Olive Leaf Extract (2006, '11, '12, '16, '17) & Nerve Functioning


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Olive leaf extract, oleuropein, has been extensively studied for its potential benefit in a number of conditions, including the health of the nervous system. It may be helpful in addressing problems involving impaired brain and/or nervous system functioning. It is a potential nutraceutical against Alzheimer's.


Scientists discovered that oleuropein aglycone and other polyphenols derived from the waste water of olive oil mills was just as effective as olive leaf extract in combating damage to the nervous system and a dose dependant manner.

Researchers: D. Pantano, I. Luccarini, et al
Published: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, January, 2017.

Scientists discussed the mechanism by which olive leaf extract (oleuropein) protect against the tangled amyloid-beta protein clumps that develop over time and cause Alzheimer's disease.

They determined that oleuropein's protection against inflammation, oxidative stress, and neuroprotective effects. Oleuropein counteracts both amyloid clumping and the toxin release caused by such clumping. It inhibits development of amyloid precursors, reduces tau clumping, cell deterioration (autophagy) and nerve cell inflammation.

Martorell M, Forman K, et al. (2016). Potential Therapeutic Effects of Oleuropein Aglycone in Alzheimer's Disease. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2016;17(11):994-1001.

Oleuropein, binds amyloid beta 1-40 peptide molecules counteracting amyloid plaque generation and deposition. Furthermore, oleuropein inhibits tau, which aberrantly forms the amyloid-positive aggregates characteristic of AD. Thus, olive helps treat and prevent build-up of Aβ, decreased fibril formation risk, and as well is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-atherogenic, hypoglycemic, hepatic-, cardiac, and neuro-protective.

Barbaro B, Toietta G, Maggio R, Arciello M, Tarocchi M, et al. (2014). Effects of the olive-derived polyphenol oleuropein on human health. In J Mol Sci. Oct 14;15(10:18508-24.

In an experimental model of spinal injury, researchers compared lab animals with real or sham spinal injury and animals treated with olive leaf extract. Some biomarkers indicative of spinal injury are increased malondialdehyde and decreased glutathione levels as well as other indicators. In this study animals receiving olive leaf extract demonstrated significate improvements in both biomarkers.

Khalatbary AR, Ahmadvand H. (2012). Neuroprotective effect of oleuropein following spinal cord injury in rats. Neurol Res. Jan;34(1):44-51.

Researchers investigated the biochemical properties of olive leaf extract (oleuropein) and its potential for inhibiting growth of amyloid deposits characteristic of Alzheimer's and other cognitive conditions.

They found that oleuropein inhibits formation of amyloid clumping =[amyloid-beta(1-42)]. It favors the formation instead of stable harmless pre-fibers (protofibrils) which are different than the typical amyloid-beta fibrils. It also protects against the release of toxins that occurs with the development of amyloid-beta clumps of plaque.

Rigacci S, Guidotti V, et al. (2011). Abeta(1-42) aggregates into non-toxic amyloid assemblies in the presence of the natural polyphenol oleuropein aglycon. Curr Alz Res. Dec;8(8):841-52.

In a related study of brain health, researchers investigated whether olive leaf extract could have a protective effect against damage caused by blood clots in the brain brought on by stroke. They compared the blood lipid levels and other biomarkers of rats fed or not fed olive leaf extract. They found that there were a number of improvements including in cholesterol, impairments in the brain nervous system, brain edema, etc were markedly improved. In addition, the brains of treated animals were better protected against damage caused by return of blood flow to previously blocked areas of the brain. The net result was reduced brain cell injury and up to 55% decrease in volume by dying brain tissue.

Mohagheghi F, Bigdeli MR, et al. (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. Jan 15;18(2-3):170-5.

In another 2011 study involving lab animals, researchers similarly found that olive leaf extract (compared to quercetin, known to protect the nervous system) protected against damage caused by restored blood flow to parts of the brain that had been blocked by stroke. Olive leaf extract was more effective than quercetin. The researchers speculated that the benefit may have been due to olive leaf extract's capacity as an antioxidant.

Dekanski D, V. Selakovic V, et al. (2011). Protective effect of olive leaf extract on hippocampal injury induced by transient global cerebral ischemia and reperfusion in Mongolian gerbils. Phytomedicine. Oct 15;18(13):1137-43.

A notable indicator of development of Alzheimer's disease is the presence of tangles of amyloid-beta plaque. Researchers have speculated that the absence of antioxidants may be partially responsible. Researchers determined that olive leaf extract, with its strong neuro-protective effect may help to keep these clumps of plaque from forming.

Bazoti FN, J. Bergquist J, et al. (2006). Noncovalent interaction between amyloid-beta-peptide (1-40) and oleuropein studied by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. Apr;17(4):568-75.