Olive leaf extract? What's this... another miracle-food fad placebo that the industrial food world is gearing up to make millions by cleverly hawking it to you and me? (See Raspberry Ketones: Another Industrial Food Quasi-Scam?)
But olive leaf extract? It sounds kind of bona fide. After all...
- Extra-virgin olive oil is proven to be laden with omega-3 fatty acids that can provide heart health benefits.
- Olive trees hail from the Mediterranean. Isn't the Mediterranean diet good for us?
- Olive trees are so feel-good biblical... The Mount of Olives in Israel is mentioned often in the Old Testament. The Mount of Olives is where Jesus wept, prayed, taught, and from where he descended into heaven. Olive trees feel vaguely holy by association.
Olive Leaf Extracts and Supplements: The Claims
The cover of an Amazon-sold book, Olive Leaf Extract, by Morton Walker, a former podiatrist, boasts that olive leaf extract is "The Natural Way to Treat:
- Viral infections
- The common cold
- Skin diseases
- Heart trouble
- And more!"
"We all live in the Hot Zone now," blares the book's intro, then scaremongers on:
"Antibiotics have failed. With the coming of exotic new viruses, and the evolution of microbes resistant to the drugs we've used for the last fifty years, we have never needed an alternative therapy more.
"Olive Leaf Extract-- effective, natural, and nontoxic-- has been used as a folk remedy for thousands of years. Only now has scientific research shown that the active ingredient, oleuropein, has vast healing powers because it practically eliminates the viruses, fungi, bacteria, and other parasites that cause disease.
"From immune disorders to the common cold, from athlete's foot to malaria, olive leaf extract can be an adjunct to any program of healing, health, and wellness"Alert the Gates Foundation! A cure for malaria has been found; Bill and Melinda can stop wasting hundreds of millions in attempting to treat and prevent malaria in Africa and other developing countries.
Not! These three ultra-slick, finely worded paragraphs are worthy of any slimy, All-American snake-oil pitch, including those for acai berry and raspberry ketones supplements.
My brief internet perusal finds claims that olive leaf extract also lowers blood pressure, boosts bone health, eliminates yeast infections, and, of course, has been "shown to eliminate cancer tumors."