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Practitioner Corner: Olive Leaf for Insulin Resistance

By Ritamarie Loscalzo

Drop of oil from three black olives on branch against blue sky

Dripping black olives



Last week,we discussed intermittent fasting as a tool for managing blood sugar and weight.  Continuing on with blood sugar balance tools, this week, I would like to share some compelling research about a relatively new twist for a popular herb.



Olive leaf extract is well-known for its anti microbial, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and immune system supporting qualities.

Oleuropein is considered to be the active ingredient in olive leaf extract.  It is a polyphenol that has been shown to:

  • help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure
  • prevent cancer
  • protect against oxidative damage
  • help guard against cognitive decline
  • provides the distinctive flavor found in extra virgin olive oils
  • More recently, scientists have shown olive leaf extract to play a role in blood glucose metabolism.

And that’s just the beginning of the health benefits of olive leaf extract.

Human studies also show that supplementing with 500 mg of olive leaf extract once daily resulted in significant reductions in hemoglobin A1c levels, a predictable indicator of the average blood glucose over the previous 3-4 months.

Supplementation with Olive Leaf Extract also lowered fasting plasma insulin.

In fact, studies have shown that this herb outperforms Metformin, a common medication for insulin resistance

Olive leaf and skyThe mechanism by which olive leaf extract keeps glucose levels down  is threefold and works by:

slowing the digestion of starches into simple sugars,

slowing the  absorption of sugars in the small intestine,

and increasing the uptake of sugar across insulin receptors.

Olive leaf extract also protects tissues from the oxidative stress and damage from glycation , which occurs when glucose binds to proteins.

Finally, olive leaf extract has been shown to increase levels of other natural antioxidant systems in the body.

Check out the resources list below to further your own study about this amazing medicinal herb.


  1. Wainstein J, Ganz T, Boaz M, et al. Olive leaf extract as a hypoglycemic agent in both human diabetic subjects and in rats. J Med Food. 2012 Jul;15(7):605-10.
  2. Gonzalez M, Zarzuelo A, Gamez MJ, Utrilla MP, Jimenez J, Osuna I. Hypoglycemic activity of olive leaf. Planta Med. 1992 Dec;58(6):513-5.
  3. Al-Azzawie HF, Alhamdani MS. Hypoglycemic and antioxidant effect of oleuropein in alloxan-diabetic rabbits. Life Sci. 2006 Feb 16;78(12):1371-7.
  4. Jemai H, El Feki A, Sayadi S. Antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein from olive leaves in alloxan-diabetic rats. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Oct 14;57(19):8798-804.
  5. Eidi A, Eidi M, Darzi R. Antidiabetic effect of Olea europaea L. in normal and diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):347-50.
  6. Simon D, Balkau B. Diabetes mellitus, hyperglycaemia and cancer. Diabetes Metab. 2010 Jun;36(3):182-91.


Olive leaf is just one of the herbs and nutrients that improve insulin resistance.  We’ll study them in my newly revised Insulin Resistance Solution Practitioner Training.

Would you like to become a Certified Insulin Resistance Coach?  Get on the early notice list and download my popular webinar “Client Assessment Tools That Make Your Clients Call You a Miracle Worker and Refer All Their Friends”  It’s my gift to you.

Stay tuned for our big announcement and an invitation to attend a free webinar where I reveal insulin resistance secrets your doctor never told you.

Register NOW and you’ll be on the early bird notice list for my Insulin Resistance Solution Practitioner Training and be eligible for early bird bonuses.  I will be sharing a whole lot more in my 5-week course, the Insulin Resistance Practitioner Training.


With love and appreciation,


Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo


What additional questions do you have about the health benefits of olive leaf extract? Comment below!

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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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    […] the sugar and processed starch causes a spike in insulin. Over time, your cells become resistant to the insulin, and almost all the food you eat gets stored as […]

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  3. Kushi on December 11, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I have recently decedid to eat lots of seafood now I am in Canada and can’t access grass fed beef as easily as when I was in New Zealand. In NZ grass fed beef is all you can buy. Anyway now I am eating seafood all the time I decedid I don’t need fish omega oils because I should be getting it in my food. I also secretly hope that there is some known/unknown benefit in getting it out of eating fish rather than taking oil tablets.

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