Olives are the small fruit that grow on olive trees. They are popular in Mediterranean cuisine, both whole and when extracted for their oil to create olive oil. Olives are high in vitamin E and many other antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease. Olive leaf extract is the oil that is extracted from the leaves of the olive tree, which contain even more concentrated amounts of vitamins and antioxidants. The main antioxidants in olive leaf extract are called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a category of plant compounds that contain many health benefits. One of the most powerful polyphenols found in olive leaf extract is called oleuropein. Oleuropein is known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial effects that provide benefits for treating numerous health conditions.
7 Health Benefits Of Olive Leaf Extract
- Improves Heart health
Olive leaf extract can help reduce your risk of heart disease by preventing the build up of “bad” cholesterol in your arteries. This helps to improve blood flow and lower your blood pressure. One study found that olive leaf extract was effective in treating heart arrhythmia in rats, though human studies have not yet been confirmed.
- Reduces Risk Of Diabetes
Studies conducted on the use of olive leaf extract and type 2 diabetes found that twice daily doses of the supplement taken for 14 days lowered fasting blood sugar in comparison to taking a placebo. In addition, animal studies found that olive leaf extract was helpful in reducing hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, oxidative stress (caused by free radicals), cholesterol, serum glucose, and increasing serum insulin.
- Prevent Cognitive Decline
The antioxidants in olive leaf extract have been shown to help fight cognitive disorders associated with old age like Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons. This is due to its anti-inflammatory effects that may prevent damage and provide protection against oxidative stress to the brain that can cause Alzheimer’s. It may also help with preventing the loss of dopamine neurons that’s associated with Parkinson’s disease.
- Prevent Cancer
Antioxidants have long been known to have a positive effect on fighting free radicals in the body that lead to cancers. One study found that olive leaf extract was successful in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. This is likely due to the extract’s strong antioxidant properties.
- Helps Treat Herpes
Topically olive leaf extract may be used to help treat Herpes. Herpes is a common virus that can cause sores on the mouth or genitals. By applying a few drops of olive leaf extract to herpes sores, they may heal faster. This is likely due to its antimicrobial and antiviral properties. One study found that olive leaf extract was able to reduce the herpes virus from spreading.
- Prevent Obesity
Although studies are ongoing, results show that oleuropein helps to prevent weight gain. In animal studies, oleuropein lowered body fat in animals fed high-cholesterol and high-fat diets. It was also shown to reduce their food intake, meaning oleuropein may be helpful in suppressing appetite. It’s thought that this effect is due to oleuropein’s ability to regulate the expression of genes that affect weight gain.
- Helps Fight The Flu
Because of its antimicrobial and antiviral properties, olive leaf extract may be helpful in fighting off viruses like the flu. Research has shown that olive leaf extract can stop the flu virus from replicating, at least in animal studies. This is due to oleuropein’s ability to attack and neutralize viruses and bacteria.
Should You Take Olive Leaf Extract Supplement?
Current research suggests that olive leaf extract acts as a potent antioxidant that can help in reducing your risk of serious heart conditions as well as other health problems including obesity. Pure olive leaf extract is generally safe to take though you should check with your doctor before taking it regularly to ensure it won’t react with other medications. Also, be sure you are not allergic to olives as you may suffer a severe allergic reaction to olive leaf extract. The recommended daily dose for olive leaf extract is 500-1000 milligrams. Hot Bod Nutrition’s Premium Olive Leaf Extract comes in 750 milligram easy to swallow pill capsules. It’s non-GMO and produced in an FDA registered lab for consumer quality. If you’ve already been thinking about adopting a Mediterranean diet, olive leaf extract is the perfect way to start.