Cholesterol, a waxy lipid, or fat, found in your blood, occurs naturally in your body. It helps create cell membranes, produce hormones and support nerve function. Although cholesterol helps your body perform properly, uncontrolled high cholesterol can result in serious health problems including heart disease. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, olive leaf extract may help reduce high cholesterol levels. The extract is generally considered safe, but as with most alternative remedies, more scientific research is needed to confirm its efficacy. Check with your health care provider before incorporating olive leaf extract into your health regimen.
Health care providers recommend getting your cholesterol level checked every six months. A cholesterol level above 200 is considered borderline high, and above 240 requires aggressive treatment. Preventive measures include a healthy weight, low-fat diet and exercise. In addition, patients should quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.
Native to the Mediterranean region, the olive tree is an evergreen that grows to heights of 30 feet. It has a grooved, gray trunk and bears small white flowers and green fruit ripening to black. The tree’s small, leathery leaves contain high concentrations of a medicinal extract used to treat a variety of health conditions.