Olive leaf extracts and their oleuropein constituents are best known for their blood pressure-lowering effects, but the latest studies reveal their health benefits extend well beyond that.
Additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties offer promise in:
- fighting atherosclerosis
- neurodegenerative diseases
- and even arthritis
- Blood Pressure
Animal studies demonstrate that olive leaf extracts lead to significant drops in elevated blood pressure. Remarkably, these effects are evident when supplementation occurs either before or after the animals develop hypertension. This means that the extracts have the ability to both prevent and treat high blood pressure.
The drop in blood pressure is accompanied by reduced pressure in the heart’s left ventricle. This results in improved blood flow to the heart’s own coronary blood vessels. Additional human studies demonstrate the ability of olive leaf extracts to significantly reduce blood pressure measurements.
- Arterial Health
Blood pressure is only one measure of cardiovascular health; arterial health is equally important. The endothelial cells that line arterial walls play a key role in maintaining blood flow and pressure; they also regulate the distribution of smooth muscle cells and sustain an even flow of blood through vessels.
Endothelial dysfunction is one of the earliest stages in hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which occurs when plaques build up in the arterial walls. These plaques eventually block blood flow and can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Olive leaf extracts fight endothelial dysfunction at multiple levels. They increase the production of nitric oxide, a signalling molecule that helps relax blood vessels.
The diabetic (and pre-diabetic) state of chronic blood sugar elevation imposes substantial oxidative stress throughout the body, triggering inflammation and tissue damage that rapidly accelerates aging. Treatments for diabetes have two main goals:
1) lowering blood glucose to normal levels and
2) limiting the damage done by the inevitable blood sugar spikes that still occur.
Olive leaf extracts are showing real promise in both of these areas. In animal and basic lab studies, olive leaf extracts and oleuropein have been found to lower blood sugar through several mechanisms.
They slow the digestion of starches into simple sugars, slow absorption of those sugars from the intestine, and increase the uptake of glucose into tissues from the blood. They protect tissues from the oxidant damage caused when glucose binds to proteins in the process called glycation.
They also increase levels of other natural antioxidant systems in the body, broadening the degree of protection.
The Mediterranean diet is renowned for its ability to reduce the risk of cancer. While numerous aspects of the diet contribute to this risk reduction, there’s growing evidence that olive oil – and specifically its oleuropein content – are key components of the diet’s anti-cancer effects.
Studies show that oleuropein’s antioxidant effects help it battle cancer formation at its earliest stages. Olive leaf extracts inhibit DNA damage from reactive oxygen species, which is the very first step in development of malignant cells.
Once cells become cancerous, they rely on a host of chemical signalling factors that promote their growth and organization into tumors. Olive leaf compounds are known to inhibit growth factors and disrupt signalling pathways.
Oleuropein also suppresses an enzyme cancer cells rely on to derive and store energy from dietary carbohydrates.
Oleuropein and olive leaf extracts have numerous other mechanisms of action against cancer:
- They help prevent inflammation, another major promoter of tumor growth.
- In breast cancer cells specifically, oleuropein reduces malignant cells’ ability to respond to estrogen, the female hormone that many breast cancer cells depend on for their survival.
- Oleuropein inhibits the production of the “protein-melting” enzymes that cancer cells need in order to invade healthy tissues and metastasize to distant parts of the body.
Olive extracts help protect the brain and central nervous system from the destruction brought on by strokes and age-related degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They accomplish this by suppressing inflammation and reducing the damage done by oxidative stress.
Olive leaves and their extracts have long been used in the Mediterranean as folk remedies for arthritis. Now, scientific evidence has proven that olive leaf extracts can in fact interfere with the development of several different kinds of arthritis, including gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints, the by-products of impaired recycling of DNA and RNA in cells. In a mechanism identical to that of allopurinol (the gold standard drug therapy for gout), oleuropein prevents the buildup of uric acid by inhibiting xanthine oxidase, the enzyme responsible for converting DNA and RNA into uric acid.
- Major Side Effect
One of the major side effects of the Manna T-Boost, especially the Olive Leaf Extract combination with the Saw Palmetto, is to rectify erectile dysfunction. This all natural product is safe to be used in conjunction with all other medication.