Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Olea europea

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In leaves and fruits of the olive tree, a phenolic seco-iridoid called oleuropein is found; it is the hypotensive principle. Before pickling olives, the oleuropein is removed either by treatment with lye or by lactic fermentation; the remaining residues of oleuropein are sometimes said to prevent diseases resulting from high blood pressure.

Olive oil is obtained from the mesocarp of special varieties of olives with rather small fruits; the mesocarp contains about 55% of oil.

 J Nutr. 2005 Jun;135(6):1475-9.  
Hydrolyzed olive vegetation water in mice has anti-inflammatory activity.
Bitler CM, Viale TM, Damaj B, Crea R.
CreAgri Incorporated, Hayward, CA 94025, USA. cbitler@creagri.com

Fruit and vegetable simple and polyphenols are potent antioxidants. One of the most effective in terms of free radical scavenging is 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl ethanol or hydroxytyrosol (HT), a simple phenol found predominantly in Olea europea, or the olive plant. HT is most abundant in the aqueous fraction of olive pulp with trace amounts in the olive oil fraction and in the leaves. For these experiments, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of olive vegetation water (OVW), which we showed previously to have potent antioxidant activity. Because some simple phenols and polyphenols with antioxidant activity have shown varying anti-inflammatory activities, we tested OVW and HT for their ability to inhibit the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a pivotal cytokine in inflammation. In lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated BALB/c mice, a model system of inflammation, OVW at a dose of 125 mg/mouse (500 mg/kg) reduced serum TNF-alpha levels by 95%. In the human monocyte cell line, THP-1, OVW reduced LPS-induced TNF-alpha production by 50% at a concentration of 0.5 g/L (equivalent to approximately 0.03 g/L simple and polyphenols). OVW had no toxic effects in vitro or in vivo. When OVW was combined with glucosamine, a component of proteoglycans and glycoproteins that was shown to decrease inducible nitric oxide synthase production in cultured macrophage cells, the 2 compounds acted synergistically to reduce serum TNF-alpha levels in LPS-treated mice. These findings suggest that a combination of OVW and glucosamine may be an effective therapy for a variety of inflammatory processes, including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Ann Pharm Fr. 2000 Jul;58(4):271-7.
[Therapeutic effect of Olea europea var. oleaster leaves on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in obese and prediabetic sand rats (Psammomys obesus)]
Bennani-Kabchi N, Fdhil H, Cherrah Y, El Bouayadi F, Kehel L, Marquie G.
UFR Nutrition Aliment Sante, Faculte des Sciences, Universite Mohamed V, Avenue IBn Battouta, BP 1014 Rabat, Maroc.

Sand rats develop obesity, insulin-resistance, hyperlipidemia and prediabetes, when given a standard laboratory chow diet. We have used this model to demonstrate the beneficial action of olea europea var. oleaster leaves to regulate unbalanced metabolism. 32 sand rats fed on hypercaloric diet during 7 months, were divided into 3 groups: controls (n=10), treated by plant (n=13) and treated by simvastatin (Zoco); hypocholesterolemic drug. The plant decoction prepared at 10% was given orally at the rate of 1.5 ml/100g during 3 months. Results show that the plant presents a hypocholesterolemic effect (42%) related to decreases in LDL and VLDL cholesterol. In addition, hypoglycemic (16%) and antihyperglycemic (40%) effects were observed accompanied by a 27% decrease in insulin. Chronic treatment with Zocor reduced total cholesterol (32%), LDL and VLDL cholesterol. Both of treatments produced no significantly reduction in plasma levels of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. No noxions effect of this plant have been observed in usual doses.