the decreasing rate of the chronic diseases as well as age-related conditions. In fact, oleuropein can be extracted from olive leaves which produce olive leaf extract.
To use olive leaf extract supplements, start with smaller dosage then add it up as your body adapt with it. Usually, a dosage range from 500 to 1000 mg. You can divide this into smaller doses depending on the amount that your body allows and depending on the advice of your doctors. At the end of this article, ther are few reminders about your daily intake of the supplement.
Olive Leaf Extract Health Benefits
To further elaborate the benefits of olive leaf extract, here are the chronic diseases which the extract can assist with; plus the procedure you can follow in applying it.
Make a drop or two of olive leaf extract on a cotton ball and place on the affected area. On a study, olive leaf extract has been found to reduce the virus invading the cells in your throat through the antimicrobial and antiviral properties it possesses.
Olive leaves and extract has been used as remedies for a long time by the Mediterranean folks against arthritis. But modern science has evidence of its use against different kinds of arthritis including osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.
For example, oleuropein stops the uric acid building up by restraining xanthine oxidase–the enzyme that transforms RNA and DNA into uric acid. Oleuropein can also benefit on rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in preventing and treating its symptoms. In another study, supplemented animal models improve microscopic joint tissue appearance and joint inflammation, as well as prevent the building up of inflammatory cytokines.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Olive leaf extract can also assist with cognitive decline. For instance, oleuropein has the ability to protect human health against Alzheimer’s. Meanwhile, it’s antioxidant can work against Parkinson’s. It was noted that the extract can prevent damage by keeping dopamine neurons. Dopamine neuron is connected with Parkinson’s disease.
High Blood Pressure
Lowering the levels of blood pressure is part of the properties of olive extract. In a 2017 animal study, blood pressure successfully drops after taking the extract. Significantly, these results occur either before or after the animals have high blood pressure. These can simply interpret that the extract can both prevent and cure hypertension.
A human study also proves these findings. Participants with a blood pressure range from 120-139 mmHg over 80-89 mmHg were given 1000 mg supplementation per day for about 8 weeks. The participants’ blood pressure levels significantly drop by 11 mmHg systolic and 4 mmHg diastolic. They also experience a decrease in their LDL cholesterol.
By reducing the blood pressure level, you are also reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
On a 2015 animal study, it was assessed how the cholesterol levels of rats are affected by the extract. Significantly, rats cholesterol level decreased after 8 weeks.
The study simply shows that olive leaf extract is related to reducing cholesterol levels which has a great factor in heart problem risks.
Additionally, researchers believe that olive leaf extract can positively affect atherosclerosis–a disease which hardens and narrows the arteries and further lead to heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
Researchers found the link between olive leaf extract and type 2 diabetes. Olive leaf oil claims to make an improvement to cell’s insulin secretion. On the other hand, an animal study concludes the following:
- Increase serum insulin
- Reduce serum glucose
- Decrease cholesterol
- Decrease plasma, malondialdehyde, blood glucose, and other oxidative stress signs
- Reduce the excessive amount of insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinemia)
- Reduce hyperglycemia
However, more human studies are still needed to become a solid proof of olive extract’s positive effect on type 2 diabetes. On one human study, participants were given tablets contain olive leaf extract. Their average blood sugar level depleted as well as their fasting plasma insulin levels. But the results did not show any significant effect in their insulin levels after eating.
Overweight and Obesity
Olive leaf extract also shows to be a good partner in managing your weight. A 2014 animal study found out that olive leaf extract regulates the expression of genes that impact weight gain. It also reduces the amount of food your body is taking.
It was suggested that olive leaf extract has strong antioxidant properties as it was shown in a cell study that the extract can stop the growth of a cancerous cell. Cancer formation is destroyed at its earliest stage as the antioxidant battle against it. For instance, olive leaf extracts prevents the first step of developing a malignant cell by protecting DNA against reactive oxygen species. The development of cancer cells into tumor rely on chemical signals, which the oleuropein disrupts. It blocks the signal pathways as well as suppresses the damaged cells from deriving and storing energy from dietary carbohydrates.
However, this study is just one of the first research to analyze its anticancer properties. More studies are required to prove this benefit.
Side Effects and Reminders
Taking the extract while you are on medication may develop a respiratory allergic reaction. Better to speak with your doctor first before trying it.
Additionally, you may experience a slow and delicate change over time. Remember that olive leaf extract is not a supplement that can cure all diseases, nevertheless, it can assist in boosting immunity, weight loss, and overall health.