• Germ-Fighting Supplement Olive Leaf Extract
  • Olive leaves, often discarded during harvest, contain compounds that offer a wide array of health benefits. Health stores market olive leaf extract as a germ-fighting supplement that can benefit your overall wellness. Current research supports this claim, finding that olive leaf extract's unique blend of antioxidants may boost your immune system and fight off illness while lowering your blood pressure and improving your blood sugar levels.
     

    olive leaf extract
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    Antioxidant Compounds

    The combination of phenolics, plant-based antioxidant compounds, in olive leaves, gives them unique medicinal properties, according to Korean researchers who published an article in "Bioresource Technology" in 2009. Upon analyzing olive leaf extract, they determined that its high concentration of antioxidants, primarily oleuropein and caffeic acid, produced a combination of phenolics with powerful antimicrobial properties. Because it can inhibit microorganisms, they concluded, olive leaf extract may be useful for preventing or treating illness.
     

    Benefits for Diabetics

    Several bio-active compounds in olive leaves may lower your blood pressure, according to Israeli researchers who published a study in "Journal of Medicinal Food" in 2012. After giving daily 500-milligram doses of olive leaf extract to people with Type 2 diabetes for 14 weeks, the subjects' homeostasis and fasting plasma insulin levels were lowered, indicating an improvement in their conditions. They concluded that olive leaf extract may help normalize glucose homeostasis in people with diabetes.
     

    Blood Pressure

    Olive leaf extract may be more effective than the prescription drug captopril for treating blood pressure, according to researchers who published a study in "Phytomedicine" in November 2010. They gave either 500 milligrams of olive leaf extract or the standard 12.5-milligram dose of captopril to people with hypertension. After 8 weeks, both groups had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. Those who took olive leaf extract also had significantly lower triglyceride levels, while those who took captopril did not, indicating that olive leaf extract may be a more effective treatment for lowering the risk of heart disease.
     

    Warnings

    People who have used olive leaf extract have reported minimal side effects, according to New York University's Langone Medical Center, so it is generally considered a safe supplement. However, little research has been done to determine its long-term side effects and its safety for children, pregnant or breast-feeding women and people with liver or kidney disease. As with all herbal supplements, consult with your health care provider for advice on whether you should take olive leaf extract.

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