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J Med Food. 2018 Mar;21(3):302-305. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.0070. Epub 2017 Nov 3.

Oleuropein Is Responsible for the Major Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Olive Leaf Extract.

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1 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Arab American University , Jenin, Palestine.
2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Al-Quds University , Jerusalem, Palestine.
3 Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida , Orlando, Florida, USA.


Olive leaves are rich in polyphenolic compounds that are known to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activities. Therefore, olive leaf extract (OLE) is considered as a natural supplement. In this study we evaluated the antibacterial and the anti-inflammatory effect of OLE and its individual phenolic components in vitro. Polymorphonuclear cells (PMNCs) were isolated from the whole blood using Histopaque solution and cultured in RPMI-enriched medium. Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) level was determined by ELISA after 24 h of lipopolysaccharide stimulation. The antibacterial activity of OLE was determined by well diffusion assay. We found a significant decrease in TNFα secretion level in PMNCs culture treated with OLE. Oleuropein is the only OLE component that has shown anti-inflammatory effects at a concentration of 20 μg/mL. Furthermore, OLE exhibited antibacterial activity against some gram positive bacterial strains; however, gram negative bacterial strains were resistant to OLE. Downregulation of TNFα secretion in PMNCs culture in response to OLE treatment indicates that this polyphenol-rich extract has an anti-inflammatory effect, and oleuropein is the major OLE component responsible for this effect. The antibacterial activity of OLE is limited to gram positive bacteria.


OLE; TNFα; gallic acid; oleuropein; olive leaf extract; phenolic compounds

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