Olive oil is healthful, as everyone is aware.
You already know that the type of fat in olive oil, which is possibly the best source of monounsaturated fatty acids, decreases LDL cholesterol and improves HDL cholesterol. Olive phenols, a class of phytonutrients specific to olives and olive leaves, appear to be another undiscovered component of olives.
These seem to add to the advantages of olive oil.
However, in larger concentrations, they might also have a variety of other advantages.
Olive leaf extract is starting to gain popularity as a dietary supplement for a variety of health benefits, including lowering cancer risk, boosting cardiovascular health overall, aiding in weight loss, and enhancing skin health. But is all of it actually possible?
Some of the theories are more strongly backed by science than others.
Continue reading to discover more.
The Various (Potential) Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract—or rather, its active components, olive phenolics, which include hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein among others—offer a wide range of possible advantages, some of which have received more in-depth research than others. While the others could benefit from a few more studies, the benefits connected to cholesterol are currently without question.
Oil of olive leaf, cholesterol
It has long been understood that olive oil lowers LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol levels, which are both favourable effects on cholesterol. The advantages are inversely correlated with the number of polyphenols in olive oil, and polyphenols are the key component of olive leaf extract.
Olive oil polyphenols appear to function in part by suppressing the CD40L gene’s expression, which is connected to atherogenic (the formation of arterial plaque) and inflammatory processes.
So it should come as no surprise that olive leaf extract also reduces LDL and increases HDL cholesterol levels. In rats fed a diet high in fat and cholesterol, Olmez et al2015 .’s study discovered that olive leaf extract decreased total and LDL cholesterol. A human investigation conducted in 2017 by Lockyer et al. discovered an even wider range of advantages.
Reduced blood pressure, lower triglycerides, and lower total and LDL cholesterol were all advantages of taking an olive leaf extract supplement. Interleukin-8 concentrations, a measure of immunological response and inflammation, were also decreased.
Blood pressure-lowering olive leaf extract
As was already mentioned, the Lockyer trial showed that supplementing with olive leaf extract could lower blood pressure. The reduction of blood pressure by olive leaf extract has been supported by numerous other research. Other studies have shown that olive leaf extract may be an efficient treatment for patients with hypertension or a supplement to drug therapy.
In one experiment, rats with borderline hypertensive blood pressure had their blood pressure and LDL cholesterol reduced by olive leaf extract. The results were discovered to be dose-dependent, with the higher dose producing a bigger decrease in cholesterol and being the only dosage to lower blood pressure. Two different dosages were employed in addition to a control group.
Susalit et al. actually compared olive leaf extract to the blood pressure medication Captopril in human research. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly reduced in both groups, while the captopril group reported non-significantly higher drops. Significant drops in triglycerides were also observed in the olive leaf group, but not in the captopril group.
One qualification is that the captopril group’s dosage was changed, but not the olive leaf group’s. Throughout the course of the study, the olive leaf extract group consumed 500 mg of the supplement twice daily.
The Captopril group initially received a dosage of 12.5 mg twice daily, however, based on their response to treatment, some patients had their dosage increased to 25 mg twice daily 2 weeks into the 8-week treatment period. Of course, this is the accepted and proper method of administering medication in daily life.
However, the study should have either used both groups or none, not both. Therefore, it is likely that the olive leaf group may have achieved even better outcomes if their dosages had also been personalised.
Insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism with olive leaf extract
A few research indicate that olive leaf extract can increase insulin sensitivity while lowering blood sugar and insulin levels. In one trial, olive leaf extract enhanced both pancreatic beta cell responsiveness, a gauge of insulin production, and insulin sensitivity in middle-aged overweight men.
Olive leaf extract has been found to lower insulin and glucose levels and enhance glucose homeostasis in both diabetic humans and animals. This appears to be partially brought on by a decrease in starch digestion and absorption. If that’s the case, olive leaf extract might, similar to digestive enzymes, work best when taken right before meals when utilised for this reason.
For the treatment of herpes, shingles, and other viruses, use olive leaf extract
It certainly comes as a surprise that olive leaf extract might aid in the fight against herpes viruses. One in vitro study discovered that the antiviral medication acyclovir worked better when combined with olive leaf extract to reduce the viral load of the herpes simplex virus or the sexually transmitted form of the disease.
The study only suggested that olive leaf extract would be a useful supplement to pharmaceutical treatment, not that it was an effective treatment for herpes on its own. Olive leaf extract might make it possible for antivirals like acyclovir to be administered at lower doses to lessen adverse effects like nausea or diarrhoea.
Olive leaf extract is believed to be beneficial in treating herpes zoster, the virus that causes shingles, as it is effective against the herpes simplex virus. There haven’t been any studies on this yet, most likely because people recover from shingles too quickly to be enrolled in research.
Olive leaf extract may have broader antiviral benefits, according to other investigations. It appears to lessen the viral haemorrhagic septicaemia rhabdovirus’s (VHSV) in vitro infectiousness, and one study even showed that it would be effective in preventing viral replication in HIV. However, both of these experiments were conducted in vitro.
Olive leaf extract could not prevent upper respiratory infections like the common cold, according to in vivo research on high school athletes, but it did appear to shorten the length of illnesses when they did occur. Currently, olive leaf extract appears to be beneficial as a supplemental therapy for herpes viruses, so it is probably worthwhile to take if you have a cold. It’s too soon to suggest using it to treat any further viruses.
Olive Leaf Extract and Loss of Weight
You could anticipate that olive leaf extract might help with weight loss given that it increases insulin sensitivity. There is some evidence that it does, although probably not as much as you might anticipate. Olive oil consumption did limit the absorption of carbohydrates, according to a Japanese study, but it seems to have been removed from the internet.
Weinstein et alstudy’s which was previously cited came to the same conclusion, however, it did not weigh the individuals.
Even though it wasn’t the study’s stated purpose, at least two other investigations simply evaluated the body weight of their participants and found no significant weight changes. Theoretically, increases in insulin sensitivity and decreases in glucose absorption ought to result in a decrease in body weight over time.
Triglyceride and blood sugar reductions should also make it simpler to exercise, which will help you lose weight. Overall, however, it appears that olive leaf extract is only marginally beneficial as part of a stack of weight loss supplements. Simply put, there are many more effective weight loss supplements available.
A powerful antioxidant is an olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract has anti-oxidant properties that lower oxidised LDL cholesterol and lipid peroxide levels while raising glutathione peroxidase levels. Antioxidants may have anti-ageing properties, however, this is most helpful in explaining some of the other advantages of olive leaf extract.
You’ll discover that antioxidants specifically guard against DNA damage explains at least two additional advantages of olive leaf extract.
Skin Benefits Of Olive Leaf Extract And Protection From Sunburn
Olive leaf extract guards against UV-B radiation-induced skin damage. In other words, olive leaf offers sunburn protection. It should be noted that this has been proven with oral olive leaf extract supplementation, so there is no need to directly apply it to the diseased area.
The effect, according to the researchers’ theory, was partially brought about by preventing the creation of reactive oxygen species. In other words, it was because of the antioxidant properties of olive leaf.
Olive leaf extract applied topically may aid in both preventing sunburns and repairing existing damage. However, this is based on a study that was supported by the industry. The skin lotion with olive leaf extract also contained ceramides, a class of waxy lipid molecules that make up the majority of the skin’s outermost layer. The cream wasn’t compared to one that lacked olive leaf extract.
Therefore, it is impossible to determine if the effects were brought on by ceramides rather than olive leaf extract. What can be said is that using ceramides and olive leaf extract together helps renew skin, especially facial skin, by increasing moisture and decreasing wrinkles.
Oil of Olive Leaf and Cancer
Olive leaf extract is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, which makes sense given that both oxidative damage and inflammation play a part in the development of cancer. And in fact, it appears to.
Numerous minor elements in olive oil have been found to be efficient mitigators of the onset, development, and advancement of multistage carcinogenesis, according to the authors of one review of the literature.
Numerous studies have shown that olive leaf extract inhibits one or more stages of the development of cancer, especially breast cancer. This does not imply that olive leaf extract may treat cancer, while it might be helpful as a supplement to therapy to stop the disease’s spread. It primarily implies that regular use of olive leaf extract or olive oil can lower the risk of cancer.
Take Olive Leaf Extract as directed
Olive leaf extract is often used orally in the form of 500 mg capsules. A typical dosage would be 1000 mg divided into two daily dosages, according to research. Comparatively speaking, a daily serving of olive oil contains the equivalent of tens of milligrammes.
It does improve lipid and cholesterol profiles despite being an order of magnitude lower, in part because the fat content in olive oil, which is absent from olive leaf extract, also lowers cholesterol.
Therefore, if your main worry is cholesterol, there is a strong case for ingesting both olive oil and olive leaf extract. The other advantages of olive leaf extract are probably not present in olive oil, though.
Timing doesn’t seem to matter all that much, generally speaking. People who intend to utilise olive leaf extract for this purpose, however, may choose to take it 30 to 120 minutes prior to meals given the evidence that it increases insulin sensitivity in part by lowering carbohydrate absorption.
Apply an olive leaf skin cream twice a day or just after being in the sun.
If using before exposure to the sun, you should first apply the olive leaf cream, let it absorb, and then top it with sunscreen. In other words, olive leaf lotion has to penetrate your skin, whereas sunscreen needs to establish a barrier on top of your skin.