In this randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled clinical study, the researchers divided 46 overweight men into two groups. They gave one group olive leaf extract (standardized to oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol) and the other group a placebo for twelve weeks. The placebo and olive leaf extracts were both given in capsules and their identity completed masked.
Then after a six-week washout period, the researchers switched the groups, giving the placebo group the extract and the olive extract group the placebo.
The researchers found the benefits olive leaf extract had were lowering insulin resistance by an average of 15% and increased the productivity of the pancreas’ beta cells – which produce insulin – by 28%.
The researchers concluded that the benefits Olive Leaf Extract had were:
“Supplementation with olive leaf polyphenols for 12 weeks significantly improved insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell secretory capacity in overweight middle-aged men at risk of developing the metabolic syndrome.”
The scientists, in their comparison to conventional drugs for insulin sensitivity, noted that the olive leaf extract’s effects of increasing beta cell production at the same time as increasing insulin sensitivity was unique, because the conventional medications typically produce the effect of increasing beta cell activity but not affecting insulin sensitivity.
“Hence, compared to these drugs that only improve insulin secretion, olive leaf extract improves both insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell secretory capacity. Remarkably, the observed effects of olive leaf extract supplementation in our study population is comparable to common diabetic therapeutics (particularly metformin)…”
The benefits olive leaf extract in treating type 2 diabetes was confirmed in a study last year from Israeli medical researchers. In this study, 79 type 2-diabetic patients were given 500 milligrams daily olive leaf extract or a placebo for 14 weeks. The olive leaf treatment group had significantly lower levels of HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) and lower fasting plasma insulin levels.
History of benefits Olive leaf extract
Olives have been a central part of the famous Mediterranean Diet for thousands of years, and olive leaf has been used medicinally for those with blood sugar issues at least for centuries. There is no surprise that the Mediterranean Diet is known for its ability to prevent and even reverse metabolic disease.
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