Olive Leaf Extract for the Heart!
Olive Leaf Extract for the Heart!
Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND
Now I know I said I’d be highlighting some unexpected products when it comes to heart health and this blog is certainly a unique take on a common supplement! This supplement is Olive Leaf! As I’ve said in the past I like to recommend supplements that have many benefits and olive leaf fits the bill!
One of the ways that studies have found olive leaf helps heart health is by its affects on cholesterol. Olive leaf has been found to help prevent LDL from building up in the arteries. This is important because the buildup of LDL in the arteries can cause an increase in blood pressure and even increase the risk of developing heart disease. (1) Olive leaf has also been shown in studies to lower the actual LDL numbers. (2) So what can we take away from this? Basically olive leaf can lower our LDL cholesterol and even help prevent the LDL from building up in our arteries. Having high cholesterol is something that I’m personally seeing in younger people all the time. According to these studies for anyone with high cholesterol olive leaf can be a great addition to a protocol.
Other studies using olive leaf have found it to be helpful in restoring a normal heartbeat in those who experience arrhythmia or in laymen terms irregular heartbeats. (3) Additionally, olive leaf has been found in studies to help lower blood pressure. (4) This is important because an increase in our blood pressure is a risk factor for many different health concerns such as heart attack and even stroke. One pathway that studies have found that olive leaf is able to lower blood pressure is by helping to relax the muscles in the arteries so that they open wider. (5) Think of your arteries like a straw and your about to drink a milk shake. A more narrow straw requires more pressure or force to get the milk shake to go through it then a nice wide open straw would.
Olive leaf is also helpful in protecting our heart by helping to reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease. Newer studies have found that olive leaf can help with reducing the risk of obesity. Newer studies have also found that using olive leaf can help to reduce the risk of insulin resistance which as we learned in the diabetes blog is a risk factor for both diabetes and heart disease. (6) Studies have found olive leaf to be what “cardio protective” is. What this basically means is that olive leaf protects the heart from being damaged from stressors such as oxidative stress. (7)
Overall, I find olive leaf helpful for the heart because as the studies have shown us, it helps with lowering the LDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, helping with normalizing arrhythmia and even helps stop the LDL from clumping together. As I have said it also helps with some of the risk factors for developing heart disease and high blood pressure.
Olive leaf does many things for our health in addition to helping our heart. One common use is to boost our immune system. Olive leaf has been found to increase white blood cells which are an important part of how we fight infections. Olive leaf has been found in studies to be antibacterial, antiviral and even helps against the fun guys I mean fungus! (8) One of the most common infections I use olive leaf to help with is in those who suffer from chronic UTIs or yeast infections. Why is it my favorite for these? Because as studies show it is fantastic at increasing white blood cells and helps kill off the “bad guys”. (8)
New studies using olive leaf to help with brain health are very promising. In fact the antioxidant effects of olive leaf have been shown in new studies to may help with the loss of dopamine neurons found in Parkinson’s disease. Studies are also finding that the main antioxidant in olive leaf may be able to provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease! (9)
To wrap things up olive leaf is great for heart health, weight management, diabetes, our immune system and is an overall powerful antioxidant. Find olive leaf in Invite’s Olive Leaf Extract, Normo-tensive and in our Renalaid formula.
Our next blog will be about peripheral artery disease (PAD) or as it is colloquially known as “poor circulation”.