Olive Leaf Extract Improves the Atherogenic Lipid Profile in Rats Fed a High Cholesterol Diet

Phytother Res. 2015 Oct;29(10):1652-7. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5445. Epub 2015 Aug 29.


Coronary heart disease because of atherosclerosis is still the most common cause of mortality. Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol are major risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the olive leaf extract on serum lipid profile, early changes of atherosclerosis and endothelium-dependent relaxations in cholesterol-fed rats. For this purpose, rats were fed by 2% cholesterol-enriched or standard chow for 8 weeks. Some rats in each group were also fed orally by olive leaf extract at doses of 50 or 100 mg/kg/day. Atorvastatin at dose of 20 mg/kg of body weight daily was also given as positive control. After 8 weeks, lipid profiles of rat serums were analyzed. Antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase) and degree of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde levels) were also measured in the hearts isolated from rats. In addition, expression of adhesion molecules and endothelium-dependent relaxations of isolated thoracic aortas of rats were evaluated. Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels were found to be increased in cholesterol-fed rats, and both doses of olive leaf extract and atorvastatin significantly decreased those levels. In conclusion, because the olive leaf extract attenuates the increased cholesterol levels, it may have beneficial effects on atherosclerosis.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; cholesterol; olive leaf; rat; statin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diet, Atherogenic
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Olea*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Plant Extracts
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Cholesterol
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase