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Olive leaf health benefits
Olive leaf (oleuropein) has been shown to have a variety of health benefits.
Life Sci 1998;62(6):541-6:
Oleuropein, the bitter principle of olives, enhances nitric oxide production by mouse macrophages.
Visioli F, Bellosta S, Galli C. Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, Milan, Italy.
"The Mediterranean diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, has been associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer, partly because of its high proportion of bioactive compounds such as vitamins, flavonoids and polyphenols. The major lipid component of such diet is the drupe-derived olive oil that can be distinguished from other seed oils for the peculiar composition of its non-triglyceride fraction. In fact, several minor components, including polyphenols, grant the oil its particular taste and aroma. Oleuropein, the most abundant among these components, has been shown to be a potent antioxidant endowed with anti-inflammatory properties.
We investigated the effects of oleuropein on NO release in cell culture and its activity toward nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. The results show that oleuropein dose-dependently enhance nitrite production in LPS-challenged mouse macrophages. This effect was blocked by the iNOS inhibitor L-NAME, indicating increased iNOS activity. Also, Western blot analysis of cell homogenates shows that oleuropein increases iNOS expression in such cells.
Taken together, our data suggest that, during endotoxin challenge, oleuropein potentiates the macrophage-mediated response, resulting in higher NO production, currently believed to be beneficial for cellular and organismal protection."
J Pharm Pharmacol 1999 Aug;51(8):971-4:
On the in-vitro antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol.
Bisignano G, Tomaino A, Lo Cascio R, Crisafi G, Uccella N, Saija A. Department Farmaco-Biologico, University of Messina, Italy.
"Secoiridoides (oleuropein and derivatives), one of the major classes of polyphenol contained in olives and olive oil, have recently been shown to inhibit or delay the rate of growth of a range of bacteria and microfungi but there are no data in the literature concerning the possible employment of these secoiridoides as antimicrobial agents against pathogenic bacteria in man. In this study five ATCC standard bacterial strains (Haemophilus influenzae ATCC 9006, Moraxella catarrhalis ATCC 8176, Salmonella typhi ATCC 6539, Vibrio parahaemolyticus ATCC 17802 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923) and 44 fresh clinical isolates (Haemophilus influenzae, eight strains, Moraxella catarrhalis, six strains, Salmonella species, 15 strains, Vibrio cholerae, one strain, Vibrio alginolyticus, two strains, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, one strain, Staphylococcus aureus, five penicillin-susceptible strains and six penicillin-resistant strains), causal agents of intestinal or respiratory tract infections in man, were tested for in-vitro susceptibility to two olive (Olea europaea) secoiridoides, oleuropein (the bitter principle of olives) and hydroxytyrosol (derived from oleuropein by enzymatic hydrolysis and responsible for the high stability of olive oil). The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) calculated in our study are evidence of the broad antimicrobial activity of hydroxytyrosol against these bacterial strains (MIC values between 0.24 and 7.85 microg mL(-1) for ATCC strains and between 0.97 and 31.25 microg mL(-1) for clinically isolated strains).
Furthermore oleuropein also inhibited (although to a much lesser extent) the growth of several bacterial strains (MIC values between 62.5 and 500 microg mL(-1) for ATCC strains and between 31.25 and 250 microg mL(-1) for clinical isolates); oleuropein was ineffective against Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. These data indicate that in addition to the potential employment of its active principles as food additives or in integrated pest-management programs, Olea europaea can be considered a potential source of promising antimicrobial agents for treatment of intestinal or respiratory tract infections in man."
Life Sci 1994;55(24):1965-71:
Oleuropein protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation.
Visioli F, Galli C. University of Milan, Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, Italy.
"The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, grain, and vegetable oil (mainly olive oil) is correlated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). Natural antioxidants contained in the Mediterranean diet might also play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, through inhibition of LDL oxidation. We tested this hypothesis "in vitro" by inducing LDL oxidation with copper sulphate and preincubating the samples with oleuropein, the bitter principle of olives, that is one of the major components of the polyphenolic fraction of olive oil. Oleuropein 10(-5) M effectively inhibited CuSO4-induced LDL oxidation, as assessed by various parameters. We demonstrate in this investigation that polyphenolic components of the Mediterranean diet interfere with biochemical events that are implicated in atherogenetic disease, thus proposing a new link between the Mediterranean diet and prevention of CHD."
J Med Food 2002 Fall;5(3):125-35:
Radioprotective Effects In Vivo of Phenolics Extracted from Olea europaea L. Leaves Against X-Ray-Induced Chromosomal Damage: Comparative Study Versus Several Flavonoids and Sulfur-Containing Compounds.
Benavente-Garcia O, Castillo J, Lorente J, Alcaraz M. Research and Development Department, Furfural Espanol S.A., Camino Viejo de Pliego s/n, 80320 Alcantarilla, Murcia, Spain.
"The radioprotective effects of a polyphenolic extract of Olea europaea L. leaves (OL); the flavonoids diosmin and rutin, which are widely used as pharmaceuticals; and the sulfur-containing compounds dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil (PTU) were determined by using the micronucleus test for anticlastogenic activity, evaluating the reduction of the frequency of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MnPCEs) in bone marrow of mouse before and after X-ray irradiation. With treatment before X-irradiation, the most effective compounds were, in order, rutin > DMSO > OL > PTU > diosmin. These results showed, for the polyphenols studied, a linear correlation (r(2) = 0.965) between anticlastogenic activity and antioxidant capacity. The magnitude of protection with treatment after X-irradiation were lower, and the most effective compounds were, in order, OL > diosmin > rutin; DMSO and PTU lacked radioprotective activity.
Therefore, OL is the only substance that showed a significant anticlastogenic activity both before and after X-ray irradiation treatments. Structurally, the free oxygen radicals and lipoperoxy radicals scavenging capacity and, consequently, the anticlastogenic activity of these polyphenolic compounds are based principally on the presence of specific functional groups, mainly catechol groups (rutin, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, verbascoside, luteolin), that also increase the stability of the aroxyl-polyphenol radical generated in the above processes."
Blood pressure lowering effect of an olive leaf extract (Olea europaea) in L-NAME induced hypertension in rats.
Khayyal MT, el-Ghazaly MA, Abdallah DM, Nassar NN, Okpanyi SN, Kreuter MH. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
"A specially prepared olive leaf extract (EFLA 943) has been tested for its blood pressure lowering activity in rats rendered hypertensive by daily oral doses of L-NAME (NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, 50 mg/kg) for at least 4 weeks. Oral administration of the extract at different dose levels at the same time as L-NAME for a period of 8 weeks showed a dose dependent prophylactic effect against the rise in blood pressure induced by L-NAME, best effects being induced by a dose of 100 mg/kg of the extract. In rats previously rendered hypertensive by L-NAME for 6 weeks and then treated with that dose of the extract for a further 6 weeks without discontinuation of L-NAME, normalization of the blood pressure was observed. The findings confirm previous reports on the hypotensive effects of olive leaf. The special extract, EFLA 943, was shown to give consistent results with little individual variability. The antihypertensive effect of the extract may be related to a variety of factors involving reversal of vascular changes involved in the L-NAME induced hypertension."
FEMS Microbiol Lett 2001 Apr 20;198(1):9-13:
In vitro antibacterial activity of some aliphatic aldehydes from Olea europaea L.
Bisignano G, Lagana MG, Trombetta D, Arena S, Nostro A, Uccella N, Mazzanti G, Saija A. Department Farmaco-Biologico, University of Messina, Contrada Annunziata, 98168 Messina, Italy.
"In the present paper we report the 'in vitro' activity of eight aliphatic long-chain aldehydes from olive flavor (hexanal, nonanal, (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-eptenal, (E)-2-octenal, (E)-2-nonenal, (E)-2-decenal and (E,E)-2,4-decadienal) against a number of standard and freshly isolated bacterial strains that may be causal agents of human intestinal and respiratory tract infections. The saturated aldehydes characterized in the present study do not exhibit significant antibacterial activity, while the alpha, beta-unsaturated aldehydes have a broad antimicrobial spectrum and show similar activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms. The effectiveness of the aldehydes under investigation seems to depend not only on the presence of the alpha, beta-double bond, but also on the chain length from the enal group and on the microorganism tested."
J Appl Bacteriol 1993 Mar;74(3):253-9:
The effect of the olive phenolic compound, oleuropein, on growth and enterotoxin B production by Staphylococcus aureus.
Tranter HS, Tassou SC, Nychas GJ. Division of Biologics, PHLS Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Salisbury, Wilts, UK.
"The presence of low concentrations (0.1% w/v) of oleuropein, a phenolic compound extracted from olives, delayed the growth of Staphylococcus aureus in NZ amine A and brain heart infusion media modified by the addition of growth factors and glucose (NZA+ and BHI+), as indicated by changes in conductance, whilst higher concentrations (0.4-0.6% w/v) inhibited growth completely. Intermediate concentrations of oleuropein (0.2%) prevented growth in BHI+ but allowed growth to occur in NZA+ despite an extended lag phase (30 h). Concentrations of oleuropein > 0.2% inhibited growth and production of enterotoxin B in both types of media. Lower levels (0.1%) did not affect the final viable count and production of toxin in BHI+ but decreased the number of viable organisms and reduced the toxin production in NZA+ by eightfold. An increase in the concentration of oleuropein resulted in a decrease in the amount of glucose assimilated and consequently the amount of lactate produced. In addition, oleuropein prevented the secretion of a number of exoproteins. Addition of oleuropein during the exponential phase appeared to have no effect on the growth of Staph aureus in NZA+."
Comparative antibacterial and antifungal effects of some phenolic compounds.
Aziz NH, Farag SE, Mousa LA, Abo-Zaid MA. National Centre for Radiation Research and Technology, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt.
"The antimicrobial potential of eight phenolic compounds isolated from olive cake was tested against the growth of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus cereus, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. The phenolic compounds included p-hydroxy benzoic, vanillic, caffeic, protocatechuic, syringic, and p-coumaric acids, oleuropein and quercetin. Caffeic and protocatechuic acids (0.3 mg/ml) inhibited the growth of E. coli and K. pneumoniae. The same compounds apart from syringic acid (0.5 mg/ml) completely inhibited the growth of B. cereus. Oleuropein, and p-hydroxy benzoic, vanillic and p-coumaric acids (0.4 mg/ml) completely inhibited the growth of E. coli, K. pneumoniae and B. cereus. Vanillic and caffeic acids (0.2 mg/ml) completely inhibited the growth and aflatoxin production by both A. flavus and A. parasiticus, whereas the complete inhibition of the moulds was attained with 0.3 mg/ml p-hydroxy benzoic, protocatechuic, syringic, and p-coumaric acids and quercetin."