31 Jul

Unexpected Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract

Scientists have isolated the unique molecule that provides olive oil with its multitude of health and life-extending benefits. 

The olive tree (Olea europaea) produces oleuropein abundantly in its leaves as well as in the olive fruit itself, and special processing techniques now allow for the extraction of a stable, standardized form of oleuropein. That means that consumers can have access to one of the most beneficial components of olive oil without the necessity of consuming excessive amounts of olive oil.

Very-fresh-OlivesKnown as oleuropein, it is the polyphenol that can help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, prevent cancer, protect against oxidative damage, and help guard against cognitive decline.(1,2) Oleuropein provides the distinctive tangy, pungent, almost bitter flavor found in high quality extra virgin olive oils.(2) It’s also responsible for most of olive oil’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and disease-fighting characteristics.(2-4) In fact, when oleuropein was given to animals with tumors, the tumors completely regressed and disappeared in 9 to 12 days!(5)

Olive leaf extracts and their oleuropein constituents are best known for their blood pressure-lowering effects, but the latest studies reveal their health benefits extend well beyond that. Additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties offer promise in fighting atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and even arthritis. 

Blood Pressure Animal studies demonstrate that olive leaf extracts lead to significant drops in elevated blood pressure.(6,7) Remarkably, these effects are evident when supplementation occurs either before or after the animals develop hypertension. This means that the extracts have the ability to both prevent and treat high blood pressure.(8) 

The drop in blood pressure is accompanied by reduced pressure in the heart’s left ventricle. This results in improved blood flow to the heart’s own coronary blood vessels. Additional human studies demonstrate the ability of olive leaf extracts to significantly reduce blood pressure measurements.(9) 

One particularly fascinating study was conducted among identical twins with borderline hypertension (blood pressure in the range of 120-139 mmHg over 80-89 mmHg).(10) Studies of identical twins virtually eliminate genetic variations which may impact study results. After 8 weeks, placebo recipients showed no change in blood pressure from baseline, but patients supplemented with 1,000 mg/day of olive leaf extract dropped their pressures by a mean of 11 mmHg systolic and 4 mmHg diastolic.(10) The supplemented patients experienced significant reductions in LDL cholesterol.

A human study measured olive leaf extract against captopril, one of the conventional drugs used for treating hypertension.(11) In this study, patients with stage-1 hypertension (140-159 mmHg over 90-99 mmHg) took either 500 mg of olive leaf extract twice daily, or 12.5 mg of captopril twice daily, which was increased as needed to 25 mg twice daily. After 8 weeks of treatment, both groups experienced a drop in mean blood pressure from baseline (11.5 and 13.7 mmHg systolic; 4.8 and 6.4 mmHg diastolic, respectively), with no significant difference between the two groups. In other words, the olive leaf extract performed as well as the prescription drug. A closer look in the laboratory reveals the reason for this equivalence. Although they utilize different mechanisms of action (oleuropein acts as a natural calcium channel blocker and captopril is a well-known ACE-inhibitor), both oleuropein and captopril function inside the vasculature to decrease the tension in the walls of blood vessels and promote widening of the vessels (vasodilation), ultimately lowering blood pressure.(12-15)

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30 Jul

Olive oil is a perfect remedy for skin and hair problems

By now, we all know that olive oil is really good for our health and has tons of benefits like lowering the levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, preventing strokes, improving the immune system, etc. But it also has various beauty benefits and this makes it one must-have ingredient in our homes.

olive-oil

 

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30 Jul

[Pakistan] PAARC, NIGAB sign MoU to promote Olive cultivation

Pakistan Agriculture and Research Council (PARC) and Poverty Alleviation and National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here to promote rapid olive cultivation in the country with the help of advanced technology.

olives-400The MoU was signed by Director of Promotion of Olive Cultivation for Economic Development Project PARC, Dr. Muhammad Munir and Project Director (NIGAB), Dr. Muhammad Ramzan Khan here at PARC headquarters.

According to the MoU, both the parties will establish research linkages for the project entitled "Rapid Identification of Olive Cultivators using DNA Markers". NIGAB is being outsourced for this task through Olive Promotion project, said a PARC statement adding the total cost of the project is Rs.2.0 million for fingerprinting and variety identification of 2000 olive plants.

The whole project will be completed in a period of 3 months while the plant sampling for DNA extraction will be done from the olive orchards in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Varieties identification of 2000 plant samples will be carried out at NIGAB Lab, the statement said and added that the project is of national importance to develop mother orchards for further propagation of olive plantation.
PARC Chairman, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Itialian Expert, Dr. Marco Marchetti, Member (PSD), Dr. Shahid Masood and other senior PARC Scientists were also present at the ceremony.

 

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25 Jul

Olive plantings expand into Southern California, Arizona

The bird’s eye view from the century-old-plus Beach Line Citrus farm in Niland in California’s Imperial County is a commanding vision of the azure waters in the Salton Sea several miles to the West and the towering Chocolate Mountains to the East.

don-barioni-holding-olive-banch-photoCloser to the ground, a crop relatively new to this area is sinking its roots deeper into the low-desert landscape – super high density (SHD) plantings of olives grown for milling into extra virgin olive oil.

Beach Line Citrus LLC is among about a dozen entrepreneurial growers in Imperial County and neighboring Yuma County, Ariz., adding olives to their crop pedigree, or with plantings on the drawing boards.

The conventionally-grown commercial olive varieties at Beach Line Citrus include the Spanish varieties Arbequina and Arbosana, and the Greek Koroneiki olive.

In addition to olives, Beach Line Citrus grows about 2,000 acres of permanent crops, mostly desert lemons, along with figs, pomegranates, and other types of citrus.

The father-and-son team of Don Barioni Sr. and Doni Jr. (fifth-and-fourth-generation farmers respectively) and their partners – Bob Hull, Thom Curry, and others – has about 160 acres of olives.

The plantings include: a 40-acre trial planted five years ago with dozens of varieties; a 40-acre commercial parcel planted two years ago; and an 80-acre commercial block planted last year.

The average plant spacing for the orchards is 13-by-7 feet.

Organically-grown olives are planned in the future.

 

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24 Jul

[Middle East] Israelis Settlers Torch 400 Olive Trees near Bethlehem

Settlers set fire to over 400 olive trees in a village Southwest of Bethlehem, locals said.

Palestinian_Olive_trees_destroyedMore than 12 acres of trees were set alight by settlers from nearby Bat Ayin settlement on Sunday, witnesses said. The land belongs to Haj Abdul-Rahman Hamdan.

Since 1967, Israeli forces have confiscated over 2,500 acres of land from al-Jaba village, leaving only 750 acres to Palestinian residents.

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