Dry Olive Leaf Extract in Combination with Methotrexate Reduces Cell Damage in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients-A Pilot Study

Phytother Res. 2016 Oct;30(10):1615-1623. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5662. Epub 2016 Jun 7.


The effects of co-administration of dry olive leaf extract (DOLE) with standard methotrexate (MTX) therapy on the parameters of cell damage and inflammation in patients with early and long-term rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were evaluated at baseline, 3 and 6 weeks. Patients were assigned to groups: the early phase RA group on MTX monotherapy (E MTX), and the two RA groups that received co-treatment with DOLE and MTX: early (E MTX + DOLE) and long-term phase patients (L-t MTX+ DOLE). Baseline values indicated increased parameters of cell damage and disruption of redox balance in all groups. After three weeks the E MTX + DOLE group maintained high catalase activity, exhibited decrease of lipid peroxidation and protein damage indicators-thiols and nitrites, while levels of DNA damage and pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 were significantly reduced. In E MTX group catalase activity remained unaltered while significant lipid peroxidation and DNA damage reductions were seen only after six weeks. L-t MTX + DOLE group showed only modest alterations of cell damage parameters during six weeks. Combined administration of DOLE with MTX contributes to faster reduction of cell damage, restores oxidative balance and improves interleukin-6 suppression during high disease activity in early phase RA, but not in long term patients. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: cell damage; dry olive leaf extract; inflammation; methotrexate; oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Cell Death
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Methotrexate