Most people are aware of the benefits of olives. Those rich, earthy, oval balls that offer a myriad of health benefits ranging from heart health, blood pressure, allergies to cancer, often outshine its lesser known feature. No less amazing, the olive leaf has quite the resume of health benefits. The leaves of the plant have been used for centuries in folk medicine (1). Like the olive itself, the olive leaf contains a polyphenol called oleuropein. Oleuropein helps protect the body from oxidative stressors, improves cholesterol, guards against cognitive decline, prevents high blood pressure and can help curb your cravings (2).
Olive leaf extract helps to combat blood sugar in a few ways. Not only does it slow the uptake of glucose into the blood stream by reducing digestion of sugar speed they protect your insulin sensitivity (3)(4)
In one study of middle aged overweight men, olive leaf extract improved insulin sensitivity by 15% in just 12 weeks (5). Regulating blood sugar is one way to ward off cravings of sweets. Giving olive leaf extract a try is a great way to do that.
- Komaki E, Yamaguchi S, Maru I, Kinoshita M, Kakehi K, et al. (2003) Identification of anti-α-amylase components from olive leaf extracts. Food Sci Technol Res9: 35–39
- Omar SH. Oleuropein in olive and its pharmacological effects. Sci Pharm. 2010;78(2):133-54.
- Gonzalez M, Zarzuelo A, Gamez MJ, Utrilla MP, Jimenez J, Osuna I. Hypoglycemic activity of olive leaf. Planta Med. 1992 Dec;58(6):513-5.
- Al-Azzawie HF, Alhamdani MS. Hypoglycemic and antioxidant effect of oleuropein in alloxan-diabetic rabbits. Life Sci. 2006 Feb 16;78(12):1371-7.
- de Bock, Martin et al. “Olive (Olea Europaea L.) Leaf Polyphenols Improve Insulin Sensitivity In Middle-Aged Overweight Men: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial”. N.p., 2017. Print.