polyphenols from olive oil and olive leaf extract prevent metabolic syndrome

The Mediterranean diet has become famous for its contribution to our health. A big part of that contribution comes from the olives and olive oil in the diet. Much less discussed than the fruit and oil of the olive is the leaf, which is actually even higher in health promoting phenolic constituents that give the olive its value.



Metabolic syndrome is becoming an increasing concern in our culture. It is diagnosed in the presence of any 3 of the following 5 symptoms: abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose. Among its many benefits, following the Mediterranean diet reduces your risk of metabolic syndrome.

A recent review set out to see whether olive polyphenols could really protect you from metabolic syndrome. It included seven studies on olive leaf extract and eleven on olive oil. All together, there were 8,823 people in the studies.

Three long term studies found that a Mediterranean diet that includes a lot of olive oil is able to reduce body mass.

The studies—especially those of olive leaf extract—found that olive polyphenols lower high blood sugar in people who are overweight or who have type 2 diabetes.

Supplementing extra virgin olive oil seriously improves blood pressure. Blood pressure also improves on olive leaf extract. One study found reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure when olive leaf extract was given to overweight men.

A small double-blind study found that extra virgin olive oil reduces oxidized LDL by 13% in people with high cholesterol. When LDL becomes oxidized by free radical damage, that is when it becomes really dangerous.

Put together, these studies suggest that polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil and olive leaf extract improve blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight problems. They reinforce the importance of diet for your health and show the potential for using extra virgin olive oil in your recipes and for supplementing with olive leaf extract.


Molecules 2017;22(7)


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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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