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All,

 

Like Michael, I've got a huge backlog of posts I want to get to, and unlike Michael, I'm actually planning to get to them all. So I'm going to try to keep this one short. We'll see how that works out...

 

OK - I admit brewing olive oil is a strange idea, and really a misnomer. The title is an allusion to a similar thread about chocolate/cacao - So Why Don't We Brew Our Chocolate? Brewing chocolate, instead of eating it, is a practice I've engaged in since that thread began in November, in order to get the health-promoting phytonutrients in cacao without the calories, refined sugar, saturated fat or heavy metals (e.g. cadmium) that chocolate products generally contain.

 

Now, in researching this recent post for the cold exposure thread about the ability of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and olive leaf extract (OLE) to promote beneficial thermogenesis and the browning of white fat, I realized the same argument about brewing vs. eating can and perhaps should be made for olive polyphenols that I made for cacao polyphenols in the brewing chocolate thread. 

 

As we all know by now, EVOO may be one of the keys to the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, although it's merits relative to nuts & seeds is a perennial topic of debate on these forums. I personally come down on the side of nuts & seeds.

 

But one thing I believe everyone can agree on, is that, while the MUFA in EVOO is relatively harmless compared to other forms of fat, the real reason EVOO is considered healthy are all the polyphenols it contains. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Michael (and other extremely health conscious individuals) wouldn't touch refined olive oil (without the polyphenols but with the MUFA) with a 10-foot pole - the polyphenols are that critical to EVOO's benefits.

 

So if it's all about the polyphenols, why can't we get them without all the fat and calories of EVOO? It seems to me that we can, and in a form not much different in degree of refinement than EVOO.

 

How you ask?

 

Sure, we could eat olives. In fact store-bought olives have about 400mg/kg total polyphenols [1], higher than the minimum level Michael insists on for his high-quality, high-polyphenol EVOO (350 mg/kg). So if you aren't worried about the salt, store-bought olives might be a better option for getting your olive polyphenols, since kg-for-kg, calorie-for-calorie, and certainly dollar-for-dollar, they are a much better source of polyphenols.

 

But before you go out and raid the antipasto bar at your local supermarket, one other potential shortcoming of olives is the fact that olives appears to maintain the same (or better) total polyphenol content as EVOO, the curing process used to debitter olives shifts which polyphenols are present. In particular, curing reduces the (bitter tasting) polyphenol oleuropein which is high in fresh olives (and high-quality EVOO), and replace it with two other derivative polyphenols, hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol. 

 

I'm not totally sure if this polyphenol shift is a step down or a step up, but it certain is a change, and most of the evidence for benefits of EVOO seem to point to the oleuropein (see below). So eating olives isn't the equivalent of eating EVOO, in terms of polyphenols (or salt or fat, obviously).

 

So is there a better alternative to EVOO and olives that can provide the same (or higher) total polyphenol content, and in the same ratio as demonstrably healthy high-quality EVOO? Unfortunately, raw, uncured olives don't seem to be available, at least not on the biggest store in the world (Amazon). Anyone ever eaten them fresh off the tree? I bet they taste really bad.

 

But there may be a better alternative, in the form of olive leaves and olive leaf tea

 

Now would be a good time for anyone who hasn't read it to check out my recent post to the cold exposure thread about how olive polyphenols turn white fat cells to brown/beige, increasing thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, SIRT1 and AMPK as additional nice side effects. In short, olive polyphenols cured what ailed these white fat cells.

 

But what really caught my attention about that study (PMID 27303302), was the method they used to obtain the olive polyphenols. They took fresh picked olive leaves, dried them, soaked them in hot (80 °C) water for 24 hours, strained out the leaf solids, and then concentrated the resulting liquid by removing much of the water. to create Olive Leaf Extract (OLE).

 

In short, they made a tea from olive leaves, which they and others call Olive Leaf Extract (OLE).

 

How do the polyphenols concentration and ratio in OLE compare with high-quality EVOO? The details are in that post, so I won't repeat them here. But to summarize, unlike cured olives, but like EVOO, Oleuropein was the most abundant polyphenol in OLE, along with (apparently) all the other major polyphenols in EVOO. 

 

So how much polyphenols are there in OLE? The authors of that study found their olive leaf tea concentrate (OLE) contained 40mg of total phenolics per gram. That equates to 40,000mg/kg (40g/kg) of polyphenols, or about two orders of magnitude higher concentration of polyphenols in the OLE than in Michael's top-notch olive oils or in cured olives themselves. So OLE, at least the way these researchers prepared it, is pretty potent stuff - a little goes a long way!

 

So what about benefits of OLE vs. EVOO? As I discussed in detail in the cold exposure post above, OLE appears to boost BAT activity both in vitro and in vivo, just like EVOO.  It looks like the polyphenol oleuropein, rich in EVOO and especially rich in OLE, is where the cardioprotective and neuroprotective effects come from [3]. LEF has a good review article with references to all the benefits of OLE and oleuropein, including improvements in blood pressure, arterial health, brain health, diabetes risk, cancer risk, and arthritis.

 

But you might be saying - I like to eat whole foods, and olive leaf extract doesn't seem to qualify. Obviously EVOO, even of highest quality, isn't a whole food either. In fact, EVOO and OLE are quite similar, except the former has a lot more fat. And clearly green tea, coffee, or cocoa powder aren't whole foods either, but people around here generally consider them quite healthy.

 

You may be saying by now "OK Dean, you've piqued my interest. How can I get my hands on some of this OLE stuff?"

 

Not surprisingly, LEF and other nutraceutical vendors sells it in capsule form. For $0.36, one LEF OLE capsule contains 80mg of oleuropein among other polyphenols, the equivalent amount in about 200ml of the very highest quality EVOO, according to this table. That amount of high-quality EVOO will cost you about $8, and 1800 calories. Seems like a pretty good bargain to me...

 

For those of you (like me) who'd rather not get your nutrition from pills if you can help it, you can buy dried olive leaves inexpensively in whole or powder form, for making tea. 

 

One benefit of being so busy posting about other topics, is that this post about OLE was delayed for a few days since I made the post over on the cold exposure thread which brought OLE to my attention. That gave me time to put my money where my mouth is, by ordering, receiving and testing out the Frontier organic whole olive leaf powder linked to above.

 

All I can say is that if oleuropein is what makes EVOO and OLE bitter (and healthy), this stuff has a lot of oleuropein! Eating even a tiny pinch straight is not pleasant - to put it mildly.

 

Fortunately as we saw above, it doesn't take much. I'm now adding just a pinch per day of olive leaf powder to my coffee/tea/cacao concoction, which has enough flavors in it that I don't even notice the OLE's unpleasant taste. Plus by cold brewing it overnight, warm brewing it briefly in the morning, and filtering the heck out of it, I'm eliminating any nastiness left in the solids. The powder I purchased are supposed to be from organic olive leaves, but who knows... Just like with cadmium from the soil in cacao, lead in tea leaves etc.

 

In summary, if you are interested in the benefits of the highest quality olive oil, without the financial or calorie burden, you might seriously consider olive leaf extract or olive leaf tea as alternatives.

 

I'm curious, has anyone else tried olive leaf products, and if so (or even if not), what do you think? 

 

--Dean

 

---------

[1] J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Feb 11;52(3):479-84.

 
Effect of cultivar and processing method on the contents of polyphenols in table 
olives.
 
Romero C(1), Brenes M, Yousfi K, García P, García A, Garrido A.
 
Author information: 
(1)Food Biotechnology Department, Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Avenida Padre
García Tejero 4, Seville, Spain.
 
 
 
Polyphenols were determined by HPLC in the juice and oil of packed table olives. 
The phenolic compositions of the two phases were very different, hydroxytyrosol
and tyrosol being the main polyphenols in olive juice and tyrosol acetate,
hydroxtyrosol acetate, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and lignans (1-acetoxypinoresinol
and pinoresinol) in oil. The type of processing had a marked influence on the
concentration of polyphenols in olive juice and little on the content in oil. The
analyses carried out on 48 samples showed that turning color olives in brine had 
the highest concentration in polyphenols ( approximately 1200 mg/kg), whereas
oxidized olives had the lowest ( approximately 200 mg/kg). Among olive cultivars,
Manzanilla had a higher concentration than Hojiblanca and Gordal. The type of
olive presentation also influenced the concentration of polyphenols in olives,
decreasing in the order plain > pitted > stuffed. The results obtained in this
work indicate that table olives can be considered a good source of phenolic
antioxidants, although their concentration depends on olive cultivar and
processing method.
 
PMID: 14759136
 
-----------
[2] J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Jul 25;60(29):7081-95. doi: 10.1021/jf3017699. Epub 2012

Jul 11.

Factors influencing phenolic compounds in table olives (Olea europaea).

Charoenprasert S(1), Mitchell A.

Author information:
(1)Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, One
Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, United States.

The Mediterranean diet appears to be associated with a reduced risk of several
chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular and Alzheimer's diseases.
Olive products (mainly olive oil and table olives) are important components of
the Mediterranean diet. Olives contain a range of phenolic compounds; these
natural antioxidants may contribute to the prevention of these chronic
conditions. Consequently, the consumption of table olives and olive oil continues
to increase worldwide by health-conscious consumers. There are numerous factors
that can affect the phenolics in table olives including the cultivar, degree of
ripening, and, importantly, the methods used for curing and processing table
olives. The predominant phenolic compound found in fresh olive is the bitter
secoiridoid oleuropein. Table olive processing decreases levels of oleuropein
with concomitant increases in the hydrolysis products hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol.
Many of the health benefits reported for olives are thought to be associated with
the levels of hydroxytyrosol. Herein the pre- and post-harvest factors
influencing the phenolics in olives, debittering methods, and health benefits of
phenolics in table olives are reviewed.

PMID: 22720792

 

---------

[3] Saudi Pharm J. 2010 Jul;18(3):111-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jsps.2010.05.005. Epub 2010 

May 31.
 
Cardioprotective and neuroprotective roles of oleuropein in olive.
 
Omar SH(1).
 
Author information: 
(1)College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, P.O. Box 31922, Buraidah-51418, Saudi 
Arabia.
 
Traditional diets of people living in the Mediterranean basin are, among other
components, very rich in extra-virgin olive oil, the most typical source of
visible fat. Olive is a priceless source of monounsaturated and di-unsaturated
fatty acids, polyphenolic antioxidants and vitamins. Oleuropein is the main
glycoside in olives and is responsible for the bitter taste of immature and
unprocessed olives. Chemically, oleuropein is the ester of elenolic acid and
3,4-dihydroxyphenyl ethanol, which possesses beneficial effects on human health, 
such as antioxidant, antiatherogenic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and
antimicrobial properties. The phenolic fraction extracted from the leaves of the 
olive tree, which contains significant amounts of oleuropein, prevents
lipoprotein oxidation. In addition, oleuropein has shown cardioprotective effect 
against acute adriamycin cardiotoxicity and an anti-ischemic and hypolipidemic
activities. Recently, oleuropein has shown neuroprotection by forming a
non-covalent complex with the Aβ peptide, which is a key hallmark of several
degenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson. Thus, a large mass of
research has been accumulating in the area of olive oil, in the attempt to
provide evidence for the health benefits of olive oil consumption and to
scientifically support the widespread adoption of traditional Mediterranean diet 
as a model of healthy eating. These results provide a molecular basis for some of
the benefits potentially coming from oleuropein consumption and pave the way to
further studies on the possible pharmacological use of oleuropein to prevent or
to slow down the cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
 
PMCID: PMC3730992
PMID: 23964170
 

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I've tried a few bottles intermittently of Gaia's olive leaf extract, but it's expensive, and I "felt nothing" from it. So motivation sorta sags. I also tried opening capsules of store shelf OLE (whole foods brand) and dumping contents into high poly Amphora Nueva olive oil, and also "felt nothing." I suspect olive oil is much too complicated to be reduced to any one component. And I thought its fat was "healthy" -- or does healthy just mean healthier than saturated fat?

 

I'm not sure what I'm supposed "to feel," by experimenting with stuff like this (phenibut, anyone?) but you'll admit feeling is a motivating factor to continue behavior (chocolate, coffee) and what's supposed to be healthy? I'll probably try buying olive leaves, too, wtf. But remember this game with hibiscus flowers? I bought some organic hibiscus, and then, oops, it turns out they evidently have aluminum problems. I bought some Amla, too, and add that into smoothies sometimes. I grind flaxseed and chia seed. I grind cocao nibs. I eat goji berries. I eat beans, greens, berries... Vegan... I doubt I'm healthier than anyone else although it occupies more of my time than anyone I know (other than online peeps)...

 

It's hard to know what to do once we're beyond the basics.

Edited by Sthira

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Sthira,

 

... but you'll admit feeling is a motivating factor to continue behavior (chocolate, coffee)...

 

Actually I won't admit that. I don't feel anything from any specific foods, not even coffee (23andMe says I'm a fast caffeine metabolizer). I do feel better eating a generally healthy diet than when I eat too much of something crappy (which is extremely rare these days, like when on vacation). But other than that, I don't notice any difference when eating particular foods, or even taking particular supplements. I think I did gain a couple pounds of mostly muscle when I started creatine supplements a month or two ago. Other than that, I see no effects of supplement either. I guess I just go with the science as best I can, and keep my fingers crossed...

 

--Dean

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Great thread, Dean. I love "combining" for efficiency and occasional synergy (jog + learn a foreign language, brush teeth + balance + neuro-train etc.) and this hits the spot: coffee+cocao+tea+olive leaves - perhaps one could even add to this with some research. One concern I have in such situations, is that if one is anticipating synergistic effects, it is just as likely that counterproductive interactions are also possible. I guess it's not likely that one would come across studies that examine coffee+cocao and even less likely +tea+olive leaves, which means that we are necessarily gambling here. Even "age old" practices are no guarantee of safety or effectiveness - just because "it's how these are taken in this population" does not mean it makes sense; a good example: there is a time honored practice of taking milk in ones tea (especially the Brits), which just so happens to bind to the health-promoting phytochemicals in tea rendering them useless. Who knows what happens when you generate a witches brew like Dean proposes :)... I still love the idea!

 

On a more practical note, how do you dose your witches brew with olive leaf powder? The LEF supplement you linked to features "olive extract (leaf)", which is not the same as "olive leaf powder" - it may (and probably does) simply mean olive leaf extract. Therefore you can't extrapolate from that to how much oleuropein there will be in a given amount of olive leaf powder. Anyhow, sorry to always obsess about protocol, but I think it's worth developing a protocol for the witches brew with amounts, steeping time, manner of preparation and consumption etc., with a view if not to optimizing, to at least knowing what one is doing and how it fits into ones overall health practices.

 

Btw. is it OK to christen this, in honor of Dean, as Dean's Witches Brew? If it's OK with Dean, I'd like to propose that, so we will know what we are referring to :)

 

Additional note: since Dean's linking of the Frontier powder on Amazon, it's gone up in price from roughly $24-$25 to over $30... so don't be obsessed with buying it from Amazon, there are better prices for exactly the same product elsewhere.

 

Finally, if more people than me like the whole idea of "combining" for efficiency if not synergy in one's health practices, perhaps a new thread could be started where we exchange helpful practices of combining to inspire and inform?

Edited by TomBAvoider

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Tom,

 

You're right that I don't know about optimal dosing of olive leaf powder (OLP) or olive leaf extract (OLE) for that matter. I do think they are different though - OLP is just the dried leaves. OLE is the dried leaves after they've been warm brewed, filtered and then distilled down to a very thick fluid, at least as far as I understand it. I can see no easy way to translate the results from OLE exactly into dosage or preparation method for OLP.

 

On both this thread and especially the whole body vibration thread (where later today I'm planning to respond to your latest terrific post - thanks!)  you've demonstrated an admirable meticulousness regarding details and protocols. As you may have noticed, I'm more of a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kinda guy ☺. In this vein, my practice is to throw in between ½ and 1 tsp of OLP into my "Witches Brew", a name I like and appreciate, and which currently contains the following:

  • Coffee (medium ground, dark roast) - 40g
  • Cacao Beans (raw & roasted, ground like coffee) - 20g
  • Green Tea - 5g
  • Chai (Black) Tea - 4g
  • Rooibos Tea - 2g
  • Amla Powder - 2g
  • Olive Leaf Powder - 2g

​I mix these gnarly ingredients together (along with a stray puppy dog tail when I can get my hands on one ☺), into 5 cups (1200 ml) of distilled water, which I cold brew on my countertop overnight (~18h), and then heat for 6min in the microwave on high (which brings it to ~175 °F). I then leave it to warm-brew on the countertop for a couple hours, then filter the heck out of it to remove all particulates1 and store it in the fridge to consume cold over the course of the day with a little lemon juice and stevia for flavor. But be warned, it probably tastes like crap, but the stevia and lemon juice make it tolerable. ☺

 

Is this protocol in any way optimal? Almost certainly not. It would be the most incredible coincidence if it were. Time will tell whether it helps me live for ever, or grows warts on my nose and kills me dead. In the later case, at least I'll have documented what I did so others can learn from my tragic mistake(s). ☺

 

Thanks for the heads up on the Frontier OLP price increase on Amazon. I'll shop around when I eventually (probably 1-year+) run out of what I purchased. 

 

I too like (and frequently practice) the general idea of "combining" for efficiency, synergy, as well as diversity and to minimize exposure risk, points I've made previously on the In Praise of Dietary Diversity thread. An obvious additional example in my case is pedalling at my bike desk for exercise while penning all these posts, not to mention combining cold exposure (e.g. the cold vest I'm wearing now while pedaling) with (net) calorie restriction to leverage the several synergies between them (discussed here, here and here). 

 

I would, of course ☺, find something to say on a new thread devoted to discussing the idea of "combining" in one's health practices. And obviously example abound. But given the many ways of combining a wide range of different foods and behaviors, I'm not sure it would be very easy to say much that is sensible about the idea in a generic way. One thing we could do is make a list of combining practices we engage in and the motivation for doing so. Alternatively or in addition, we could make sure that when we post about a form of combining, we use the word "combining" as a keyword for the thread, or in the body of the post. Obviously the word "combining" is a fairly common word used in other contexts. Perhaps we could use a more obscure word with a similar meaning as a marker for discussions about this kind of practice. Perhaps "conjoining"?

 

--Dean

 

1After all, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the particulate (actually, 'precipitate', but close enough...) ☺

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Dean, I find amusing we can now poke fun at (with you) - it looks like technically you do not fast completely between daily meals given the ( minuscule, probably trial and not material) calorie between meals with your lemon water.

 

With your rigorous pursuit of evidence and optimizing, have you encountered data besides low stable blood glucose maintained after your sips of lemon water, that imbibing lemon lemon water does not matter with regard to autophagy. I suppose to biggest forest through the trees response is that you practice not only IF but more importantly CR and all your biomarkers continue to look great, so it does not really matter (except that low IGF-1 may promote atherosclerosis? )

 

I find this thread interesting giving a sense of variate practices here. I shy away from powders favoring the benefits of the whole foods.

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Mechanism,

 

Poke (fun) away! Nobody's ever been stopping you - at least on my account. I don't really count a couple teaspoons of lemon juice (~ 2 calories worth, according to CRON-o-meter) in the 20oz of water I drink in the morning before breakfast, not to mention the 'witch's brew' (with lemon juice) that I sip for much of the day as breaking my long daily fast. I've seen some evidence of benefits from lemon water, but I'm not sure how much stock to put in them. I know Paul McGlothin swears be pre-meal lemon juice for improved glucose control, but I've never really documented it myself. I just find lemon juice improves the flavor of just about any liquid I'm drinking.

 

I shy away from powders favoring the benefits of the whole foods. 

 

Note - olive leaf powder is the whole food, just in dried and powdered form. It's little different (in my usage of it anyway) from buying dried olive leaves (or dried green tea leaves for that matter) and steeping them in water, filtering and then consuming the resulting liquid as tea. I figure the surface area of the powder is greater than dried leaves, and so I'll likely to get a more thorough extraction of polyphenols using OLP. But that's just a guess. The 5x I filter the final product to remove the particulates at the end of my brewing process ensures I'm not getting much (if any) of the actual solids from the OLP in my final brew - hopefully just the polyphenols. That's the theory anyway, same as with brewing coffee, tea, or especially analogous, cacao rather than eating the cacao as nibs, cocoa powder, or (vegan) dark chocolate.

 

--Dean

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Just having fun Dean, we both know at those calorie levels it is inconsequential with the lemon water.  Just curious if you lit searched it and found something interesting since so much of your personal practices are "evidence based" when evidence can be found.  Of course the strongest argument (not that one is needed) is you do a CR (sort of, I read your high calories / high exercise to create energy deficit theory) in addition to some form of IF, so it is really the CR that counts.  That being the case, your biomarkers speak for themselves. 

 

Very close to whole foods indeed.  I think of it as a spectrum of processing, some of which has the potential to even help in some cases and ways ( such as heating, if it is fair to call that processing, which improves caretenoid absorption).  I have consumed juiced products in small amounts on occasion in the past (though I try to avoid too much and would take a green smoothie over a fruit one any day of the week due to the glycemic index potentiation - I still have a green no-fruit form at Life Alive on occasion...) which resemble these options you mention along the minimally processed spectrum however, even juicing can have issues above and beyond keeping the fiber - I found that article I link to in this paragraph fascinating the way nitrates can mix with oral bacteria with chewing in a way the juicing does not quite capture.

 

The primary concern of powders over brewing methods of "light processing" if this secondarily promotes ultra-concentration of the product far beyond "natural consumption."  Powdering the entire food keeps it whole in some senses not eliminating potentially beneficial ingredients while hedging potentially harmful products limited to some degree since they are not concentrated relative to the other ingredients in making "whole powders."  However even if the relative amount of these compounds remains at the same ratio as in the original food, if making the powder concentrates all components in proportion this could in theory permit one agent's quantity to be too high in absolute (as opposed to relative) terms.  This is different than, but not a completely different than say, too high vitamin levels of one type overwhelming others as was suggested by some vitamin RCTs.  Even a "portfolio" of nutrients in one food may not be optimal: blueberries are great, but if you could concentrate it 1000 fold with zero calories I would not supplement with an unlimited quantity as I can not safely predict it's pharmacodynamics, pharmokinetics, interaction with other compounds, etc.  I know you are well aware of this as highlighted in your excellent thread on diversification of food sources.

 

Finally when I look at Blue Zone societies, and I see individuals living into the extremes who never used a powder, philosophically I question the risk/benefit profile of incorporating powders which at face value one could argue are more likely to have marginal and incremental returns (if that) in the context of a WFPB diet -- yet with the liability of more uncertainty in the downside risk of an outlier practice without long-term historical data on it's impact on morbidity and other important outcomes.

Edited by Mechanism

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Mechanism,

 

You and TomB like to be conservative, at least when it comes to diet and lifestyle choices. I can certainly respect that. And while I too am (or try to be) evidence-based, I'm more of an extremist gambler. I'm willing to go out on a limb for a worthy cause of (self-)discovery and experimentation, at least in certain instances.

 

Live healthy forever with vibrant enthusiasm, or at least die trying. That's my motto.

 

--Dean

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Well put Dean. Following evidence which is often scant, and interpretation, it often comes down to values & temperaments. It is great you know thysef, this insight can be empowering. Your N=1 experiments in the health frontier, shared with generosity and rigor have been interesting, insightful, and helpful as additional data points in our own journeys.

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Dean’s Witches Brew

 

I just received my Frontier Certified Organic Olive Leaf Powder. Dean has provided fantastic info about his brewing methods and ingredient quantities, but true to form, I can’t leave well enough alone. For me the next questions are about proper storage and viability. After all, we are very careful in storing our flax seed, olive oil etc., so I assume this is a question to be addressed. Incidentally, I seem to recall in another thread, Dean posted some information to the effect that f.ex. cocoa beans can be stored pretty much forever without losing potency. 

 

On the package I received, I see stamped “Best by Jan 2019” - I really don’t know what this is based upon, and I don’t see any storage instructions after opening or before for that matter (also unfortunately my seller decided to put a big sticker I can’t remove over part of the label, so maybe instructions are hiding underneath).

 

Fatty acids are generally prone to rancidity, which is why I was surprised to see the coffee bean stability, but if you are separating the FA anyhow (through paper filters), I can see how that might not be relevant. I don’t know what the situation is with olive leaf powder.

 

I looked at the literature, and it seems that for both the extract and the powder, whatever losses in potency (anti-oxidant and total phenolic content) occur, happen in the initial drying and extracting process (about 10% each), and the subsequent storage temperature did not affect either in phenolic content - at least during the 4 week period studied, according to this:

 


 

Now, at first blush it would seem that you can just store the powder at room temperature (instead of f.ex. the freezer), as whatever damage was done, was already done at the drying and extraction stage. However, that does not address the oxygen and light question. Do we need to store the powder in vacuum sealed bags? Away from the light?

 

Anyhow, in my research I came across an absolutely remarkable paper - and in bizarre form too, if you follow the link to the pdf - where they actually used a coffee maker to extract powdered leaf samples! The whole paper is nothing short of amazing - a true treasure and mandatory reading for those of us who intend to use this for health purposes, as this is the very object of this paper:

 


 

The results in this paper were quite depressing. It appears that there can be super wide variety in oleuropein levels in various commercially available powder products, partially dependent on handling - for example, if fresh leaves are frozen and then thawed they can lose 95.4% of their oleuropein content, and air-drying above room temperature can also drastically impact content. Some of the commercial samples they examined had only trace oleuropein left. Makes one wonder what we got with the Frontier product…

 

Funnily enough, there are some olive trees growing in our neighborhood… all this makes me wonder if I shouldn’t just pick up a bunch and dry them at room temperature and macerate them on my own… I’m only kidding a little, concerned as I am that any olive trees growing around here will be saturated with heavy metals and all sorts of pollutants commonly found in urban environments, especially with road traffic etc. - so both soil and air. I suppose if I had the funds, I’d send them to a lab for measurements.

 

In fact, room temperature drying is what they recommend:

 

“The best method for processing and storage of olive leaves for

extraction of oleuropein and other polyphenols is simply drying

the leaves at room temperatures (25°C), that gave full recoveries

of oleuropein and verbascoside and about 29 and 42% losses in

luteolin-7-0-glucoside and luteolin-4-0-glucoside, respectively

(Fig. 2). Thus, drying olive leaves at room temperature may be an

adequate and the most convenient method for commercial or

consumer purposes (also for researchers primarily interested in

oleuropein) because oleuropein is the most important and the

major polyphenol in olive leaves 9; in fact, most commercial

preparations of olive leaves or extracts only provide data for

oleuropein content (Table 1). Considering that oleuropein levels

matched perfectly with the claimed values on some commercial

products (that are generally stored at room temperature for years)

supports the view that simple drying and storage at room

temperature would be ideal for taking advantage of health benefits

from polyphenols in olive leaves (Table 1). The nearly 20% higher

extractability of oleuropein and verbascoside in samples dried at

room temperature is perhaps due to fineness of the leaf powder

produced from dried leaves compared to frozen leaves under

identical pulverizing conditions (Fig. 2). While simple drying of

olive leaves seems ideal for most useful purposes, the frozen fresh

procedure described above may still be the method of choice for

researchers interested in luteolin derivatives or in total

polyphenols profiles.”

 

And furthermore, it takes 2 days to dry at room temperature, and trying to speed up the process by as little as elevating the temperature to 60 degrees Celsius resulted in an immediate loss of 50% of most of the polyphenols.

 

Furthermore, unlike the previous paper, the research here indicates that certain polyphenols are lost in storage at room temperature very rapidly (f.ex. 100% of luteolin is lost after 17 days).

 

One thing is clear: whatever you do, don’t store your olive leaves in the freezer!

 

That makes me wonder even more about how Frontier came by their leaf powder - perhaps Dean can pull some strings (having worked on driverless cars) and find out? 

 

Another paper on the mechanism of degradation: PMID: 25577121 Evidence of oleuropein degradation by olive leaf protein extract.

 

In trying to hunt down more information about dosage and usage protocols, I have not come across results that I would consider properly vetted, though there are websites dedicated to the medicinal use of olive leaf (including olive leaf tea):

 


 

Meanwhile these guys have taken a crack at trying to identify olive leaf extract benefits - at least they cite specific studies:

 


 

For now, as with Whole Body Vibration, I’m not using the olive leaf powder until I get more clarity about risks, benefits and specific protocols. My research continues (shaving the yak).

 

However, I am very curious about how others approach at least this part of the question: storage and optimal method of ingestion (many folks out there actually consume the raw powder in shakes!) - as boiling in water vs coffee maker hot brewing vs cold brewing all deserve careful consideration. 

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Thanks Tom,

 

As usual - you've got questions, we've got no answers. ☺

 

What strings could my background with driverless cars would allow me to pull that someone else couldn't?

 

For now I'm sticking with my usage of OLP in the "witch's brew" as described above, pending (your) further research, or feedback from others.

 

--Dean

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What strings could my background with driverless cars would allow me to pull that someone else couldn't?

 

Note that this is Dean's Witches Brew, so my mentioning your work with driverless cars meant to function as an invocation. Similar how to it worked with WBV, when I invoked your involvement with driverless cars, you woke up at night with an excellent idea and solved our problem of measuring the output of the machine. I think a similar thing will happen here, because again, this is not a trivial question - given the danger that we might be getting next to none of the polyphenols (see the paper which showed massive loss of oleuropein of 95%) if the leaves have not been handled properly, I'd think you'd certainly want to know if what you purchased actually delivers on that score (otherwise you may as well brew sawdust).

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Tom,

 

Since I haven't been getting any olive oil polyphenols in many years, having eschewing OO in favor of nuts/seeds, I'm not terribly concerned that my OLP may be somewhat (or even largely) depleted of polyphenols.

 

In the case of whole body vibration therapy, we were (note - past tense) concerned about possible dangers of excess vibration and there was an engineering solution that I could implement to test for said danger.

 

In the case of OLP (as well as WBV), the question of potency / effectiveness is a whole lot harder to answer, requiring a lot more equipment than a smartphone, and in the case of OLP, a lot more knowledge about spectroscopy etc. than I have!

 

As I said, I'm looking forward to your continued research on the topic.

 

--Dean

 

P.S.

 

... my mentioning your work with driverless cars meant to function as an invocation.

 

Speaking of driverless cars, tragic but inevitable news from Tesla today, which I unfortunately predicted. I sold my Tesla stock months ago in anticipation... It sometimes sucks to be right:

 

Tesla falls as feds investigate fatal crash of Model S in self-driving mode

 

Tesla's Official Blog: A Tragic Loss

 

Apparently the Tesla was in autopilot mode and the driver was obviously not paying attention since neither of them saw the tractor trailer stretching across the divided highway they were traveling on. The Tesla slammed into the tractor trailer broadside, and went underneath it due to the trailer's height. You can imagine the gruesome result. Truly tragic, but it won't be the last time driverless cars end up killing someone, unfortunately. The singularity / robopocalypse may closer than they appears...

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Fair enough, Dean. I realize it's beyond anyone's toolset to actually test these compounds, so I was hoping to reach some conclusions by proxy from the info about how they handle their leaves, as that has strong impact on the polyphenol count. Perhaps I'll shoot an email to Frontier, but I don't have high hopes, as I'm sure it's all down to some supplier way down the chain and Frontier themselves are clueless at best. I'm looking into some other areas that might bring greater clarity to these questions, but it'll take some time. Thank you for bringing our attention to OLP and OLE, it looks like it could be a good resource to throw into the mix.

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Almost a decade ago, I used to take a supplement called Olivenol - which is essentially the olive fruit extract (though a different supplier than Sirtuin linked to above). I stopped taking it, when I came across evidence that the key ingredient in that supplement - Hydroxytyrosol - which is also highlighted in Sirtuin's supplement link, showed itself to have negative health consequences when taken in isolation from EVOO. Sadly, I cannot now locate the study I relied on :(

 

Separately, I also remember Michael Rae discussing olive leaf extract supplementation on the CR list (which was a different discussion than the OFF LIST one I had with him, and which I will not reference, in keeping with his wishes) - for anyone who wants to search for that discussion in the archives, it's from 5/12/12 titled "[CR] Olive leaf extract - WAS Re: Where to purchase top quality olive oil" - everything old is new again, as so often with supplements and the discussions surrounding them. Along the same lines, here's an interview with a scientist in connection with the EU regulations about health claims connected to olive oil and olive products (note the prominence of Hydroxytyrosol again):

 

Think Twice About Antioxidant Claims

 

For more fun PMID: 16873395, has this conclusion re: supplementing with hydroxytyrosol out of its natural matrix in EVOO etc. (caveat PMID:12888646: lab rats)"These results indicate that administration of hydroxytyrosol in low cholesterol diets increases atherosclerotic lesion associated with the degree of monocyte activation and remodelling of plasma lipoproteins. Our data supports the concept that phenolic-enriched products, out of the original matrix, could be not only non useful but also harmful. Our results suggest that the formulation of possible functional foods should approximate as much as possible the natural environment in which active molecules are found."

 

Bottom line here is that there are risks associated with taking supra-doses of isolated nutrients or taking them in a form which we have not evolved to handle (such as olive leaf extract). Dean's Witches Brew has its risks, and is not for the faint of heart. Now, that doesn't mean I am advocating against it - far from it, just cautioning that there are risks we must always be cognizant of. I know Dean finds my what he calls "ultraconservative" stance of "primum non nocere" rather excessive if not even annoying, but then, my caution regularly pays off even for Dean (as when I questioned him about this lecithin supplementation on 07/23/04 - think of all that TMOA!). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In any case, 

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Almost a decade ago, I used to take a supplement called Olivenol - which is essentially the olive fruit extract (though a different supplier than Sirtuin linked to above). I stopped taking it, when I came across evidence that the key ingredient in that supplement - Hydroxytyrosol - which is also highlighted in Sirtuin's supplement link, showed itself to have negative health consequences when taken in isolation from EVOO. Sadly, I cannot now locate the study I relied on :(

 

Separately, I also remember Michael Rae discussing olive leaf extract supplementation on the CR list (which was a different discussion than the OFF LIST one I had with him, and which I will not reference, in keeping with his wishes) - for anyone who wants to search for that discussion in the archives, it's from 5/12/12 titled "[CR] Olive leaf extract - WAS Re: Where to purchase top quality olive oil" - everything old is new again, as so often with supplements and the discussions surrounding them. Along the same lines, here's an interview with a scientist in connection with the EU regulations about health claims connected to olive oil and olive products (note the prominence of Hydroxytyrosol again):

 

Think Twice About Antioxidant Claims

 

For more fun PMID: 16873395, has this conclusion re: supplementing with hydroxytyrosol out of its natural matrix in EVOO etc. (caveat PMID:12888646: lab rats)"These results indicate that administration of hydroxytyrosol in low cholesterol diets increases atherosclerotic lesion associated with the degree of monocyte activation and remodelling of plasma lipoproteins. Our data supports the concept that phenolic-enriched products, out of the original matrix, could be not only non useful but also harmful. Our results suggest that the formulation of possible functional foods should approximate as much as possible the natural environment in which active molecules are found."

 

Bottom line here is that there are risks associated with taking supra-doses of isolated nutrients or taking them in a form which we have not evolved to handle (such as olive leaf extract). Dean's Witches Brew has its risks, and is not for the faint of heart. Now, that doesn't mean I am advocating against it - far from it, just cautioning that there are risks we must always be cognizant of. I know Dean finds my what he calls "ultraconservative" stance of "primum non nocere" rather excessive if not even annoying, but then, my caution regularly pays off even for Dean (as when I questioned him about this lecithin supplementation on 07/23/04 - think of all that TMOA!). 

Ah, that is concerning.  This was a recent review (just published yesterday) in Nature on the topic of nutraceutical therapies for atherosclerosis:

http://www.nature.com/nrcardio/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nrcardio.2016.103.html

 

Across the studies (largely animal based?), hydroxytyrosol reduced expression of the proinflammatory adhesion proteins and inflammatory markers, raised plasma HDL levels and lowered plasma LDL levels and total cholesterol levels, attenuated atherosclerosis disease development, reduced subclinical atherosclerosis in high risk patients, improved endothelial function, reduced serum oxLDL levels, and reduced the risk of cardiovascular event.

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TomB,

 

Thanks for the very helpful info, and you too Sirtuin.

 

I was amused by this rather self-serving quote from the Olive Oil Times article you linked to:

 

Olive oil not only has hydroxytyrosol in it but a natural blend of other compounds, and humans evolved consuming foods like olive oil. 

 

I can just imagine our paleolithic (to say nothing of our miscenic) ancestors on the African savannah squeezing olives with their bare hands or crushing them with their stone tools to extract the oil and then throw out the meat - assuming olive trees were growing where our ancestors evolved!

 

But seriously, your (and Michael's) concern about olive leaf extract (and by induction powder), are well taken. Thanks for the link to Michael's old post on the topic. Since he so cryptically requested you not share what he sent you recently in email, and hasn't (yet) chimed in on this thread, I'm going to quote from his post to the old email list as a substitute. Michael wrote:

 

Yes, we've been eating the leaves of SOME plants for milennia, but that 
doesn't mean that the leaves of OTHER plants are healthy or safe. 
Howzabout a nice locoweed, Latana, and azalea leaf salad? Certainly, I 
don't know of any evidence that olive leaf are either acutely toxic or 
have specific long-term health risks -- but I don't know of any contrary 
evidence, either, and plenty of plants have some parts that are safe to 
eat and others that aren't. One certainly can't say, as a blanket 
staement, that because some leaves are healthful, others are too.
 
Second, just because some food containing a nutrient is healthful, 
doesn't mean that some isolating principle taken out of it is -- or that 
it's safe to consume doses far higher than are present in a normal diet. 
We've been down this road over and over: beta-carotene, 
alpha-tocopherol, selenium, possibly folic acid ...
 
Olive leaf extract also does not reflect the profile of polyphenols of 
real extra-virgin olive oil, which is the actual food that has the 
proper, long-term epidemiological and other data to support actual 
health benefits in terms of disease outcomes. Yes, olive leaf extract 
contains oleuropein, but it also contains dozens of other phenolics not 
present in the leaf extract, and it contains them in a complex mixture 
with tocopherols, carotenoids, squalene, and chlorophylls.
 
Taking oleuropein in an olive leaf pill also doesn't reflect the fact 
that oleuropein (and the other olive oil phenolics the extract doesn't 
contain) are embedded in the oil matrix, which may be one of the reasons 
for their benefits (by keeping the oil from peroxidizing, eg, or 
preserving some OTHER bioactive that actually delivers the real benefits).
 
The difference in matrix also affects how the polyphenols themselves are 
metabolized. Taking a supplement of one such phenolic is not equivalent 
to consuming an oil that contains it from the get-go: for instance, even 
when the olive oil polyphenol hydroxytyrosol is added to an oil that 
didn't originally contain it -- which is much closer, delivery-wise, to 
getting it in olive oil than is just popping a pill -- the 
bioavailability is only half as much as it is from the same amount of 
hyroxytyrosol naturally present in extra-virgin olive oil, based on 
urinary excretion.(1)
 
But the key point is that there is actual evidence of LONG-TERM health 
benefits from consuming large amounts of olive oil, and none (or nothing 
worth paying attention to) for olive leaf extract.
 
-Michael
 
1: Visioli F, Galli C, Grande S, Colonnelli K, Patelli C, Galli G, Caruso D.
Hydroxytyrosol excretion differs between rats and humans and depends on the
vehicle of administration. J Nutr. 2003 Aug;133(8):2612-5. PubMed PMID: 
 
Both you and Michael are right, that it is only high-polyphenol olive oil, and not olive leaf products, that has been consumed long-term by humans, and more importantly, been shown to be health-promoting. This fact, coupled with evidence in atherosclerosis-prone APOE-deficient mice that isolated hydroxytyrosol (one of the polyphenols in EVOO) may actually be deleterious for cardiovascular health when ingested in high concentration, without the naturally accompanying OO, and in combination with a low-cholesterol diet [1], definitely gives me pause.
 
In fact, it's sufficient evidence for me to remove olive leaf powder from my witches brew.
 
Thanks for bringing this to my attention Tom. And thanks even more for your questioning my lecithin supplement in 2004 - that would have been a lot of TMAO in the subsequent 12 years if I'd continued it! I don't have the email records (or recollection) from that long ago. Was I as receptive and open-minded about your criticism of my regime then as I am now? I'm very curious to see what our exchange was like from back then if you'd care to post it, or email it to me privately if you'd prefer.
 
I may not be as risk averse as you are Tom, but when credible evidence is available to suggest caution, I'm more than happy to change my perspective and my practice as a result. In fact, that's what these forums are for - bouncing diet and lifestyle ideas off smart and knowledgeable people so we can hopefully all be the healthier for it!
 
--Dean
 
--------
[1] J Biochem. 2006 Sep;140(3):383-91. Epub 2006 Jul 27.
 
Hydroxytyrosol administration enhances atherosclerotic lesion development in apo 
E deficient mice.
 
Acín S(1), Navarro MA, Arbonés-Mainar JM, Guillén N, Sarría AJ, Carnicer R, Surra
JC, Orman I, Segovia JC, Torre Rde L, Covas MI, Fernández-Bolaños J,
Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Osada J.
 
Author information: 
(1)Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular y Celular, Facultad de
Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza.
 
Hydroxytyrosol is a phenol found in olive oil. To verify the effect of
hydroxytyrosol on the development of atherosclerosis, two groups of apo E
deficient male mice on a standard chow diet were used: the control group
receiving only water, and the second group an aqueous solution of hydroxytyrosol 
in order to provide a dose of 10 mg/kg/day to each mouse. This treatment was
maintained for 10 weeks. At the moment of sacrifice, blood was drawn and heart
removed. Plasma lipids, apolipoproteins and monocyte Mac-1 expression were
assayed as well as aortic atherosclerotic areas in both groups. Data showed no
significant changes in HDL cholesterol, paraoxonase, apolipoprotein B or
triglyceride levels. However, hydroxytyrosol administration decreased
apolipoprotein A-I and increased total cholesterol, atherosclerotic lesion areas 
and circulating monocytes expressing Mac-1. The latter was highly correlated with
lesion areas (r = 0.65, P < 0.01). These results indicate that administration of 
hydroxytyrosol in low cholesterol diets increases atherosclerotic lesion
associated with the degree of monocyte activation and remodelling of plasma
lipoproteins. Our data supports the concept that phenolic-enriched products, out 
of the original matrix, could be not only non useful but also harmful. Our
results suggest that the formulation of possible functional foods should
approximate as much as possible the natural environment in which active molecules
are found.
 
DOI: 10.1093/jb/mvj166 
PMID: 16873395

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Dean, as that email exchange also has other participants in it who may not be open to having their emails made public here, I will not post them here, instead I'll PM you.

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Thanks Tom!

 

Boy you keep good records. I got your email chain via your private message. I wish I had all my emails from way back then. I'm glad to see I was pretty evidence-oriented back then too and decided to drop lecithin based (ironically) once again on your and Michael's prodding. The more things change, the more they stay the same... And I'm even more glad I got lucky avoiding all that TMAO exposure that would have resulted from continuing to consume lecithin. Thanks again.

 

As you said, your precautionary principle pays off sometimes!

 

--Dean

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What about opening one of these (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005ACNNJS/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1468022273&sr=8-1&keywords=gaia+olive+leaf&pi=SY200_QL40) and dumping the contents into already an already rich and fresh olive oil?

 

(Not sure why I'm asking this question, since the answer shall prob be: "Dunno" since such things haven't been "studied")

 

Why might I think of befouling otherwise just dandy olive oil by dumping in some more unregulated chemicals, you may ask. And my tepid response might be -- well, maybe that's healthy for "the immune system..."?

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Hi Dean,

I just discovered this thread and read only your first post in it.

Absolutely, FOR YEARS I've consumed OLIVE LEAF for the same reasons you mention.

I've been consuming it in powdered form mostly from Frontier (a very trusted source) and wildernessfamilynaturals (where I get my cacao powder, too; they test their products for Cd and other metals / contaminants and provide results).  I also am a whole-food OLIVE MONSTER and eat 8 or more a day ~gobble grum chomp (I don't consume much salt in my diet or in the olives).

I look forward to reading the thread in whole (insert pun wink) in the future.  Cheers, Kenton

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This is my first post, sorry to hijack (detour), but on cacao:

 

Think I read the metal problem may be linked to Latin America. Would Hawaiin grown likely be better? There appear to be some smallish commercial sites from there.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=hawaiian+grown+cocoa&tbm=shop

 

Brewing to avoid metals:

Any testing to validate the process removes metals? What is that theory based on?

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I'm going to resuscitate this thread, after a reference on it by Dean in another thread on EVOO.

After a little search, I discovered that in Italy the medicinal properties of OLE and simple OL infusions are well known since pretty long (empirical, then some scientific papers have been published starting from the nineties).

The issue with simple infusion has been already cited in this thread: extreme bitterness. I came across this product which is backed up by official analyses and research from a university lab in Italy. the numbers are interesting.

image.png.16425afbc928496a9b816a8949c22f65.png

It's a water based infusion, it doesn't come very cheap but 50-60 US$ buy the amount they suggest for a one month treatment.

Oleuropein (it's not specified in which form, in EVOO it comes in the form of aglycone and others) is about 4 times higher than that of very hi polyphenols EVOOs.

Elenolic acid, I don't know it's content in EVOO, there are probably more phenolic compounds specific to leaves. Calories are probably about zero.

In my case, I migth have a stab at it at least for one month, a couple of times a year.

image.png.683146d42fbba96bf7619c8ce3f42de0.png

 

 

 

 

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