Life Extension Magazine®
Green olives and leaves rich in polyphenols and blood pressure benefits

What is Olive Leaf Extract?

Olive leaves have even higher amounts of polyphenols than olive oil. Clinical research shows that olive leaf extract lowers blood pressure and supports cardiovascular and overall health.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr Gary Gonzalez, MD, on July 2021. Written By Chancellor Faloon.

The Mediterranean diet is associated with a myriad of health benefits but is especially known for its positive effects on cardiovascular health.1,2

Portrait of Chancellor Faloon

This diet is low in animal products and saturated fat and high in olive oil, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, and includes moderate amounts of fish and seafood. It is associated with about a 30% reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease death.3

Many of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are attributed to olive oil and its high polyphenol content.

The leaves of olives have even higher amounts of polyphenols, which suggests that they could be even more beneficial than the oil.4

Olive leaf extracts have received notable attention for their ability to lower blood pressure.5,6

One study was conducted on 40 identical twins with hypertension (high blood pressure). For eight weeks, patients received olive leaf extract or a placebo.5

In those taking 1,000 mg/day of olive leaf extract, there was a mean drop in systolic pressure (the top number) of 11 mmHg and a decrease in diastolic pressure (bottom number) of 4 mmHg. Blood pressure in the placebo group was unchanged.

Newer research has shown additional benefits for cardiovascular and whole-body health.

Recent randomized controlled trials found that olive leaf extract:

Man jogging with lowered blood pressure
  • Decreased inflammatory markers among hypertensive patients compared to placebo, and7
  • Reduced the number of sick days with an upper respiratory illness by 28% among high school athletes.8

Preclinical data on olive leaf extract show that it:

  • Provided neuroprotection in an animal model of multiple sclerosis,9
  • Downregulated genes involved with cell-associated virulence factors and biofilm formation of a toxic bacteria called P. aeruginosa,10
  • Demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic effects in human coronary artery endothelial cells, and11
  • Consistently demonstrated thyroid stimulating activities.12

Olive leaves can also be made into tea. A recent clinical trial found that compared to green tea, olive leaf tea has a preventive effect against anemia and other red blood cell disorders.13

In another trial, consumption of olive leaf tea three times a day with meals for 12 weeks significantly lowered LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides in prediabetic patients.14

Research continues to show that olive leaf has clear benefits for cardiovascular and overall health.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

References

  1. Widmer RJ, Flammer AJ, Lerman LO, et al. The Mediterranean diet, its components, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Med. 2015 Mar;128(3):229-38.
  2. Mentella MC, Scaldaferri F, Ricci C, et al. Cancer and Mediterranean Diet: A Review. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 2;11(9).
  3. Dalen JE, Devries S. Diets to prevent coronary heart disease 1957-2013: what have we learned? Am J Med. 2014 May;127(5):364-9.
  4. Vogel P, Kasper Machado I, Garavaglia J, et al. Polyphenols benefits of olive leaf (Olea europaea L) to human health. Nutr Hosp. 2014 Dec 17;31(3):1427-33.
  5. Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Busjahn A, Schmidlin C, et al. Food supplementation with an olive (Olea europaea L.) leaf extract reduces blood pressure in borderline hypertensive monozygotic twins. Phytother Res. 2008 Sep;22(9):1239-42.
  6. Lockyer S, Rowland I, Spencer JPE, et al. Impact of phenolic-rich olive leaf extract on blood pressure, plasma lipids and inflammatory markers: a randomised controlled trial. Eur J Nutr. 2017 Jun;56(4):1421-32.
  7. Javadi H, Yaghoobzadeh H, Esfahani Z, et al. Effects of Olive Leaf Extract on Metabolic Response, Liver and Kidney Functions and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Hypertensive Patients. Pak J Biol Sci. 2019 Jan;22(7):342-8.
  8. Somerville V, Moore R, Braakhuis A. The Effect of Olive Leaf Extract on Upper Respiratory Illness in High School Athletes: A Randomised Control Trial. Nutrients. 2019 Feb 9;11(2).
  9. Giacometti J, Grubic-Kezele T. Olive Leaf Polyphenols Attenuate the Clinical Course of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis and Provide Neuroprotection by Reducing Oxidative Stress, Regulating Microglia and SIRT1, and Preserving Myelin Integrity. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020;2020:6125638.
  10. El-Sayed NR, Samir R, Jamil MA-HL, et al. Olive Leaf Extract Modulates Quorum Sensing Genes and Biofilm Formation in Multi-Drug Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antibiotics (Basel). 2020 Aug 19;9(9).
  11. Burja B, Kuret T, Janko T, et al. Olive Leaf Extract Attenuates Inflammatory Activation and DNA Damage in Human Arterial Endothelial Cells. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2019;6:56.
  12. Pang KL, Lumintang JN, Chin KY. Thyroid-Modulating Activities of Olive and Its Polyphenols: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2021 Feb 6;13(2).
  13. Ferdousi F, Araki R, Hashimoto K, et al. Olive leaf tea may have hematological health benefit over green tea. Clin Nutr. 2019 Dec;38(6):2952-5.
  14. Araki R, Fujie K, Yuine N, et al. Olive leaf tea is beneficial for lipid metabolism in adults with prediabetes: an exploratory randomized controlled trial. Nutr Res. 2019 Jul;67:60-6.