Effects of the olive-derived polyphenol oleuropein on human health

Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Oct 14;15(10):18508-24. doi: 10.3390/ijms151018508.

Abstract

The use of the products derived from the olive tree on human health dates back centuries. In several civilizations, the olive tree had and still has a very strong cultural and religious symbolism. Notably, the official seal and emblem of the World Health Organization features the rod of Asclepius over a world map surrounded by olive tree branches, chosen as a symbol of peace and health. Recently, accumulating experimental, clinical and epidemiological data have provided support to the traditional beliefs of the beneficial effect provided by olive derivates. In particular, the polyphenols present in olive leaves, olives, virgin (unrefined) olive oil and olive mill waste are potent antioxidant and radical scavengers with anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we review the positive impact on human health of oleuropein, the most prevalent polyphenol present in olives. In addition, we provide data collected in our laboratory on the role of oleuropein in counteracting lipid accumulation in a mouse model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Iridoids / isolation & purification
  • Iridoids / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / drug therapy
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Polyphenols / isolation & purification
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology

Substances

  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Iridoids
  • Polyphenols
  • Protective Agents
  • oleuropein