These days, with so much focus placed on viruses and, for many of us, our health in general, boosting our immune systems is all the rage.
And it’s about time.
So today we’re going to take a look at another compound, derived from nature itself, that could help us boost our immune systems.
And perhaps more.
That compound is olive leaf extract.
A team of researchers out of Italy tested two different types of olive leaf extracts for their ability to modulate the human immune response. They did this by testing the two agents in vitro on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 25 healthy donors.
Their results, published in the journal Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders Drug Targets in 2018 shed some very positive light on the subject.
They found that both extracts (one suspended in water and the other in a 70% ethanol solution) performed very well, but the water-based extract did perform better.
The extracts increased both CD8+ (a type of T-cell our immune systems use to kill cancerous or virally-infected cells) and natural killer (NK) cells, which perform the same function.
Both also increased production of interferon, whose job is to inhibit the replication of viruses.
Pretty good so far, but there’s more.
They also found that the extracts increased nitric oxide (NO) production, which is very beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide is known as a vasodilator, which is a fancy way of saying it relaxes the blood vessels. This allows them to widen, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Quite a nice bonus when one is looking for an immune boost. Not only is it a potential boon to cardiovascular health, but it can aid in nutrient delivery to cells.
As always, though, we must ask if there are any caveats to these study results.
There almost always are.
While the results are all positive, it should be noted that the blood cell donors were all considered healthy. Additional studies on cells donated from donors considered unhealthy would be of great value.
Additionally, the study was done in vitro rather than in vivo, so a study done on actual human beings would provide great value in not only measuring olive leaf extract’s effectiveness, but also in determining appropriate dosages for different conditions.
With all that said, this is a great result for those of us looking to enhance our health and immunity in the face of contagious viruses or even possibly cancer.
So talk to your doctor to see if olive leaf extract is a supplement you should add to your daily routine and, if it is, the best and safest way to do so.
As always, here’s to your health!
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