The Mediterranean diet is widely known to be among one of the healthiest diets in the world. One of the main reasons is the regular use of olive oil. Olive is known for its antioxidant properties and may play a role in heart health. While Olive oil is a healthy fat, it should be consumed in moderation.

On the other hand, olive leaf extract has more concentrated antioxidant properties and is a great way to get those health benefits. As a result, olive leaf extract has become popular among health and wellness practitioners as a naturally derived supplement to support overall cardiovascular health.

What Is Olive Leaf Extract?

The olive tree has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in the Mediterranean. For centuries, people in this region have incorporated olive oil and olive tree leaves into their diets. The medicinal properties of olive leaf extract have been recognized since ancient times by Egyptians and ancient Greeks, who utilized its potential therapeutic properties. As traditional medicine has evolved, olive leaf extract has remained popular in that region. Health and wellness practitioners continue to advocate for olive leaf extract as a comprehensive health supplement ingredient.

While olive oil is made from the fruit, the olive leaf extract is derived from the leaves of the olive leaf tree, Olea europaea. Olive leaf extract contains concentrated levels of the bioactive compound oleuropein. Oleuropein is a type of plant polyphenol, a group of natural compounds with antioxidant properties known for their potential health benefits.

The process of creating this extract involves drying and pulverizing the olive leaves before extracting the active compounds. The result is a concentrated source of oleuropein that has various potential health benefits.

mortar and pestle wth olive tree leaves

The Health Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract

The primary source of potential benefits from olive leaf extract is often attributed to its key component, oleuropein, an antioxidant that can support a healthy response to common stress in the body. Oleuropein belongs to a group of plant-based phenolic compounds known as secoiridoids and has been linked to a range of health benefits.

Promotes Heart Health

Olive leaf extract may help promote and support heart health in a number of ways.
It provides naturally-occurring polyphenols that support healthy lipid levels. Olive leaf extract can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels by supporting ideal amounts of cholesterol in the gut and liver. The antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract can play a crucial role in preventing cholesterol from oxidizing, which is an important step in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range.

Supports Healthy Blood Pressure

Olive leaf extract has been found to positively affect blood pressure by supporting circulation. One way is by relaxing and widening blood vessels, which can help to support healthy blood pressure levels by decreasing resistance to blood flow, allowing blood to flow more efficiently throughout the body. The presence of oleuropein helps to promote nitric oxide in the blood vessels. Nitric oxide is a natural vasodilator, which means it helps to relax the blood vessels and support healthy blood flow.

Another way olive leaf extract can support healthy blood pressure is by reducing common oxidative stress in the body, contributing to healthy blood pressure levels.

Supports Healthy Blood Glucose Levels

Another way olive leaf extract may support cardiovascular health is by promoting healthy blood sugar levels. By improving glucose absorption, olive leaf extract may help reduce the amount of sugar accumulating in the blood and causing spikes. It's important to note that olive leaf extract should not be used as a replacement for standard medical treatments.

fresh Turkish shepherd salad with olives and feta cheese

Supports Weight Management

Because olive leaf extract may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, it can have a secondary role in helping to maintain weight management. Furthermore, olive leaf extract may also help to support a healthy appetite by supporting healthy levels of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for signaling feelings of fullness and satiety. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of olive leaf extract on weight management, these potential findings suggest potentially positive outcomes.

Supports the Immune System

This could potentially help support a healthy immune response against everyday environmental threats such as common seasonal allergies.

Olive Leaf Extract Dosage Guidelines

You can take a pure form of the supplement or look for a supplement that includes olive leaf extract in its formulation.

Olive leaf extract dosage tends to range between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day, although the dosage can be as low as 100 milligrams daily. Olive leaf extract does not need to be taken with food.

You should follow the dosage directions of your healthcare provider or as listed on the packaging. Always follow the instructions on the label when taking supplements. Or talk to your healthcare provider about the dosage that's right for you.

1MD Nutrition's CholestMD

Common Side Effects

Side effects associated with olive leaf extract are not well documented, though the following side effects may occur:

♦ Mild upset stomach
♦ Common digestion issues

If you experience side effects when taking olive leaf extract, stop using it and consult with your healthcare provider. It's not known if olive leaf extract is safe to take during pregnancy or lactation. Because of this, it is recommended to limit or avoid using olive leaf extract during these life stages.

The Bottom Line

Olive leaf extract is a naturally derived supplement ingredient that may offer a range of potential heart health benefits. Its potential benefits make it a promising addition to a healthy lifestyle, along with moderate exercise, stress management, and proper nutrition. When considering adding anything new to your health routine, it’s important to discuss the potential benefits and side effects with your healthcare provider to see if including olive leaf extract is right for you.