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Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Sep;49(9):1989-97. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.05.010. Epub 2011 May 17.

High doses of olive leaf extract induce liver changes in mice.

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Department of Veterinary Sciences, CECAV, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal.


Virtually ever since it was first commercialized in 1995, there have been several studies focusing on the use of olive leaf extract (OLE) as a natural therapy and its medical properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of three different concentrations of OLE on the function of mice livers over the course of 14 weeks. Female ICR mice were divided into four groups, depending on OLE concentration used: 0%, 0.25%, 0.5%, and 0.75%. Alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, total bilirubin and albumin serum concentrations were all measured. Histopathological changes of the liver were observed after haematoxylin and eosin, reticulin, and Masson's trichrome staining was carried out while liver mitochondrial bioenergetics were also evaluated. Alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase serum enzyme activities increased significantly in the groups in which 0.5% and 0.75% OLE concentrations were used. Histologically, all the groups exposed to OLE exhibited hyperplasia of the bile ducts, cholestasis, hepatocyte necrosis and inflammatory infiltrated. Hepatic fibrosis was observed in the groups featuring 0.5% and 0.75% OLE concentrations. The mitochondrial membrane potential, respiratory control ratio and ADP/O of samples from animals fed the higher OLE concentration was significantly decreased when compared to the control group.

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