Olive leaf

Although olive leaf has made its name due to the covid pandemic, it has actually been used for therapeutic purposes since ancient times, especially in the regions where it grows. Today, thanks to the developing technology, medicine and science, studies have shown that the olive leaf has many bioactivity. Oleuropein is the molecule with the most important biological activity that enables the olive leaf to be used in the treatment of diseases.

Although oleupein was first identified in 1908, its structure was described in 1960. Oleuropein is found in the tree, leaf, bud, wood and bark of olives. This substance, which is found in excess in the early stages of the olive fruit, is metabolized with ripening and its amount decreases, and is also the substance that gives the bitter taste to the fruit. Since oleuropein is high in unprocessed olives and leaves, bitterness is also high. Since hydroxytyrosol, the metabolized product of oleuropein, is found more in processed olives and olive oil, bitterness is also reduced. In addition, oleuropein protects the plant from harmful microorganisms and diseases and contributes to the longevity and durability of the tree.

Oleuropein cannot be used directly in the human body. It can be absorbed after being digested in the digestive system. It is completely divided into hydrocytocele and its subunits and is not found in human plasma and feces.

I would like to give information about the field of activity by mentioning the studies on olive leaf and oleuropein:

There are many studies on the blood sugar-lowering effect of olive leaf and its effectiveness in individuals with diabetes. This blood-lowering effect; It is thought to do so by affecting insulin secretion and increasing peripheral glucose uptake. However, there is not enough information about the exact mechanism of action and the ideal dose.

In a 2012 study, olive leaf was applied to 79 patients with type 2 diabetes for 14 weeks. It has been found to significantly reduce HbA1c and fasting insulin values.

In another study conducted in 2006, rabbits with diabetes were given 20 mg/kg oleuropein daily for 16 weeks. It has been shown to regulate blood glucose levels and also reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress caused by diabetes.

In a study in which olive leaf extract was given orally to diabetic rats for 4 weeks, a significant decrease was observed in serum glucose and cholesterol levels.

In a study conducted in rats fed a high-calorie diet in 2010, it was observed that the compounds in the olive leaf improved hepatic values ​​and also reduced oxidative stress and inflammation.

In a study examining the glycemic response to rice loading in humans, it was stated that olive leaf extract significantly reduced blood glucose levels compared to the control group, and oleuropein accelerated glucose uptake into cells.

It has been demonstrated by various studies that oleuropein has an anticancer effect. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in olive leaves can be effective in the treatment of cancers such as liver, breast and prostate. In the literature, it is stated that oleuropein extracts may be effective in inhibiting the proliferation of human breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF-7) and human bladder cancer cells (T-24).*

Some reports about olive leaf include that it can lower blood pressure, increase blood flow in the coronary arteries, reduce arrhythmia, and prevent intestinal muscle spasms. It is also known to have a preventive effect on heart diseases and myocardial infarction by regulating blood coagulation and blood circulation. It has also been shown to be effective in preventing cardiovascular diseases and regulating blood pressure by inhibiting LDL oxidation.

Studies have shown that oleuropein in olive leaves prevents complications such as heart failure and vascular occlusion, which are frequently seen in individuals with diabetes; In addition, it has been shown that phenolic compounds in olive leaves prevent the formation of intravascular plaque and provide a significant decrease in blood glucose levels in individuals. However, there is not enough information about the mechanism of action. *

It has been reported that tea prepared from olive leaves has an antioxidant effect against DPPH and hydrogen peroxide radicals.*

It has also been shown by animal experiments that olive leaf has a strong antioxidant effect. Olive leaf contains antioxidant properties that help protect the body from active free radicals.*

In a study conducted in 2006, it was concluded that oleuropein supports immunity by increasing phagocytosis. In another study conducted in 2018, oleuropein was found to increase the total lymphocyte count and was effective in regulating the human peripheral immune response.

Studies also support the positive effects of olive leaf on the lipid profile and its antihypertensive potential.

It is thought to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It is also thought to have a neuroprotective effect.

Oleuropein shows natural antimicrobial properties. There are studies showing that it delays and inhibits the growth rate of microorganisms. In many studies on this subject, the phenolic glycoside oleuropein and its degradation products are Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Lactobacillus plantarum, Moraxella catarrhalis, Pseudomonas fragi, Salmonella enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella paraphylococci, Salmonella staphylococci. It is claimed to have an inhibitory effect on Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio alginolyticus and molds.*

In a study in the literature, fungi that cause skin disease were inactivated by exposure to 1.25% (weight/volume) olive leaf extract for three days, 1% extract was effective on Candida albicans in 24 hours, and 0.6% It was stated that the extract destroyed E. coli in three hours and based on these findings, the antimicrobial effect of olive leaf was high.*

To summarize;

The potential health benefits of oleuropein;*

  • Antimicrobial (Inhibiting the growth of microorganisms)

  • Antioxidative (Blocking damaging molecules called free radicals in our cells)

  • Antiatherogenic (prevents clogging of arteries)

  • High antioxidant potential

  • Hypotensive activity (Blood pressure lowering)

  • Anti-inflammatory effect (by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase enzyme)

  • Cardiopropective (LDL oxidation inhibition and platelet-blood cell aggregation)

  • Hypoglycemic (Blood sugar lowering)

  • Antihypertensive (Vasodilatator-hypertension lowering)

  • Antiviral (effective against HIV virus)

  • Stostatic (vs. McCoy cells)

  • Mollucicidal (Toxic effect against snails)

  • endocrinal-hormonal

  • enzyme modulator

Potential benefits of hydroxytyrosol; *

( Hydroxytyrosol is the catechol byproduct of oleuropein. As olive leaves or olives mature or are processed or stored, the amount of oleuropein in their composition decreases while the amount of hydroxytyrosol increases. Absorption of hydroxytyrosol is completely absorbed in the intestines by passive diffusion.)

  • antimicrobial

  • Antioxidative

  • Protects human erythrocytes against oxidative damage

  • Reducing superoxide anion production in human promonocyte cells

  • Inhibiting the damage caused by peroxynitrite

  • Causes cytochrome C-dependent apoptosis-cell death

  • Inhibiting the growth of tumor cells

Olive leaf extract; It is available in different forms as concentrated liquid, powder, capsule and dry leaf tea. There is evidence supporting the potential beneficial effects of olive leaves on human health and the bioactive components (especially oleuropein) in these effects. Dry olive leaf tea is recommended for diabetics. Olive leaf tea; Although it is thought to be effective in the treatment of some complex diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, viral and microbial infections, it has been emphasized that more studies should be done especially for its other effects.

Although the health effects of olive leaves in humans are promising, there is a need to better understand the possible interactions between the bioactive components of olive leaves and other dietary components.* In addition, there is no clear information about what the ideal dose should be to achieve these beneficial effects in humans. Studies have shown that certain doses should be increased to obtain optimal benefits. However, studies also show that high doses of oleuropein can have a negative effect.

How to use olive leaf/tea, how much should it be consumed?

It is suitable to use olive leaf alone or in combination in tea mixture preparations. In the form of infusion; It is prepared by brewing 7-8 g of leaves with 150 ml of hot water and drunk 3-4 times a day.Olive leaf extract is available as 580 mg capsules per day. It is not recommended to use for more than two months.When used appropriately in therapeutic dose, it does not cause any side effects.*

  • When brewing, take care to brew with the mouth closed and prefer dry leaves. Efficiency is higher in dry leaves.

What can olive leaf tea be good for, what are its potential benefits?

  • It supports the immune system.

  • It has a blood sugar lowering effect.

  • It has a high cholesterol lowering effect.

  • It has a blood pressure lowering effect.

  • It has a positive effect on heart health.

  • It is good for common cold.

  • Although there is no clear data that it is effective against coronavirus, it is known that it can be effective against viruses.

  • It can reduce the desire to eat by giving a feeling of satiety.

  • It helps wounds heal quickly.

  • It helps in eliminating free radicals.

  • It can be effective in delaying and inhibiting the growth rate of microorganisms.

  • It can help relax the digestive system.

  • It has an anti-inflammatory (inflammation) effect.

Can everyone consume olive leaf/tea?

Its use is contraindicated as it may trigger colic in patients with gallstones when taken internally. Olive leaf extract may enhance the effect of blood pressure lowering drugs and theoretically interact with antidiabetic drugs to affect blood glucose levels. It may also interact with drugs that inhibit blood coagulation and platelet aggregation. Therefore, care should be taken when using olive leaf extract with this group of drugs. Diabetic patients should be carefully monitored because of their potential hypoglycemic effects. Intraocular use of olive leaf may cause eye irritation. Pollinoses in the form of rhinitis or bronchial asthma have been reported.*

! Patients with low blood pressure, those with hypoglycemia, diabetics using insulin or pills, and those who use blood thinners should definitely pay attention. Do not consume without consulting a doctor.

!Pregnant and lactating women should not consume without consulting their doctor.

TOXICITY In acute toxicity studies in mice with oleuropein, no deaths or adverse effects were observed despite administration of a high dose of 1000 mg/kg. Therefore, the LD50 value could not be determined.*

However, there are studies showing that high doses of oleuropein have a negative effect. For this reason, especially those with chronic diseases should not consume without consulting their doctor. The dose amount specified above should not be exceeded.

Also, be careful when buying olive leaves. Medicated leaves should not be used. You can dry it yourself or buy from herbalists you trust.

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