A natural formula produced from olive leaves, Olive Leaf Extract is designed to control lipidemia. It is supported by three clinical studies which have confirmed its ability to lower LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increase HDL-cholesterol and fight lipid peroxidation.
What exactly is Olive Leaf Extract?
Olive Leaf Extract a natural-source dietary supplement produced from olive leaves. It contains a very high level of oleuropein, a bioactive phytonutrient specific to the olive tree, which helps control blood lipids and prevent carbohydrate absorption.
It is aimed at anyone who wants to improve their cardiovascular health and maintain the integrity of their blood vessels. Individuals with the following risk factors are likely to be particularly interested in this product:
- those who are overweight;
- those with type 2 diabetes;
- those prone to circulation problems;
- those with high blood pressure;
- those who are stressed;
- those who have hypercholesterolemia
What compounds are in Olive Leaf Extract?
The beneficial effects of the olive tree are attributed to its exceptionally high content in phenolic compounds, molecules known for their antioxidant potency. In the olive tree, these compounds play a part in defending the tree from insects, infection, multiple microbial attacks and UV radiation (1-2), but they are also biologically active when ingested by humans. They are known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases by combatting free radicals and improving enzymatic balance.
Oleuropein is the most abundant phenolic compound in the olive tree (3) (accounting for around 25% of the extract). It is oleuropein that gives extra virgin olive oil its characteristic bitterness, but there are many other such compounds found in Olive Leaf Extract: apigenin, caffeic acid, catechins, coumaric acid, diosmetin, ferulic acid, gallic acid, hesperidin, hydroxytyrosol, luteolin, oleoside, quercetin, rutin, tyrosol, vanillin, verbascoside…
As the oleuropein in olive leaves has been scientifically shown to be responsible for the plant’s benefits, Olive Leaf Extract is formulated to contain an optimum amount of this compound.
What are the mechanisms of action of Olive Leaf Extract?
Olive Leaf Extract’s effects on the cardiovascular system.
Olive leaves have been used in phytotherapy since antiquity apparently for their antilipidemic, antiseptic and antiviral properties.
Scientific research has since confirmed these applications and identified new properties: antimicrobial (4-5), antiviral (6), antifungal (7), gastro-protective (8), blood glucose-lowering (9), blood pressure-lowering (10), antioxidant (11-12), antiatherogenic (13), hypolipidemic (14), anti-inflammatory (15), neuro-protective (16), vasodilatory (17) and anti-ageing (18).
There are three precise mechanisms of action which are responsible for the majority of Olive Leaf Extract’s effects on the cardiovascular system:
1) cholesterol-lowering action
The olive tree’s polyphenols, particularly oleuropein, act on cholesterol excretion (19). They promote the elimination of excess cholesterol via the bile ducts, duodenum and finally faeces.
2) antioxidant action
The antioxidant potential of oleuropein is exceptional. When elderly institutionalised individuals followed a diet enriched with an extract of oleuropein and its derivatives for six weeks, their antioxidant capacity was shown to improve (20). It is a natural solution to combatting oxidative stress and inhibiting LDL oxidation (21).
3) action on sugar absorption
By binding to sucrase and maltase, two digestive enzymes, oleuropein limits sugar absorption and thus reduces spikes in blood glucose. It also does this by slowing down activity of the sugar transporter, GLUT2.
Is it supported by scientific studies?
The effect of Olive Leaf Extract has been directly measured in three clinical trials (22).
1) One year’s supplementation with 250mg a day
Following 12 months’ daily supplementation by subjects with elevated cholesterol levels, researchers recorded:
- a 20% reduction in ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol;
- a 13% increase in ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol;
- a 10% decrease in total cholesterol and a 5% decrease in triglycerides.
2) Four weeks’ supplementation with 250mg a day
In overweight subjects, there was a significant improvement over four weeks in the expected ratio of coronary risk as compared with placebo. A clear decrease in triglycerides was observed.
3) Eight weeks’ supplementation with 250mg a day
The third study examined the ability of Olive Leaf Extract to reduce oxidative stress. Results showed that daily supplementation with 250mg reduced levels of MDA (malondialdehyde) by almost a third, a urinary marker of oxidative stress.
Why use extracts of olive leaf rather than olives?
Studies suggest that the leaves and fruit are equally rich in oleuropein (23), but olive leaf is considered a more renewable natural source for extraction (24). Hence its use in Olive Leaf Extract, and its ingredient Olécol®.
Five good reasons to choose Olive Leaf Extract to maintain healthy blood vessels
1) The antioxidant content of olives depends to a large extent on variety, maturity and preservation. Therefore, if you live a long way away from the Mediterranean region where they’re grown, you can’t really rely on eating olives all year round to boost your cardiovascular health. With its exceptional and stable content in olive tree polyphenols, Olive Leaf Extract provides a solution to this problem, offering populations the world over the opportunity to fully benefit from the advantages of a Mediterranean diet.
2) Eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality (25). Scientific studies have in large part attributed these protective effects to the role played by the olive tree (26).
3) The bioavailability of oleuropein in humans is very high – between 55% and 60% (27). Maximal plasma concentration occurs two hours after oral administration. Studies have also shown that oleuropein crosses the blood-brain barrier easily.
4) The Mediterranean diet was recognized by UNESCO in 2010 as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
5) Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality across the world, claiming more than 17 million lives each year.
Additional steps to maximise the benefits of Olive Leaf Extract
To further enhance the efficacy of Olive Leaf Extract, you can adopt these additional measures throughout the supplementation period:
- Significantly increase your intake of fruit, vegetables, nuts and wholegrains.
- Make liberal use of herbs, spices, garlic and onion.
- Only use olive oil for dressings and rapeseed oil for cooking.
- Eat at least one yogurt a day (preferably sheep’s milk).
- Limit your intake of poultry and red meat, and instead choose fish and seafood whenever possible.
- Be physically active every day (go for a walk after a meal, take part in sports, do some exercises …).
- Take a daily multivitamin supplement.
These measures are part of the Mediterranean diet which is based on the long-term food habits of Mediterranean populations. They are a good accompaniment to supplementing with Olive Leaf Extract though not essential for obtaining the benefits of this product.
Note: this product should not be used as a substitute for a varied, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to follow the guidelines on how to take it and the recommended dose, and to use it by the ‘best before’ date. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for children under 15. Keep out of children’s reach. Store in a cool, dry place.
- Lo Scalzo, R., Scarpati, M.L., Verzebgnassi, B., Vita, G., (1994). Olea europaea chemical repellent to Dacis oleae females. J. Chem. Ecol., 20, 1813-1923.
- Uccella, N., (2001). Olive biophenols : biomolecular characterization, distribution and phytolexin histochemical localization in the drupes. Trends Food Science and Technology. 11, 315-327.
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- Sudjana, A.N., D’Orazio, C., Ryan, V., Rasool, N., Ng, J., Islam, N., Rileya, T.V. Hammera, K.A., (2009). Antimicrobial activity of commercial Olea europaea (olive) leaf extract. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 33, 461-463.
- Pereira, A. P., Ferreira, I.C.F.R., Marcelino, F., Valentão, P., Andrade, P.B., Seabra, R., Estevinho, L., Bento, A., Pereira, J.A., (2007). Phenolic Compounds and Antimicrobial Activity of Olive (Olea europaea L. Cv. Cobrançosa) Leaves. Molecules, 12, 1153-1162.
- Micol, V., Caturla, N., Pérez-Fons, L., Más, V., Pérez, L., Estepa, A., (2005). The olive leaf extract exhibits antiviral activity against viral haemorrhagic septicaemia rhabdovirus (VHSV). Antiviral Res., 66(2-3):129-36.
- Korukluoglu, M., Sahan, Y., Yigit, A., (2008), Antifungal properties of olive leaf extracts and their phenolic compounds. Journal of Food Safety, 28 (1), 76-87.
- Dekanski, D., Janicijevic-Hudomal, S., Tadic, V., Markovic, G., Arsic, I., Mitrovic, D. M., (2009). Phytochemical analysis and gastroprotective activity of an olive leaf extract. Journal of the Serbian chemical society, 74 (4), 367-377.
- Takeshi, Y., Hiroshi, S., Gustavo, S., Naohide, K., Shuichi, M., (2007). Food containing olive leaf extract and -lipoic acid and prevention of diseases due to accumulation of advanced glycation end products with the food. Patent written in Japanese. JP 2006-167353 20060616. 7 pp.
- Susalit, E., Agus, N., Effendi, I., Tjandrawinata, R.R., Nofiarny, D., Perrinjaquet-Moccetti, T., Verbruggen, M., (2011). Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective inpatients with stage-1 hypertension: Comparison with Captopril. Phytomedicine, 18(4), 251-258.
- Altiok, E., Baycin, D., Bayraktar, O., Ulku, S., (2008). Isolation of polyphenols from the extracts of olive leaves (Olea europaea L.) by adsorption on silk fibroin. Sep. Purif. Technol., 62(2), 342-348.
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- Somova, L.I., Shode, F.O., Ramnanan, P., Nadar, A., (2003). Antihypertensive, antiatherosclerotic and antioxidant activity of triterpenoids isolated from Olea europaea, subspecies africana leaves. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 84(2-3), 299-305.
- Jemai, H., Bouaziza, M., Fki, I., El Feki, A., Sayadi, S., (2008). Hypolipidimic and antioxidant activities of oleuropein and its hydrolysis derivative-rich extracts from Chemlali olive leaves. Chemico-Biological Interactions 176, 88–98
- Miljkovic, D., Dekanski, D., Miljkovic, E., Momcilovic, M., Mostarica-Stojkovic, M., (2009). Dry olive leaf extract ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Clinical Nutrition, 28, 346-350.
- Mohagheghi, F., Bigdeli, M. R., Rasoulian, B., Hashemi, P., Rashidi, M.P., (2011). The neuroprotective effect of olive leaf extract is related to improved blood–brain barrier permeability and brain edema in rat with experimental focal cerebral ischemia Phytomedicine, 18 (2-3), 170-175.
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Xanthohumol is a hop flower supplement containing an exceptional antioxidant flavonoid called xanthohumol. It’s a phenolic compound that’s 200 times more powerful than the resveratrol in red wine, and offers truly exceptional, cell-boosting properties. Beer is the only dietary source of xanthohumol though the levels it contains are very low.
Xanthohumol, the antioxidant in beer that has superseded resveratrol in red wine
Wine-lovers appreciate the drink’s subtlety and sophistication but they also know it’s an exceptionally rich source of antioxidants. Indeed one such antioxidant is the most widely-studied anti-ageing substance ever: resveratrol. However, new research shows that beer is more than a match for its great rival. Beer is the only dietary source of xanthohumol, a natural cytoprotective antioxidant that’s 200 times more powerful than the resveratrol in red wine!
It was Hildegarde de Bingen, a 12th century Benedictine nun and pharmacologist, who was responsible for introducing hops into beer. Before that, monks had used mainly coriander, gentian or sage to flavour and preserve their precious nectar, which was given to pilgrims in monasteries and abbeys. It was immediately evident that the hop offered many benefits: with its preservative properties and positive effects, it quickly became an essential ingredient in the recipe. Over the centuries that followed, it would go on to be used by generations of brewers, right up to the present day. Though the monks had no way of knowing it, its meteoric rise was due to the hop’s high content in phenolic compounds – particularly xanthohumol. The problem is that these compounds, which come from the hop flower, are very delicate and tend to make the beer a bit cloudy. The majority of modern, large-scale beer producers therefore use a chemical (pVPP) to eliminate this cloudiness and prevent deposits from forming in the bottle. So in order to obtain the benefits of xanthohumol, you need to drink artisanal beers with a strong hop content if possible (IPA, for example).
But the best way of benefiting from this cytoprotective compound (which we’ll undoubtedly be hearing more about in the future) is to take a hop flower supplement, standardised in xanthohumol, every day. It’s an ultra-modern solution (extracting the xanthohumol from the hop inflorescences is a major technological achievement) which draws on its ancient tradition of use and which avoids the oxidative effects of alcohol.
What benefits are offered by the supplement Xanthohumol?
Hop flower extract standardised in xanthohumol offers four main benefits, all of which are backed up by the scientific literature:
- It supports optimal cellular health and combats oxidative stress. Xanthohumol and the phenolic compounds present in hop cones are the most effective natural antioxidants in the plant kingdom. In 2014, Professor Wang and his team showed that at the same concentration, they had greater antioxidant activity than the antioxidants in green tea. A number of studies have also demonstrated the broad-spectrum chemopreventive properties of xanthohumol on cells (1-3): induction of detoxification enzymes, inhibition of angiogenesis and inflammatory signals, cytoprotective effects, induction of apoptosis, inhibition of free radicals and procarcinogens … (4).
- It helps lower blood cholesterol levels. In 2017, scientists discovered that xanthohumol promotes HDL cholesterol in the blood, helping to clear arteries and tissues of oxidised cholesterol and direct it towards the liver where it is broken down (5). In addition, the other natural compounds that give hop its characteristics disrupt the molecular mechanisms responsible for the initiation, progression and rupture of the atherosclerotic plaques that cause stroke.
- It’s a valuable aid against sleep problems and nervous agitation.. Did you know that in Belgium, where hops are widely grown, people are advised to put dried hop cones in their ears to improve their sleep? Research has indeed demonstrated that the compounds in hop produce similar effects to those of melatonin and can normalise circadian rhythms (6). Several studies have even shown a valerian and hop flower combination to be as effective for improving sleep as synthetic sleeping tablets (the famous benzodiazepines) but without causing the side-effects associated with these drugs (7).
- It reduces problems related to the menopause and pre-menopause. Hop flowers contain the most powerful phytooestrogen isolated to date: 8-Prenylnaringenin (8-11). It acts as a selective modulator of oestrogen receptors, helping to reduce discomfort associated with the menopause (12-13), such as hot flushes. In addition, xanthohumol is a powerful inhibitor of the bone resorption responsible for osteoporosis.
Other studies have demonstrated its ability to regulate fat metabolism (by improving lipid parameters) and to boost the body’s defences and vitality. By no means exhaustive, this list identifies xanthohumol as a substance of major interest in terms of protection and actively contributing to factors affecting recovery.
Where does xanthohumol come from?
Xanthohumol is extracted from the female cones of the hop plant, a climbing perennial which is added to beer to improve its taste, aroma, bitterness, frothy texture and preservation (14). It’s a chalcone-type antioxidant flavonoid, the only one of its kind, which is found solely in hop flowers. It’s therefore present in beer but in tiny amounts: due to the high temperatures used in the brewing process, it gets converted into another less powerful compound called isoxanthohumol. Some very hoppy beers (such as IPA) (15) contain more, as hops are added after brewing.
The hop has been regarded as a medicinal plant for centuries (16-17). Its use dates back to the monasteries of 8th century Europe(18), when it was used for its pharmacological properties, in particular for treating anxiety and sleep problems, for its benefits for the endocrine system and for its anti-tumour effects.
What are Xanthohumol’s mechanisms of action?
Xanthohumol’s mechanisms of action come from its extraordinarily high content of phenolic compounds. Recent studies show that regular consumption of these compounds can, in the long term, reduce the risk of many chronic health disorders such as cardiovascular disease (19). Phenols, and in particular, xanthohumol, exert modulatory effects in cells by interacting with a wide range of molecular targets of signalling pathways (mitogen-activated protein kinase, protein kinase C, detoxifying antioxidant enzymes …) (20). These effects translate into increased expression of certain cytoprotective genes,regulation of the normal cell cycle, inhibition of growth, an increase in apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis, as well as suppression of oxidative stress, a state of imbalance which impairs the structural and functional integrity of cell membranes (21). The role played by oxidative stress in the development of chronic diseases is now widely-documented in the scientific literature (22). Phenolic compounds can also influence the composition of gut microbiota and re-establish intestinal barrier function, thus modulating the chronic inflammation associated with metabolic diseases (23).
Following ingestion, phenolic compounds such as xanthohumol are absorbed, distributed to various tissues and then metabolised by the liver. A proportion undergo partial conversion by gut flora. (24).
How should Xanthohumol be taken?
The recommended dose is two capsules a day, to be taken with meals.
If you want to boost its effects on sleep, it’s worth knowing that hops acts synergistically with valerian (found in the natural formulation Advanced Sleep Formula). For improving hormone balance, it’s better to combine it with an extract of pumpkin seeds.
- Cell strengthening
- Technique that increases our cells’ natural defences against aggressive agents.
- Process whereby new blood vessels grow from existing ones.
- Physiological process of programmed cell death.
- Free radicals
- Unstable molecules that seek to bind to other atoms and cause chain reactions.
- A carcinogen precursor that can provoke, aggravate or sensitise cancer or its onset.
- Ceh, B., Kac, M., Kosir, I.J., Abram, V., 2007. Relationships between xanthohumol and polyphenol content in hop leaves and hop cones with regard to water supply and cultivar. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 8, 989-1000.
- Magalhaes, P.J., Guido, L.F., Cruz, J.M., Barros, A.A., 2007. Analysis of xanthohumol and isoxanthohumol in different hop products by liquid chromatography-diode array detection-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A 1150, 295-301.
- Miranda, C.L., Stevens, J.F., Helmrich, A., Henderson, M.C., Rodriguez, R.J., Yang, Y.H., Deinzer, M.L., Barnes, D.W., Buhler, D.R., 1999. Antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of prenylated flavonoids from hops (Humulus lupulus) in human cancer cell lines. Food and Chemical Toxicology 37, 271-285.
- Stevens, J.F., Page, J.E., 2004. Xanthohumol and related prenylflavonoids from hops and beer: to your good health! Phytochemistry 65, 1317-1330.
- J Nutr Biochem. 2017 Sep;47:29-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.04.011. Epub 2017 Apr 22. Xanthohumol, a hop-derived prenylated flavonoid, promotes macrophage reverse cholesterol transport. Hirata H, Uto-Kondo H, Ogura M, Ayaori M, Shiotani K, Ota A, Tsuchiya Y, Ikewaki K.
- Koetter, U., Schrader, E., Kaufeler, R., Brattstrom, A., 2007. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, prospective clinical study to demonstrate clinical efficacy of a fixed valerian hops extract combination (Ze 91019) in patients suffering from non-organic sleep disorder. Phytotherapy Research 21, 847-851.
- Morin CM, Koetter U, et al. Valerian-hops combination and diphenhydramine for treating insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Sleep. 2005 Nov 1;28(11):1465-71.
- Milligan SR, Kalita JC, Pocock V, et al. The endocrine activities of 8-prenylnaringenin and related hop (Humulus lupulus L.) flavonoids.J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2000 Dec;85(12):4912-5.
- Milligan SR, Kalita JC, et al. Identification of a potent phytoestrogen in hops (Humulus lupulus L.) and beer.J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999 Jun;84(6):2249-52.
- Bowe J, Li XF, et al. The hop phytoestrogen, 8-prenylnaringenin, reverses the ovariectomy-induced rise in skin temperature in an animal model of menopausal hot flushes. J Endocrinol. 2006 Nov;191(2):399-405.
- Nikolic D, Li Y, et al. Metabolism of 8-prenylnaringenin, a potent phytoestrogen from hops (Humulus lupulus), by human liver microsomes. Drug Metab Dispos. 2004 Feb;32(2):272-9. Texte intégral : http://dmd.aspetjournals.org
- Heyerick A, Vervarcke S, et al. A first prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the use of a standardized hop extract to alleviate menopausal discomforts. Maturitas. 2006 May 20;54(2):164-75.
- A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over pilot study on the use of a standardized hop extract to alleviate menopausal discomforts. Erkkola R, Vervarcke S, et al. Phytomedicine. 2010 May;17(6):389-96.
- Haseleu, G., Intelmann, D., Hofmann, T., 2009. Structure determination and sensory evaluation of novel bitter compounds formed from beta-acids of hop (Humulus lupulus L.) upon wort boiling. Food Chemistry 116, 71-81.
- Gerhauser, C., 2005a. Beer constituents as potential cancer chemopreventive agents. European Journal of Cancer 41, 1941-1954.
- Callemien, D., Jerkovic, V., Rozenberg, R., Collin, S., 2005. Hop as an interesting source of resveratrol for brewers: Optimization of the extraction and quantitative study by liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53, 424-429.
- Nagasako-Akazome, Y., Honma, D., Tagashira, M., Kanda, T., Yasue, M., Ohtake, Y., 2007. Safety evaluation of polyphenols extracted from hop bracts. Food and Chemical Toxicology 45, 1383-1392.
- Larson, A.E., Yu, R.R.Y., Lee, O.A., Price, S., Haas, G.J., Johnson, E.A., 1996. Antimicrobial activity of hop extracts against Listeria monocytogenes in media and in food. International Journal of Food Microbiology 33, 195-207
- Crozier, A., Jaganath, I.B., Clifford, M.N., 2009. Dietary phenolics: chemistry, bioavailability and effects on health. Natural Product Reports 26, 1001-1043.
- Hou, Z., Lambert, J.D., Chin, K.V., Yang, C.S., 2004. Effects of tea polyphenols on signal transduction pathways related to cancer chemoprevention. Mutation ResearchFundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 555, 3-19.
- Makena, P.S., Chung, K.T., 2007. Effects of various plant polyphenols on bladder carcinogen benzidine-induced mutagenicity. Food and Chemical Toxicology 45, 1899- 1909.
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- Anhe, F.F., Roy, D., Pilon, G., Dudonne, S., Matamoros, S., Varin, T.V., Garofalo, C., Moine, Q., Desjardins, Y., Levy, E., Marette, A., 2015. A polyphenol-rich cranberry extract protects from diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance and intestinal inflammation in association with increased Akkermansia spp. population in the gut microbiota of mice. Gut 64, 872-883.
- Khanal, R., Howard, L.R., Prior, R.L., 2014. Urinary excretion of phenolic acids in rats fed cranberry, blueberry, or black raspberry powder. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62, 3987-3996