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Olive trees have been a symbol of peace, wisdom, and longevity in various cultures for thousands of years. Beyond their symbolic importance, they possess remarkable health-promoting properties, especially found within their leaves. Enter Oleuropein, a bioactive compound extracted from these very leaves, known for its diverse array of potential health benefits.
This dynamic ingredient, also known as Olive Leaf Extract, has been studied extensively for its potential to support cardiovascular health, bolster the immune system, and more. The power of this ancient tree is concentrated within the olive leaf, where Oleuropein thrives, ready to contribute to our well-being.
In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Oleuropein, elucidating its health benefits, potential uses, and the science that underpins its effectiveness. Discover how this unique extract from olive leaves can become a powerful ally for your health and wellness journey.
What is Olive Leaf Extract?
Olive leaf extract comes from the leaves of the olive tree. The extract contains a powerful substance called oleuropein, which helps fight harmful bacteria and viruses. People have been using olive leaf extract for centuries to improve their health and boost their immune systems.
What are the Health Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract?
Researchers believe that oleuropein’s benefits might stem from its effects on certain cellular processes related to oxidative stress and regulation of cell growth, which are common factors in aging, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. More specifically, olive leaf extract is beneficial for:
- Cardiovascular Health: Researchers reviewed studies of olive leaf extract supplements. They concluded that olive leaf supplements can significantly reduce their blood fat levels and lower blood pressure. [PMC9585795]
- Blood Sugar Control: A review of studies of olive leaf extract looked at its impact on managing sugar levels. The analysis found that olive leaf extract can increase insulin levels significantly, which helps to reduce blood sugar levels. In addition to this, olive leaf extract was found to reduce total cholesterol and triglycerides. [PMID: 27860303]
- Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Anti-inflammatory: Olive leaf extract is well known for these properties.
- Cancer: Oleuropein can block the action of a specific protein that is often present in large amounts in breast cancer cells, and it has shown promising effects in preventing colorectal cancer associated with inflammation of the bowel. [PMC5392257]
- Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s: studies have shown that oleuropein can protect certain areas of the brain that are often affected by aging and Parkinson’s disease. It can also prevent the buildup of certain harmful proteins that are involved in Alzheimer’s disease. [PMC5392257]
Is Olive Leaf Extract Safe?
Olive leaf extract is generally safe for most people when used appropriately. It is a natural product that has been used for centuries for its health benefits. However, like any supplement, it can cause side effects in some people. These might include stomach discomfort, headaches, or allergic reactions.
- Blood Pressure Medications: Since olive leaf extract can lower blood pressure, taking it with blood pressure medications might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
- Diabetes Medications: Olive leaf extract can also lower blood sugar levels. If you’re taking medicine for diabetes, using olive leaf extract might make your blood sugar drop too much.
- Blood-thinners (anticoagulants/antiplatelets): Olive leaf extract may slow blood clotting. Taking it with medications that also slow clotting could increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
- Chemotherapy Drugs: There is some concern that antioxidants in olive leaf extract might reduce the effectiveness of some chemotherapy drugs by protecting cancer cells from damage.
- Herbs and Supplements for Blood Pressure: Olive leaf extract can lower blood pressure. If you’re also taking other supplements known to lower blood pressure, such as hawthorn, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, or garlic, your blood pressure might get too low.
- Herbs and Supplements for Diabetes: Olive leaf extract can lower blood sugar levels. When combined with other supplements that have the same effect, like fenugreek, bitter melon, or ginseng, it could cause your blood sugar to drop too much.
- Herbs and Supplements that Slow Blood Clotting: Olive leaf extract might slow blood clotting. When taken with other supplements that have the same effect, like ginkgo, garlic, or saw palmetto, it could increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
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Olive Leaf Extract by Now
Amount per 1 Capsule Serving
Olive Leaf Extract (Olea europaea)
(Standardized to min. 6% Oleuropein) 500 mg
Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.
Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.
To Sum It Up
Olive leaf extract supplements, often abbreviated as OLE, have emerged as a promising addition to a balanced, health-conscious lifestyle. Known for their rich polyphenolic content, these supplements offer a range of benefits. They are noted for their ability to help manage blood pressure levels, making them an appealing option for those mindful of cardiovascular health. But that’s not all – OLE also has the potential to positively influence lipid levels in the body, helping to balance amounts of triglycerides and cholesterol for overall well-being. Furthermore, some studies suggest that these supplements could even enhance insulin response, which is a key factor in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Overall, the multi-faceted benefits of OLE supplements make them an exciting topic in the field of natural health supplements.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.