Studies have consistently demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet—of which olive leaf is a large part—is correlated with a lower than average risk of coronary heart issues. Heart problems seems to respond well to the introduction of olive leaf tea and extracts. According to laboratory and clinical studies, olive leaf can have a positive effect on numerous symptoms related to insufficient arterial blood flow, including angina pectoris and intermittent claudication. It helps lower high blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol levels, it relaxes blood vessels, all of which lowers blood pressure.
Olive Leaf for a Healthy Heart
Like the polyphenolic component of red wine, resveratrol, oleuropein imparts some important antioxidant benefits that may help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and support healthy heart function. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol—the so-called "bad" cholesterol—can severely damage the walls of arteries. Along with resveratrol, oleuropein is high on the list of beneficial components of the acclaimed Mediterranean Diet (which includes olive oil), believed to be responsible for the reduced incidence of heart issues in those who habitually partake in the Diet.
Scientists believe olive leaf’s potential ability to support cardiovascular health is linked to four main factors. First, olive leaf contains an antioxidant that may help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol—the so-called "bad" cholesterol—can severely damage the walls of arteries and it is one of the chief contributors to atherosclerosis. Another compound in olive leaf may support healthy blood flow by lowering its viscosity and making it less "sticky." Third, olive leaf may have the ability to dilate blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. See olive leaf references for citations.
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study* recruited 90 people (age range 55 to 75), received an olive leaf extract per day or placebo for eight weeks. Blood samples were taken in order to measure a variety of biochemical markers. The RA subjects receiving the olive extract had significantly lower homocysteine levels than the placebo group. "High homocysteine levels in patients with RA have been associated with higher rates of mortality from cardiovascular events," stated the researchers. C-reactive protein (CRP) levels decreased by about 50 per cent as a result of olive extract supplementation, while CRP levels in the placebo group increased. Supplementation with olive leaf & extract also decreased pain and inflammation of people suffering from osteoarthritis The author wrote: Thus, introducing this natural and safe food extract into the diet may have the same or better beneficial effects as an intervention diet.
* Source: Nutrition Research (Elsevier) August 2007, Volume 27, Issue 8,