Almost daily we are asked about the standardization of oleuropein to some % in Seagate’s Olive Leaf Extract. The answer is — Seagate does not standardize oleuropein nor an other phytochemical in any of our products.
The continued representation that oleuropein is the measure of potency in olive leaf extract is false, deceptive, and deliberately practiced by companies that are ignorant of the composition of the olive leaf and are trying to promote inferior products to an unsuspecting public. There is no polite way to say this.
Oleuropein is one of 10 phytochemicals that have so far been discovered in the olive leaf that combine to give this wonderful plant its important properties:
The oleuropein myth began in 1969 when the Upjohn pharmaceutical company attempted to use a chemical in the olive leaf to develop an anti-viral drug. They extracted the oleuropein, and further broke it down into elenoic acid, a constituent chemical. In “in-vitro” testing (in lab test tubes) this chemical killed all the germs that were inoculated. However, in human trials the testing failed. Upjohn later determined that the over-extraction created a very unstable chemical that when taken orally would combine with blood-proteins and become inactive.
What Upjohn learned, and apparently most present olive leaf extract companies have not (45 years later), is that you cannot improve upon Nature. The Olive tree has developed over a period of 10,000 years to arrive at its unique natural properties that protect it from disease, bacteria, parasites, viruses, insect attacks, fungus and mold. The phytochemicals in the olive leaf are in a precise concentration relative to one another that combine to give this tree those properties.
The declaration to the public that just one part of the makeup of this leaf is the key active ingredient is incorrect and ignores the failed experiments by Upjohn. In addition, these companies should be reminded that this is the health food industry where we are not supposed to mimic pharmaceutical production methods and use chemicals to isolate and extract individual chemicals from a plant and then claim them as the key active ingredient. The separation of oleuropein from its other 9 sister phytochemicals will create an inactive product.
In Seagates 20+ years in the health food industry, we have seen this same phenomenon happen with many other products — Shark Cartilage and the level of mucopolysaccharides; Grape Seed Extract and the claim of OPC concentration; Broccoli and sulforaphane etc. etc. Companies who don’t even produce their own product suddenly become the experts and want to differentiate their bottle from competitors by placing larger and larger % numbers on their labels for the purported “active ingredient” in order to gain sales.
In each case, the numbers and claims were not true:
Mucopolysaccharides were not a measure of how shark cartilage could help the joint.
OPC’s could not even be measured in a lab.
Sulforaphane is not even contained in broccoli. It is produced in the body from another chemical found in broccoli.
Oleuropein is not the active in Olive Leaf.
So, buyer beware — Just because a statement is made in print does not mean that it is true. Do your homework before spending your hard-earned money.
When you next hear a manufacturer’s claim that their olive leaf extract has 25% oleuropein or whatever level, you might ask them several important questions: did they happen to grow their own olive trees, process their own extract, have an independent lab report that even shows that the claimed % on their label is the actual level found in their product, and how does the isolation of this one ingredient do anything for the potency in their product.
This photo points up towards the ocean surface where two unidentified fish are playing a reef in Belize. Most interesting are the waves taken from below and the circle of blue sky looking like a window on top of the ocean.