Olive tree leaves have been used in the Mediterranean area as traditional medicine in virtue of their healthy effects. Olive leaf extracts (OLEs) contain higher amounts of polyphenols than those detected in the extra virgin olive oil and fruit. Several lines of evidence support the cardioprotective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities exerted by OLEs.
The Madrid based global biotech firm has launched its new elenolic acid product (standardised to ≥4% elenolic acid by HPLC) under the brand Isenolic.
Studies have shown that olive oil extract could help support the immune system thanks to its anti-inflammatory fatty acids playing a role in the activation of different pathways of immune competent cells.
Pharmactive claims its product directly penetrates the cells and blocks the entry of specific viruses, effectively 'putting the brakes on their life cycle'.
Alberto Espinel, head of R&D at Pharmactive, said: “Elenolic acid is one of the most important olive secondary metabolites, and used by olive trees to naturally fight phytopathogens.
“It is the main bioactive component of olive trees contributing antimicrobial and antiviral functions of olive leaves, and — as determined by scientific studies that date back several decades — specifically targeting influenza A and B types, as well as para-influenza 1,2,3.
"A number of these studies demonstrate the compound’s capabilities in preventing and reducing symptoms of viral and microbial infections, including shortening the duration of colds.
“Neuraminidase is a key enzyme that is present in the flu virus that acts to disassemble the virus from the host cell membrane, promoting its liberation to infect new cells. Isenolic prevents its liberation and subsequent proliferation.”
Julia Diaz, marketing manager for the firm says the use of this ingredient in ancient traditional medicine helps to make the product resonate with consumers today who are becoming increasingly interested in ingredients with a history of safe use as natural medicine.
Isenolic is water-soluble and can be delivered in a versatile range of supplement formats, including softgels, syrups, powders, and effervescent formulations.
It can also be incorporated into food and beverage matrices. The ingredient is non-GMO, non-irradiated, doping free and both halal- and kosher-certified.