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The Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract - Immune Support

03/03/2016

Many people think that it’s the cold weather that makes us more susceptible to colds, flu and respiratory infections, but that’s not actually the case.

A bigger issue is that during the colder weather we’re more inclined to stay indoors, where it’s warm and toasty.

Unfortunately, that means we’re in closer and more constant proximity to other people. If someone around us gets sick, we’re consequently more likely to catch their infection.

With their still-developing immune systems and tendency to spend lots of time with others their own age, kids are more susceptible than adults, and can average as many as ten colds a year. The adult immune system is more robust, but nevertheless, adults still catch an average of 2-4 colds each year (1).

Colds and flu viruses are continually mutating into new forms. Every time we’re confronted by one of these viruses, our immune systems need to go to battle against them.

There are a number of measures you can take to support your immune system and help reduce your likelihood of being affected by colds and flu this winter. Common sense strategies like practising good personal hygiene, getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, and making sure you exercise on a regular basis are a great start.

Taking olive leaf extract may also help, as olive leaves have traditionally been used to enhance the functioning of the immune system (2) and aid the management of viral infections (3, 4, 5), especially when fever is present (6, 7).

These traditional practices appear to be supported by laboratory studies in which oleuropein (widely regarded as one the most important constituents of olive leaves), hydroxytyrosol and other compounds found in olive leaves have been shown to be effective against a number of disease-causing microbes, including some of viruses that cause influenza and similar respiratory infections (8, 9, 10).

Research suggests that olive leaf compounds may enhance the body’s efforts to fight invading organisms via two different processes. Firstly, they appear to stimulate phagocytosis (the process in which immune system cells engulf and destroy invading organisms) (11), and secondly by interfering with the ability of bacteria and viruses to replicate themselves and cause infection (12, 13).

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 References

1. Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical and nutritional considerations. Alt Med Rev 2007;12(1):25-48.

2. AltMedDex. Olive leaf. 2000.

3. AltMedDex. Olive leaf. 2000.

4. Rotblatt M, Ziment I. Evidence Based Herbal Medicine. Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus Inc, 2002.

5. Ross, IA. Medicinal plants of the world, volume 3: Chemical constituents, traditional and modern medicinal uses. Humana Press Inc, 2005.

6. Ross, IA. Medicinal plants of the world, volume 3: Chemical constituents, traditional and modern medicinal uses. Humana Press Inc, 2005.

7. Bone K. A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs. Missouri: Churchill Livingstone, 2003. Pages 352-5.

8. Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide, 2nd ed. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2007. CD version, page: 894.

9. Bone K. A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs. Missouri: Churchill Livingstone, 2003. Pages 352-5.

10. Bone K. A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs. Missouri: Churchill Livingstone, 2003. Pages 352-5.

11. Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical and nutritional considerations. Alt Med Rev 2007;12(1):25-48.

12.Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical and nutritional considerations. Alt Med Rev 2007;12(1):25-48.

13. Anonymous. Olive leaf: monograph. Alt Med Rev 2009;14(1):62-66.


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