There are over 100 different brands of Olive Leaf Extract sold in the U.S. — in health food stores, drug stores, the internet and the large chains. However there only a couple of companies that process their own extract and only one (Seagate) that also grows its own olive trees. Yet, almost all of those brands incorrectly tout one individual component of the Olive Leaf Extract – Oleuropein – as its measure of potency.
First of all, Oleuropein is just one of 10 phytonutrients discovered so far in the Olive Leaf which combine to give this plant its properties. For the record, these phytochemicals are:
Second, this is not a pharmaceutical product nor is this the drug industry. We do not isolate one chemical from a plant and claim that chemical is what is giving the plant its potency. This is against the principles of being in the health food industry. Health food companies should not be using solvents to separate phytochemicals. Upjohn attempted to isolate a component of oleuropein in 1969, when they were trying to develop a new anti-viral drug and were unsuccessful.
It took Nature 10,000+ years to develop a resistant olive tree through a process called natural selection. The hardiest olive trees survived the droughts, insect blights, fungal and bacterial attacks … and passed on their traits. The weaker trees that did not survive had their gene pool and inferior traits disappear.
The irony here is that probably none of those 100+ Olive Leaf brands use solvents because they do not process their own extract. They purchase their raw materials from brokers or overseas vendors, trusting that the material that they are purchasing happens to be Olive Leaf. They likely have never come into contact with an olive tree nor have any idea that there are other phytochemicals besides the Oleuropein.
The game being played in the Health Food Industry is marketing. Just mimic what is being advertised, but claim that your product has more of it than your competitors. If this is repeated enough in marketing literature and on labels, eventually many consumers won’t be able to separate fact from fiction. That is our job – to help you to differentiate the truth.
The photo at the top of the blog is Heather, deciding to go for a bike ride at 80 feet. Sometimes it is easier to travel by bike than to swim, so that you can pedal away quickly from an angry moray. The fellow below however was very friendly and liked to pose for pictures.