Olive tree leaves have long been used in Mediterranean diets for not just their taste but for their health properties.
The properties of olive leaf extract are now seeing a long-list of health benefits and the reason why many supplements are keen to include this ingredient.
What is Olive Leaf Extract?
The olive leaf extract comes from the leaves of the olive tree, also known as the Olea europaea. Containing an active ingredient called oleuropein, it is a polyphenol with anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties.
The olive leaf extract has shown remarkable medicinal potential and has been used to treat and soothe problems such as swelling, rheumatic pain, stomach pain and even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract?
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, it is thought that the olive oil, leaves, and fruit have been linked to counter inflammation and oxidative stress. There is currently a lack of clinical trials in analyzing the effects of olive leaf extract, however, there have been several studies to support its claims for some of its health benefits.
Here are some of the advantages of consuming olive leaf extract:
According to a study in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1), olive leaf extract can help in controlling blood sugar levels by improving insulin secretion in cells. Over a period of 14 weeks, 79 adults with type 2 diabetes took a supplement that contained olive leaf extract or a placebo every single day.
Results showed a significant fall in blood sugar levels.
Animal studies have also shown promising results in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Results revealed that olive leaf extract can reduce hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, cholesterol, serum glucose. However, more research and testing have to be conducted on humans.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
Olive leaf extract has also been linked as a potential medicinal treatment for hypertension, and this is supported by a 2017 study in the European Journal of Nutrition (2).
The research revealed that the consumption of olive leaf extract leads to a significant reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. By lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure, the risk of a stroke and heart attack are also reduced.
Studies have also suggested that olive leaf extract can improve cholesterol levels. According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2015, the rats were put on a high cholesterol diet and some were also given olive leaf extract for over a period of eight weeks.
Results showed that the rats had higher levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). However, the rats that were administered olive leaf extract had significantly lower cholesterol levels.
Olive leaf extract has also been found to have antiviral properties. Research (3) has found that it was able to combat herpes, mononucleosis, and rotavirus.
Furthermore, there is potential for olive leaf extract in fighting against influenza and HIV.
According to a 2009 study published by the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (4), the antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract were shown to have anticancer effects. Studies show that oleuropein inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Furthermore, it can prevent inflammation, which promotes tumor growth.
Oleuropein has been found to be an effective remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. Research and animal testing (5) have shown that olive leaf extract can prevent symptoms from developing if administered early, and there was also a significant improvement of joint tissue. When administered after arthritis at a later stage, there was still a significant effect in reducing inflammation of the joints.
Although findings look very promising are currently limited, it is thought that olive leaf extract could have similar effects on humans.
What are the Side-effects You Need to Look Out For?
Due to a lack of research, there is little knowledge about the possible side effects of olive leaf extract. However, there has been rising concern that the olive leaf extract can lead to mild side effects such as stomach aches and headaches. Furthermore, the effects of long-term consumption are also unknown.
Olive leaf extract may interact with other medications.
For example, people taking blood pressure medication should not consume olive leaf extract as your blood pressure might fall too low.
If you have been prescribed insulin or any other diabetic medication, taking olive leaf extract can cause hypoglycemia.
How Much Olive Leaf Extract Should I Consume?
Knowledge of the safe dosage is unknown due to insufficient research. However, in supplements, the dosage can range from 500 to 1000 milligrams per day. Olive leaf extract can be consumed in the form of capsules, tablets or tea.
Always stick to the manufacturer’s guidelines and take a close look at the nutritional label.
Most brands recommend splitting the dose, to consume 250mg to 500mg two to four times a day with food.
Because olive leaf extract is considered a supplement and hence, it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Association (FDA). The dosage or quality of the supplement is not monitored unless the manufacturer has third-party testing.
This is the reason why you should look to take supplements that fully disclose their ingredient amounts on their label – It’s also why supplement ingredient amounts matter for safety but also to really know that your supplement can actually work!
Where can you get Olive Leaf Extract?
Although the exact health benefits of olive leaf extract are not confirmed yet, you can be assured that it is certainly a health food. That is why the olive leaf extract is becoming increasingly popular as an individual health supplement.
You can find olive leaf extract being included as a key ingredient in green powders too, such as the Supergreen Tonik. With 250mg of olive leaf extract, it is a safe amount for daily consumption, while you can get the added boost from the other nutritious food in that green blend.
Olive leaf extract looks to have great properties to boosting health and wellness and the dosage seen in SuperGreen TONIK matches some of the research to date in safe and well tolerated amounts.