Olive Leaf Extract and Arthritis
Approximately 50 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Since there is no cure for the painful, sometimes debilitating condition, patients often turn to alternative medicine in the form of foods and supplements to help. The ancient Egyptians used olive leaf as a medicine, but it wasn’t until 2005 that scientific research began to show that olive leaf extracts could also help treat arthritis.
Olive Leaf Benefits
Olive leaf extracts are made from the fresh or dried leaves of the same plant species that produces olive fruit and olive oil. The extract contains the compounds oleuropein and oleuropeoside, which are polyphenols, or antioxidants that can protect against cell damage from harmful free radicals. Oleuropein and oleuropeoside relax and dilate blood vessels, they are antimicrobial, and they support your immune system.
Arthritis is a term that refers to inflammation in your joints. Although inflammation ordinarily protects your body from infection and foreign substances, when your immune system goes haywire, it mistakenly targets and damages your body’s own tissues. A study published in July 2011 in the journal “Phytotherapy Research” verified that olive leaf extract has the ability to target inflammation by reducing production of cytokines and enzymes that are markers for the inflammatory process.