Supporting Proper Immune Responses with Olive Polyphenols

Immune responses like allergies and inflammation can occur fairly rapidly, and prolonged inflammation can result in chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. The olive polyphenols, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein found in Olivamine® and Pinnaclife® ImmuneHealth have potent activities that help decrease inflammation. Unregulated immune responses and bacterial inflammatory components that have crossed the intestinal barrier have been associated with major health issues. Studies suggest that olive polyphenols stimulate intestinal immune responses and other protective immune responses that have been found to counteract disease. In addition, important studies suggest that olive polyphenols help regulate immune responses and decrease allergic responses.

  • Prolonged periods of inflammation can result in significant health issues
  • The olive polyphenols, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein contained in Olivamine® and Pinnaclife® ImmuneHealth have powerful properties that help reduce inflammation
  • Unregulated immune responses are associated with autoimmune diseases
  • Hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein help regulate immune cells and also promote protective pathogen and disease-specific immune responses
  • Studies suggest that hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein can decrease harmful allergic responses

The immune system has two major types of responses, an early (innate) response and a later response that can involve antibody production and responses from T cells (T means thymus-derived) referred to as adaptive immunity. These two responses closely interact and have substantial cross-over. Innate responses typically happen fairly rapidly and involve cells like macrophages/monocytes, neutrophils and mast cells that can promote reactions such as inflammation and/or allergies1.

Hydroxytyrosol and Oleuropein Decrease Excess Inflammation

Unfortunately, prolonged periods of inflammation can result in health problems including delayed wound healing, fibrosis, and chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases2,3. The olive polyphenols, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein found in Pinnaclife™ ImmuneHealth with Olivamine® have potent activities that can decrease excess inflammation4,5.  In addition, Olivamine® includes other important ingredients with activities that also help decrease inflammation including N-acetylcysteine (NAC), methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and taurine6-8.

When immune responses aren’t regulated properly, it can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or multiple sclerosis (MS)1. In a recent study, a phenolic fraction from virgin olive oil (VOO) prevented deregulation of human monocytes in a model of SLE. In the same study, the phenolic fraction from VOO counteracted inflammatory pathways using a different model of SLE9. In another important study, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) that is known to have a higher content of olive polyphenols, as well as hydroxytyrosol by itself conveyed protective effects against MS (employing a widely used experimental model of MS)10.

The intestine is the largest immune compartment and intestinal immune processes are increasingly thought to regulate disease development elsewhere in the body11. The main role of the immune system in the intestine is to prevent disruption of the intestinal barrier and entry of pathogens including harmful bacteria into the body. In fact, translocated bacteria and their inflammatory components such as endotoxin that have entered the circulatory system and peripheral tissues have been associated with sepsis and autoimmune disorders12-14. In an important human trial, phenol-enriched olive oil (OOPC) was shown to increase antibody-coated bacteria indicating that OOPC stimulated potentially protective intestinal immune responses15.

Olive leaves typically contain even higher amounts of olive polyphenols than EVOO. In an interesting study, olive leaf extract (OLE) was able to boost a healthy human immune response by increasing T cells and natural killer (NK) immune cells associated with anti-tumor (cancer) activity16. In another important study, olive leaves were found to increase antibody responses17. Finally, OLE decreased the duration of upper respiratory illness (URI) in high school athletes who had sub-optimal diets, suggesting that dietary intake of OLE supported their immune responses to URI18.

Hydroxytyrosol and Oleuropein Help Regulate Immune Responses

Allergies (also known as allergic disorders) are increasingly prevalent in the United States and in the rest of the developed world. These disorders include allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic asthma, and food allergies. In the extreme, a potentially fatal systemic allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen. Mast cell degranulation can be a significant component of allergic reactions1. In important studies, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein were shown to inhibit mast cell degranulation19, 20. In another interesting study it was found that hydroxytyrosol modulated an allergen-specific immune response potentiating a suppressive immune response towards an allergen21.

Various reports have indicated that hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein are capable of inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and the results from many of these studies support the conclusion that hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein strengthen the immune system22,23. In fact, an important study examining the effect of oleuropein against the parasite, Leishmania indicated that oleuropein promoted a specific immune response known to be protective against the parasite in an in vivo model of leishmaniasis24.

Some of the other ingredients in Olivamine® found in ImmuneHealth also help regulate and/or support immune responses including NAC, taurine, and MSM25-27. ImmuneHealth with Olivamine® includes impeccably sourced ingredients that have undergone rigorous scientific review to prove we renew, restore, and repair cells.


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Dr. Ray currently writes about science and health issues and gives presentations related to the science of Olivamine® created by the founder of McCord Research, Dr. D. Elizabeth McCord. Dr. Ray received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Oregon State University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at NIH, Harvard University and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the University of Iowa.