Olive Leaf Extract (2011, 2016) & Arthritis


Learn more about rheumatoid arthritis


This study looked at combining olive leaf extract with a standard therapy for patients with early and long-term rheumatoid arthritis. It assessed amount of cell damage and inflammation. Patients were evaluated at the beginning of the study and assigned to one of several groups. Early phase patients received either solely the prescription drug or the drug plus olive leaf extract. Long phase patients received the combinations of the drug plus olive leaf extract.

After three weeks the early-phase group receiving the combined therapy had markedly reduced symptoms and positive changes in a number of biomarkers. In the early-phase group receiving only the prescription drug some biomarkers remained unchanged and other improvements occurred only after an additional three weeks. For the late-phase group, there were only modest improvements after six weeks.

The researchers concluded that adding olive leaf extract to the prescription drug supported quicker and better benefits, although these changes were more marked in patients with early-phase rheumatoid arthritis - in other words, damage had not progressed as far.

Researchers: A. Cabarkapa, L. Zivkovic, et al
Dry Olive Leaf Extract in Combination with Methotrexate Reduces Cell Damage in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients-A Pilot Study, Phytotherapy Research, October, 2016.


Knowing of the anti-inflammatory capacity of olive leaf extract (oleuropein), researchers wanted to investigate the capacity of the extract to reduce inflammation causing and/or aggravating rheumatoid arthritis.

In mice with arthritis caused by collagen, animals treated with olive leaf extract exhibited a marked reduction in bio-markers indicative of the condition. Animals were treated with the extract 25 days after their arthritis had developed, and symptoms improved starting the next day and continuing until the study's end ten days later.

The biomarkers involved were cytokines which increase when inflammation is present. These biomarker levels significantly decreased.

Researchers: D. Impellizzeri, E. Esposito, et al
Published: Oleuropein aglycone, an olive oil compound, ameliorates development of arthritis caused by injection of collagen type II in mice, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, December, 2011

Editor's Note: Similar results were found with respect to osteoarthritis.