The Mediterranean Diet has long been known as a diet that improves overall health and wellness. What many don’t know is that olive oil, a major player in the Mediterranean diet, contains a unique compound called oleuropein which provides the oil’s characteristic astringent taste. The olive tree (Olea europaea) produces oleuropein generously in its leaves as well as in the olive fruit. Now with special processing techniques the extraction of a stable, standardized form of oleuropein is available in supplement form usually called olive leaf extract. Oleuropein is a polyphenol that may help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure (oleuropein acts as a natural calcium channel blocker), prevent cancer, protect against oxidative damage, expel harmful organisms and help guard against cognitive decline. Additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract offer promise in fighting atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and even arthritis.
“(I have) yet to discover another herbal substance that accomplishes anti-microbially what this substance [olive leaf extract] achieves.”
Biochemist Arnold Takemoto
- Supports healthy blood pressure
- Supports arterial health
- Supports healthy blood glucose levels
- Supports healthy cholesterol levels
- Protects against oxidative damage
- Supplementing with 500 mg of olive leaf extract once daily resulted in significant reductions in hemoglobin A1c levels
- Studies show that oleuropein’s antioxidant effects help it battle cancer formation at its earliest stages
- Oleuropein inhibits the production of the “protein-melting” enzymes that cancer cells need in order to invade healthy tissues and metastasize to distant parts of the body
- Olive extracts help protect the brain and central nervous system from the destruction brought on by strokes and age-related degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- Scientific evidence has proven that olive leaf extracts can in fact interfere with the development of several different kinds of arthritis, including gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis
- In vitro studies have found olive leaf extract is effective against over 50 common disease causing organisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa such as herpes, influenza A, Polio 1, 2, and 3; Salmonella typhimurium, Candida Krusei and Coxsackie A21.
- Amoebi, cryptosporidia, giardia, pinworm, tapeworm, ringworm, malaria protozoa and roundworm are some of the more familiar parasites which Olive Leaf Extract kills.
Although olive leaf extract is capable of killing a broad range of infection-causing agents, it does not harm the beneficial bacteria in your body. Many studies show it to be very safe, nontoxic and effective, even for children.
If used in a high enough dosage, olive leaf extract can expel worms from the intestines and is helpful for those with harmful organisms in the gut. Biochemist Arnold Takemoto, speaking to the Townsend Newsletter for Doctors and Patients put it this way: “(I have) yet to discover another herbal substance that accomplishes anti-microbially what this substance [olive leaf extract] achieves.”
Cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil and olive leaf extract should be considered an important addition to your health and wellness routine.
CAUTION: The proven blood pressure-lowering effects of olive leaf extracts are potent enough to warrant caution if you are taking prescription blood pressure drugs. If you are on blood pressure medication, it’s essential that you speak to your practitioner before starting supplementation.
Research & References
Available at: http://www.tesisenred.net/bitstream/handle/10803/7208/tvk.pdf?sequence=1#page=30. Accessed March 8, 2013.
Omar SH. Oleuropein in olive and its pharmacological effects. Sci Pharm. 2010;78(2):133-54.
Waterman E, Lockwood B. Active components and clinical applications of olive oil. Altern Med Rev. 2007 Dec;12(4):331-42.
Hamdi HK, Castellon R. Oleuropein, a non-toxic olive iridoid, is an anti-tumor agent and cytoskeleton disruptor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun.2005 Sep 2;334(3):769-78.
Ribeiro Rde A, Fiuza de Melo MM, De Barros F, Gomes C, Trolin G. Acute antihypertensive effect in conscious rats produced by some medicinal plants used in the state of Sao Paulo. J Ethnopharmacol.1986 Mar;15(3):261-9.
Somova LI, Shode FO, Ramnanan P, Nadar A. Antihypertensive, antiatherosclerotic and antioxidant activity of triterpenoids isolated from Olea europaea, subspecies africana leaves. J Ethnopharmacol.2003 Feb;84(2-3):299-305.
Khayyal MT, el-Ghazaly MA, Abdallah DM, Nassar NN, Okpanyi SN, Kreuter MH. Blood pressure lowering effect of an olive leaf extract (Olea europaea) in L-NAME induced hypertension in rats. Arzneimittelforschung.2002;52(11):797-802.
Cherif S, Rahal N, Haouala M, et al. A clinical trial of a titrated Olea extract in the treatment of essential arterial hypertension. J Pharm Belg. 1996 Mar-Apr;51(2):69-71.
Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Busjahn A, Schmidlin C, Schmidt A, Bradl B, Aydogan C. Food supplementation with an olive (Olea europaea L.) leaf extract reduces blood pressure in borderline hypertensive monozygotic twins. Phytother Res. 2008 Sep;22(9):1239-42.
Susalit E, Agus N, Effendi I, et al. Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension: comparison with Captopril. Phytomedicine.2011 Feb 15;18(4):251-8.
Scheffler A, Rauwald HW, Kampa B, Mann U, Mohr FW, Dhein S. Olea europaea leaf extract exerts L-type Ca(2+) channel antagonistic effects. J Ethnopharmacol.2008 Nov 20;120(2):233-40.
Gilani AH, Khan AU, Shah AJ, Connor J, Jabeen Q. Blood pressure lowering effect of olive is mediated through calcium channel blockade. Int J Food Sci Nutr.2005 Dec;56(8):613-20.
Zare L, Esmaeili-Mahani S, Abbasnejad M, et al. Oleuropein, chief constituent of olive leaf extract, prevents the development of morphine antinociceptive tolerance through inhibition of morphine-induced L-type calcium channel overexpression. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1731-7.
Visioli F, Bellosta S, Galli C. Oleuropein, the bitter principle of olives, enhances nitric oxide production by mouse macrophages. Life Sci. 1998;62(6):541-6.
Rocha BS, Gago B, Barbosa RM, Laranjinha J. Dietary polyphenols generate nitric oxide from nitrite in the stomach and induce smooth muscle relaxation. Toxicology.2009 Nov 9;265(1-2):41-8.
Palmieri D, Aliakbarian B, Casazza AA, et al. Effects of polyphenol extract from olive pomace on anoxia-induced endothelial dysfunction. Microvasc Res. 2012 May;83(3):281-9.
Scoditti E, Calabriso N, Massaro M, et al. Mediterranean diet polyphenols reduce inflammatory angiogenesis through MMP-9 and COX-2 inhibition in human vascular endothelial cells: A potentially protective mechanism in atherosclerotic vascular disease and cancer. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012 Nov 15;527(2):81-9.
Jemai H, Bouaziz M, Fki I, El Feki A, Sayadi S. Hypolipidimic and antioxidant activities of oleuropein and its hydrolysis derivative-rich extracts from Chemlali olive leaves. Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Nov 25;176(2-3):88-98.
Visioli F, Galli C. Oleuropein protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation. Life Sci. 1994;55(24):1965-71.
Masella R, Vari R, D’Archivio M, et al. Extra virgin olive oil biophenols inhibit cell-mediated oxidation of LDL by increasing the mRNA transcription of glutathione-related enzymes. J Nutr.2004 Apr;134(4):785-91.
Wang L, Geng C, Jiang L, et al. The anti-atherosclerotic effect of olive leaf extract is related to suppressed inflammatory response in rabbits with experimental atherosclerosis. Eur J Nutr. 2008 Aug;47(5):235-43.
Impellizzeri D, Esposito E, Mazzon E, et al. The effects of oleuropein aglycone, an olive oil compound, in a mouse model of carrageenan-induced pleurisy. Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug;30(4):533-40.
Carluccio MA, Siculella L, Ancora MA, et al. Olive oil and red wine antioxidant polyphenols inhibit endothelial activation: antiatherogenic properties of Mediterranean diet phytochemicals. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003 Apr 1;23(4):622-9.
Turner R, Etienne N, Alonso MG, et al. Antioxidant and anti-atherogenic activities of olive oil phenolics. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2005 Jan;75(1):61-70.
Dell’Agli M, Fagnani R, Mitro N, et al. Minor components of olive oil modulate proatherogenic adhesion molecules involved in endothelial activation. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 May 3;54(9):3259-64.
Singh I, Mok M, Christensen AM, Turner AH, Hawley JA. The effects of polyphenols in olive leaves on platelet function. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2008 Feb;18(2):127-32.
Zbidi H, Salido S, Altarejos J, et al. Olive tree wood phenolic compounds with human platelet antiaggregant properties. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2009 May-Jun;42(3):279-85.
Wainstein J, Ganz T, Boaz M, et al. Olive leaf extract as a hypoglycemic agent in both human diabetic subjects and in rats. J Med Food. 2012 Jul;15(7):605-10.
Gonzalez M, Zarzuelo A, Gamez MJ, Utrilla MP, Jimenez J, Osuna I. Hypoglycemic activity of olive leaf. Planta Med. 1992 Dec;58(6):513-5.
Al-Azzawie HF, Alhamdani MS. Hypoglycemic and antioxidant effect of oleuropein in alloxan-diabetic rabbits. Life Sci. 2006 Feb 16;78(12):1371-7.
Jemai H, El Feki A, Sayadi S. Antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein from olive leaves in alloxan-diabetic rats. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Oct 14;57(19):8798-804.
Eidi A, Eidi M, Darzi R. Antidiabetic effect of Olea europaea L. in normal and diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):347-50.
Poudyal H, Campbell F, Brown L. Olive leaf extract attenuates cardiac, hepatic, and metabolic changes in high carbohydrate-, high fat-fed rats. J Nutr. 2010 May;140(5):946-53.
Simon D, Balkau B. Diabetes mellitus, hyperglycaemia and cancer. Diabetes Metab. 2010 Jun;36(3):182-91.
Kontou N, Psaltopoulou T, Soupos N, et al. Metabolic syndrome and colorectal cancer: the protective role of Mediterranean diet–a case-control study. Angiology. 2012 Jul;63(5):390-6.
Verberne L, Bach-Faig A, Buckland G, Serra-Majem L. Association between the Mediterranean diet and cancer risk: a review of observational studies. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(7):860-70.
Anter J, Fernandez-Bedmar Z, Villatoro-Pulido M, et al. A pilot study on the DNA-protective, cytotoxic, and apoptosis-inducing properties of olive-leaf extracts. Mutat Res. 2011 Aug 16;723(2):165-70.
Corona G, Deiana M, Incani A, Vauzour D, Dessi MA, Spencer JP. Inhibition of p38/CREB phosphorylation and COX-2 expression by olive oil polyphenols underlies their anti-proliferative effects. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Oct 26;362(3):606-11.
Kimura Y, Sumiyoshi M. Olive leaf extract and its main component oleuropein prevent chronic ultraviolet B radiation-induced skin damage and carcinogenesis in hairless mice. J Nutr. 2009 Nov;139(11):2079-86.
Sirianni R, Chimento A, De Luca A, et al. Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol inhibit MCF-7 breast cancer cell proliferation interfering with ERK1/2 activation. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Jun;54(6):833-40.
Menendez JA, Vazquez-Martin A, Oliveras-Ferraros C, et al. Analyzing effects of extra-virgin olive oil polyphenols on breast cancer-associated fatty acid synthase protein expression using reverse-phase protein microarrays. Int J Mol Med. 2008 Oct;22(4):433-9.
Goulas V, Exarchou V, Troganis AN, et al. Phytochemicals in olive-leaf extracts and their antiproliferative activity against cancer and endothelial cells. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 May;53(5):600-8.
Abdel-Hamid NM, El-Moselhy MA, El-Baz A. Hepatocyte lysosomal membrane stabilization by olive leaves against chemically induced hepatocellular neoplasia in rats. Int J Hepatol. 2011;2011:736581.
Fares R, Bazzi S, Baydoun SE, Abdel-Massih RM. The antioxidant and anti-proliferative activity of the Lebanese Olea europaea extract. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011 Mar;66(1):58-63.
Grawish ME, Zyada MM, Zaher AR. Inhibition of 4-NQO-induced F433 rat tongue carcinogenesis by oleuropein-rich extract. Med Oncol. 2011 Dec;28(4):1163-8.
Acquaviva R, Di Giacomo C, Sorrenti V, et al. Antiproliferative effect of oleuropein in prostate cell lines. Int J Oncol. 2012 Jul;41(1):31-8.
Mohagheghi F, Bigdeli MR, Rasoulian B, Hashemi P, Pour MR. The neuroprotective effect of olive leaf extract is related to improved blood-brain barrier permeability and brain edema in rat with experimental focal cerebral ischemia. Phytomedicine. 2011 Jan 15;18(2-3):170-5.
Pan J, Konstas AA, Bateman B, Ortolano GA, Pile-Spellman J. Reperfusion injury following cerebral ischemia: pathophysiology, MR imaging, and potential therapies. Neuroradiology. 2007 Feb;49(2):93-102. Epub 2006 Dec 20.
Dekanski D, Selakovic V, Piperski V, Radulovic Z, Korenic A, Radenovic L. Protective effect of olive leaf extract on hippocampal injury induced by transient global cerebral ischemia and reperfusion in Mongolian gerbils. Phytomedicine.2011 Oct 15;18(13):1137-43.
Khalatbary AR, Ahmadvand H. Neuroprotective effect of oleuropein following spinal cord injury in rats. Neurol Res. 2012 Jan;34(1):44-51.
Bazoti FN, Bergquist J, Markides KE, Tsarbopoulos A. Noncovalent interaction between amyloid-beta-peptide (1-40) and oleuropein studied by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2006 Apr;17(4):568-75.
Daccache A, Lion C, Sibille N, et al. Oleuropein and derivatives from olives as Tau aggregation inhibitors. Neurochem Int. 2011 May;58(6):700-7.
Rigacci S, Guidotti V, Bucciantini M, et al. Abeta(1-42) aggregates into non-toxic amyloid assemblies in the presence of the natural polyphenol oleuropein aglycon. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2011 Dec;8(8):841-52.
Flemmig J, Kuchta K, Arnhold J, Rauwald HW. Olea europaea leaf (Ph.Eur.) extract as well as several of its isolated phenolics inhibit the gout-related enzyme xanthine oxidase. Phytomedicine.2011 May 15;18(7):561-6.
Impellizzeri D, Esposito E, Mazzon E, et al. Oleuropein aglycone, an olive oil compound, ameliorates development of arthritis caused by injection of collagen type II in mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther.2011 Dec;339(3):859-69.
Gong D, Geng C, Jiang L, Wang L, Yoshimura H, Zhong L. Mechanisms of olive leaf extract-ameliorated rat arthritis caused by kaolin and carrageenan. Phytother Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):397-402.
Olive leaf. Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Mar;14(1):62-6.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician of choice.