Scientists have isolated the unique molecule that provides olive oil with its multitude of health and life-extending benefits. Known as oleuropein, it is the polyphenol that can help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, prevent cancer, protect against oxidative damage, and help guard against cognitive decline. Oleuropein provides the distinctive tangy, pungent, almost bitter flavor found in high quality extra virgin olive oils. It’s also responsible for most of olive oil’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and disease-fighting characteristics. In fact, when oleuropein was given to animals with tumors, the tumors completely regressed and disappeared in 9 to 12 days!
The olive tree (Olea europaea) produces oleuropein abundantly in its leaves as well as in the olive fruit itself, and special processing techniques now allow for the extraction of a stable, standardized form of oleuropein. That means that consumers can have access to one of the most beneficial components of olive oil without the necessity of consuming excessive amounts of olive oil.
Olive leaf extracts and their oleuropein constituents are best known for their blood pressure-lowering effects, but the latest studies reveal their health benefits extend well beyond that. Additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties offer promise in fighting atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and even arthritis.
Article by Julian Everson, Life Extension Magazine
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