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Olive Leaf

One of the foundational ingredients to the Mediterranean diet are olives and their oil, which is rich in heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats. Extracts made from the leaves of the olive plant also find their way into sports supplements due to their wide array of benefits, with many similar to those present in olives.


What it does

Olive leaf extract has received considerable attention for its beneficial impact on cardiovascular health. This comes as no surprise as olive tree leaves have been used for centuries in the treatment of atherosclerosis, hypertension, fever, diabetes, and various wounds.

A number of studies find that supplementation with olive leaf extract may help improve lipid pro les (reduce total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride levels) as well as reduce blood pressure[1][2][3]. Other research indicates that olive leaf extract may help combat type 2 diabetes by helping to improve insulin secretion in cells and lower blood sugar levels[4].

Animal studies also suggest that olive leaf extract may support weight loss by modulating the expression of genes that impact weight gain and help limit food intake[5].

How it works

Olive leaves contain a potent phenolic compound called oleuropein which is largely responsible for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of olive leaf extract. Oleuropein has also been noted to offer anti-atherogenic, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-aging, and neuroprotective effects[8].

Researchers attribute the blood-pressure-lowering effects of olive leaf extract to its ability to inhibit ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme)[6][7]. ACE is an enzyme that plays a role in the renin-angiotensin system, which impacts blood pressure by regulating how relaxed blood vessels are. Inhibiting ACE activity promotes greater dilation and arterial flexibility, allowing for better blood flow, and thus lower blood pressure.

Lastly, oleuropein may promote fat loss due to its ability to increase uncoupling protein 1 (UCP-1) content in brown adipose tissue (brown fat) and enhance noradrenaline release[9].


Human studies typically give participants between 500–1,000 mg per day of a standard olive leaf extract, standardized for oleuropein or oleacein.


  1. Susalit, E., Agus, N., Effendi, I., Tjandrawinata, R. R., Nofiarny, D., Perrinjaquet-moccetti, T., & Verbruggen, M. (2011). Phytomedicine Olive ( Olea europaea ) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension : Comparison with Captopril. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 18(4), 251–258.
  2. Singh, I., Mok, M., Christensen, A.-M., Turner, A. H., & Hawley, J. A. (2008). The effects of polyphenols in olive leaves on platelet function. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases : NMCD, 18(2), 127–132.
  3. Perrinjaquet-moccetti, T., Busjahn, A., Schmidlin, C., Schmidt, A., Bradl, B., & Aydogan, C. (2008). Food Supplementation with an Olive ( Olea europaea L .) Leaf Extract Reduces Blood Pressure in Borderline Hypertensive Monozygotic Twins, 1242(November 2007), 1239–1242.
  4. Boaz, M., Leibovitz, E., Dayan, Y. B., & Wainstein, J. (2011). Functional foods in the treatment of type 2 diabetes : olive leaf extract , turmeric and fenugreek , a qualitative review, 1(11), 472–481
  5. Ying Shen, Su Jin Song, Narae Keum, and Taesun Park, “Olive Leaf Extract Attenuates Obesity in High-Fat Diet-Fed Mice by Modulating the Expression of Molecules Involved in Adipogenesis and Thermogenesis,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2014, Article ID 971890, 12 pages, 2014.
  6. Hansen K, Adsersen A, Christensen SB, Jensen SR, Nyman U, Smitt UW. Isolation of an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor from Olea europaea and Olea lancea. Phytomedicine. 1996 Mar;2(4):319-25
  7. Jorge VG, Angel JR, Adrian TS, et al. Vasorelaxant activity of extracts obtained from Apium graveolens: possible source for vasorelaxant molecules isolation with potential antihypertensive effect. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 Oct;3(10):776-9
  8. Omar SH. Oleuropein in olive and its pharmacological effects. Sci Pharm. 2010;78(2):133–154. doi:10.3797/scipharm.0912-18
  9. Oi-Kano, Y., Kawada, T., Watanabe, T., Koyama, F., Watanabe, K., Senbongi, R., & Iwai, K. (2008). Oleuropein, a phenolic compound in extra virgin olive oil, increases uncoupling protein 1 content in brown adipose tissue and enhances noradrenaline and adrenaline secretions in rats. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 54(5), 363–370