Oleuropein may aid diabetics

November 29, 2005

Patients with diabetes are likely to develop severe complications including retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy as a result of an overwhelming level of free radicals leading to chronic-damaging ixdative stress. Treatment with antioxidants may attenuate these complications.

Oleuropein, trhe active constituent in the olive leaf, is endowed with many beneficial and health promoting properties that are often linked to its potent antioxidant activity. Diabetes was induced by using the drug Alloxan in rabbits. This led to a significant increase in malondialdehyde levels in the plasma and red blood cells and a jump in blood sugar levels. A group of the rabbits werew treated with Oleuropein for 16 weeks. Oleuropein caused blood sugar and free radical levels to decrease back to normal and improved levels of both enzymatic and nutrient antioxidants. The study appears in the October 15th, 2005 issue of the Journal of Life Science.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

Resveratrol protects the spine from damage

The abdominal aorta is a large blood vessel that supplies blood from the heart to the abdomen, pelvis and legs. If there is an aneurysm (a ballooning out of this artery like a weak spot on an old tire) in the aortic artery and it bursts it can lead to fatal internal bleeding. Surgery is often performed to repair an aortic aneurysm. Severe neurological injury is still one of the most devastating complications after this surgery. The blood supply to the spinal cord can be affected during this surgery leading to paralysis of the legs.

Sixteen rabbits had their abdominal aortic artery clamped for 30 minutes blocking the flow of blood to the spine; an experimental model of spinal cord trauma. The rabbits were split into 2 groups and received a large dosage of either Resveratrol or inactive placebo 15 minutes before clamping. The rabbits were assessed 8 hours, 16 hours, and 24 hours after the procedure. The Tarlov score is a test for locomotion and paralysis. The rabbits supplemented with Resveratrol had a much higher Tarlov score averaging 4.38 versus the rabbits on placebo who were near paralyzed with a Tarlov score averaging 0.38. The measure of free radical activity was almost 50% less in the Resveratrol group with a much lower measure of inflammation in the spine, and there was a much greater level of working brain-nerve tissue in the Resveratrol group. The study was performed at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Colombia University and is published in the December 2005 issue of the journal The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.