The Low-Down on Why Olive Leaf Extract is So Darn Good For You!
Scientist have found that oleuropein, the unique molecule that gives olive oil its numerous health benefits, is especially abundant in the leaves of the olive tree. Special processing techniques can produce an olive leaf extract that is extremely rich with oleuropein in its most stable form.
Olive leaf extract is best-known as an immune-system booster but is also known to lower blood pressure by targeting arterial resistance and stiffness, the core mechanisms of high blood pressure. But several recent studies have revealed that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of oleuropein found in olive leaf extract has benefits that extend far beyond that.
Atherosclerosis is the thickening of artery walls as a result of the accumulation of calcium and fatty materials such as cholesterol and triglyceride. This build-up, known as “plaque”, can reduce or even block blood flow increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack. Olive leaf extract promotes arterial health in the following ways.
- Increases production of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that helps relax blood vessels
- Reduces production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which dissolves the structure that holds cells together thereby making vessel linings increasingly vulnerable to damage from plaque, and
- Prevent the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, one of the earliest events in developing atherosclerosis.
Diabetes is characterised by high blood glucose resulting from defects in the body’s ability to produce and use insulin. Olive leaf extract shows promise in aiding the two main goals of treating diabetes: 1) lowering blood glucose to normal levels and 2) limiting the damage caused by blood sugar spikes.
The benefits of oleuropein in olive oil and olive leaf extract has long been associated with the Mediterranean diet, and one of the characteristics this diet is renowned for is its ability to reduce the risk of cancer. Oleuropein and olive leaf extract are considered key factors in reducing these risks in that they:
- Help prevent inflammation that can promote tumour growth.
- In breast cancer, reduce its ability to respond to estrogen, the female hormone that many breast cancers depend on.
- Reduce production of “protein-melting” enzymes that cancer needs to invade healthy tissues.
Olive leaf extract suppresses inflammation in the central nervous system and reduces damage caused by oxidative stress. This helps protect the nervous system from the effects of stroke, brain trauma and age-related degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that affect people of all ages, races and genders. The different forms of arthritis include gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Though olive extracts have been long used in the Mediterranean to battle arthritis, scientific evidence has recently proven that they can interfere with the development of the disease. In gout in particular, oleuropein in olive leaf extract inhibits xanthine oxidase, the enzyme responsible for converting DNA and RNA into uric acid.
And the benefits do not stop there, olive leaf extract is also said to promote fat reduction due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is said to play a big role in fat storage in the body. See more health applications on webmb.com
These are the numerous ways that olive leaf extract is a natural bodyguard which research suggests helps prevent illness. Be reminded that Olive Leaf Extract is not a treatment for any specific illness and this information shouldn’t be relied on for the diagnosis or treatment of any illness. For this, please consult your doctor before making healthcare decisions to gain professional guidance and treatment for any illness.
- Downey, M. Olive leaf safely modulates blood pressure. Life Extension Magazine. LEF.org. 2012.
- Everson, J. Unexpected benefits of olive leaf extract. Life Extension Magazine. LEF.org. 2013.
- Teutsch, D. Olive leaf offers new hope in fat fight. Sydney Morning Herald. SMH.com.au. 2010
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. OLIVE – Uses, side effects, interactions and warnings. Web MD. WebMD.com. 2009.
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