The unique molecule that its attributed to the multitude of benefits of olive leaf extract is called oleuropein, and it is a polyphenol that can protect against oxidative damage, reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, slow down the effects of cognitive decline.
The Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract
1. Olive Leaf Extract Reduces Cancer Risk
One of the primary benefits of olive leaf extract is that it can be used as part of natural cancer treatment, as well as a preventative measure, due to its ability to stop the angiogenic process, which triggers tumour growth. The substance oleuropein delivers a potent antiangiogenic and antioxidant effects by preventing the reproduction and migration of advanced tumour cells. Researchers found that olive leaf extract has a high antioxidant potency that can inhibit cancer and endothelial cell reproduction. It is also able to slow the growth of cells linked to brain, urinary bladder and breast cancer.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
Olive leaf extract also exhibits anti-hypertensive properties that can address hypertension, reducing blood pressure and thereby decreasing the risk of potential heart complications. It has been found that oleuropein relaxes the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and even preventing the formation of blood clots, in addition to stopping irregular heartbeat, improving blood flow in the coronary arteries and balancing blood sugar levels.
3. Anti-Viral and Anti-Bacterial Properties
The oleuropein, and other compounds found in olive leaf impair the ability of viruses to create amino acids, thus preventing their ability to reproduce and multiply, acting just against the micro-organisms, instead of against the rest of the body.
4. Promotes Healthier Skin
Olive leaf has been scientifically found to protect against skin cancer, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2011. In the study that was conducted on mice, olive leaf extract was able to dramatically inhibit cell reproduction as well as induce early apoptosis, which is programmed cell death, in tissue culture of skin cancer cells. Scientists also found that treating established tumours in mice with olive leaf extract lessened tumour volume. The Japanese researchers from the Division of Biochemical Pharmacology discovered that olive leaf extract given to mice with UV radiation damaged improved skin elasticity and thickness.
5. Immune System Booster
Studies have shown that olive leaf extract can combat microbes, including some viruses known to cause respiratory infections and the flu. It has traditionally been used to enhance the functioning of the immune system and enhance the body’s efforts to fight invading organisms. A liquid extract made from fresh olive leaves was shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double green tea extract and four times higher than vitamin C.
6. Arthritis Relief
Arthritis is an inflammatory joint disease known to cause pain and swelling in the joints. Olive leaf’s anti-inflammatory properties make it quite useful for naturally relieving the symptoms of arthritis. It has also demonstrated high potency as an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication), offering beneficial effects on both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Prevents Alzheimer’s
It has long been known that those who follow a Mediterranean diet and keep physically and mentally active, are less likely to suffer from dementia. Olives, in particular, appear to play a crucial role in this regard. Research has found that oleuropein can lessen the symptoms or occurrence of age-related brain conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The studies have revealed that there is a link between free radical damage and Alzheimer’s and because olive leaves contain high levels of antioxidants, it can help prevent damage caused by free radicals and even protect the brain against memory loss.
While the benefits of olive leaf extract are many, and olive leaf is considered to be safe, it is suspected to interfere with certain chemotherapy drugs. Also, people with low blood pressure taking olive leaf extracts are advised to monitor their blood pressure carefully. As a general rule, check with your doctor first before taking it.