Study: Olive Leaf Extract as Effective as Typical Diabetes Drugs

olive leaf
Disease Research

Researchers from the University of Auckland have discovered that olive leaf extract has the ability to decrease insulin resistance and increase the production of insulin by the pancreas. This is one of the main problems that most diabetes patients suffer from – the lack of proper insulin balance in the body.

To test olive leaf extract’s effects on diabetes, the researchers conducted a randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled clinical study dividing 46 overweight men into two groups. One of the groups received olive leaf extract, while the other did group was given a placebo. The olive leaf extract was standardized to contain its active ingredients – oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol.

After six weeks to allow the men’s bodies to return to their ‘normal levels,’ the groups were switched. The original placebo group then received the olive leaf extract, and vice versa.  None of the men knew which group they were in at which time.

The researchers found that the olive leaf extract lowered insulin resistance by an average of 15% and increased the productivity of the pancreas’ beta cells – which produce insulin – by 28%.

Glucose tolerance tests that look at both glucose and insulin levels every 30 minutes were used to measure glucose sensitivity. Pancreatic beta cell function was measured using the Matsuda method of glucose/insulin curve measurements.

The researchers concluded:

“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.”

Related: A Handful of Bay Leaves Daily Helps with Diabetes

This research also showed that olive leaf could possibly effectively treat both Diabetes 1 and Diabetes type 2. In addition, the olive leaf extract would likely help individuals with type 2 Diabetes the most.

Researchers also found that olive leaf extract may be just as effective as conventional drugs.

They stated:

“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)…”

There are currently more than 30 million Americans suffering from diabetes, and that number triples for people around the world. It is one of the most debilitating and costly diseases, generating more than $175 billion annually for the makers of diabetic drugs and other pharmaceutical treatments.

With the excessive costs of diabetic treatments, this simple extract could treat diabetes for people for much less money.