The Olive tree holds cultural and symbolic significance in many parts of the world and is associated with wisdom, peace, and endurance. It is also the source of multiple supplements now sold worldwide. If you've ever walked down the supplement aisle at your local health food store, you may have come across two products that piqued your interest: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and olive leaf supplements. While they both come from the same source, the olive tree, they serve overlapping but distinguishable purposes and both offer unique health benefits. In this article, we will explore the distinctions between olive oil phenolics and olive leaf extracts, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Main Products Found in Olive Leaf Extract
When it comes to olive leaf supplements, the more known star of the show is the extract derived from the leaves of the olive tree which were once thought to be waste products of no use. This extract is rich in antioxidants, mainly including oleuropein, which has been studied for its potential health benefits. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body against oxidative stress, which can contribute to various health issues.
Oleuropein, the main active ingredient in olive leaf extract, has been found to have numerous health benefits. Studies have shown that it has strong antioxidant and positive inflammatory response properties, which can help protect the body to maintain healthy cells and a healthy heart.
In addition to oleuropein, olive leaf extract may also contain other beneficial compounds, such as hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol. These compounds are known for their role in supporting cardiovascular health and they are good antioxidants preventing cellular damage.
In addition to these main compounds, olive leaf extract also contains other beneficial substances such as flavonoids, and triterpenes. These compounds have been found to have various health benefits, including antioxidant, positive healthy inflammatory response, and antimicrobial properties.
Flavonoids are a group of plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant effects. They can help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Triterpenes, another group of compounds found in olive leaf extract, have been studied for their potential properties maintaining healthy cell function.
Overall, olive leaf extract is a powerhouse of beneficial compounds that can support overall health and well-being. Its antioxidant and positive inflammatory response properties make it a valuable addition to any health regimen. Whether you're looking to support cardiovascular health, healthy control of inflammation, or boost your immune system health, olive leaf extract may be a great option to consider.
Health Benefits of Oleocanthal and Oleacein found in EVOO
While olive leaf extract primarily comes from the leaves of the olive tree, olive oil contains a different set of beneficial compounds found in the fruit of the olive tree, specifically oleocanthal and oleacein.
Oleocanthal is a natural compound belonging to a group of chemicals known as secoiridoids found in extra virgin olive oil that have been studied for their potential positive inflammatory response properties. Some researchers believe that oleocanthal may have a similar effect to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which reduce inflammation and relieves pain. Studies have shown that oleocanthal actually inhibits the activity of enzymes that promote inflammation in the body. This means that consuming olive oil rich in oleocanthal may help reduce the risk of unhealthy inflammatory response to maintain a healthy heart, brain, cell function and properly functioning joints.
In addition to its healthy inflammatory response properties, oleocanthal has also been found to have antioxidant effects. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body against oxidative stress, which can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. By consuming olive oil with high levels of oleocanthal, individuals may be able to enhance their overall antioxidant defenses and promote better health.
On the other hand, oleacein is a lesser-known compound found in extra virgin olive oil that has shown promise in supporting brain health. Some studies have suggested that oleacein may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Research has indicated that oleacein and oleocanthal have neuroprotective properties, meaning they can help safeguard brain cells from damage and degeneration maintaining a healthy brain and cognitive performance.
Furthermore, oleacein and oleocanthal have been found to enhance the production of neurotrophic factors in the brain. These factors are responsible for promoting the growth and survival of neurons, which are essential for optimal brain function. By increasing neurotrophic factor levels, oleacein and oleocanthal may support neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and form new connections, leading to improved learning, memory, and overall cognitive performance
In conclusion, the compounds oleocanthal and oleacein found in extra virgin olive oil offer a range of health benefits. Oleocanthal help maintain a positive inflammatory response and antioxidant properties. Oleacein and oleocanthal also show promise in supporting brain health and cognition Incorporating Oligen into your diet may provide you with these beneficial compounds and contribute to your overall well-being without the calories associated with consuming EVOO.
Oleocanthal and Oleacein are Formed During Crushing of Olives
When olives are harvested and crushed to make olive oil, a process called malaxation occurs. Malaxation involves mechanical mixing of the olive paste, allowing the oil to separate from the other components of the fruit.
During this process, certain enzymes in the olive fruit transform certain compounds like oleuropein into oleacein and a compound known as ligstroside aglycone into oleocanthal. These compounds contribute to the unique taste and health benefits associated with extra virgin olive oil and they are not found in olive leaf extracts in significant amounts.
Olive Oil Phenols versus Olive Leaf Supplements
While both olive oil and olive leaf supplements come from the olive tree, they offer distinct yet overlapping health benefits due to their unique compounds. Olive leaf extract is rich in antioxidants, such as oleuropein, and may support a healthy immune system and cardiovascular health.
On the other hand, Oligen contains beneficial compounds like oleocanthal and oleacein, which are potent antioxidants and promote healthy inflammatory response and cardiovascular and brain-protecting properties. One key difference is olive leaf extracts contain very few calories while many EVOO varieties require consumption of three or more tablespoons of oil (contain over 400 calories of fat) to get a healthy dose of oleocanthal or oleacein. Knowing this, Oleolive Inc developed a patented method to extract the beneficial phenols with none of the fat, and we are selling a product named Oligen produced under GMP conditions in a state-of-the-art production facility. Our product is third party tested and contains the exact amount stated on the label.
What Should Interested Consumers Do?
A reasonable course of action for consumers who cannot decide which product to buy would be to not choose one over the other but buy both. In fact, a recent peer reviewed scientific publication suggested a combination of these two products might act synergistically when combined. Therefore, a wise choice would be to supplement your olive leaf supplement with Oligen and enjoy enhanced health benefits from the whole olive tree promoting healthy aging your whole life.