Natural Ingredient in Olives May Help Combat Weight, Type 2 Diabetes –

Elenolic acid offers a natural, safe solution to the growing type 2 epidemic.

Researchers have uncovered that elenolic acid, a natural compound ingredient found in olives, could lower blood sugar levels and support weight loss, in turn serving as a natural, safe, and cost-effective way for combating obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The study revealed that after just one week, overweight mice with type 2 diabetes that were given oral elenolic acid weighed substantially less and had better overall blood sugar levels compared to mice who didn’t receive the compound. The glucose-lowering effects of elenolic acid were similar to liraglutide, an injectable diabetic medication, and surpassed metformin, an oral diabetes medication that has grown in popularity as of late.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are significantly interconnected and remain one of the most prevalent public health challenges. The relationship between diabetes and being overweight has to do mostly with the way excess fat, particularly around the abdomen, affects the body’s ability to use insulin. As obesity rates continue to climb, so too does the prevalence of type 2 diabetes which comes with sometimes life-threatening complications including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, and kidney failure.

Existing obesity drugs on the market often don’t treat the condition as well as they should, are expensive and hard for many to get, and come with the potential for long-term health safety issues. Finding that an ingredient naturally found in olives could be just as effective, if not more effective than these drugs, offers a safer, cheaper, and more convenient option for those looking to treat these conditions.

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Similarly, late last month, a study, known as the EARLY (Exploration of Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Overweight/Obese Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus), explored different dietary approaches to improving glycemic control and overall health in patients with type 2 diabetes, and the team discovered a form of intermittent fasting may also be more effective for managing weight and treating diabetic symptoms than these medications. Specifically, researchers found that the 5:2 meal replacement method, which includes intermittent fasting with two non-consecutive days of limiting food intake following by five days of returning to regular habits, was promising.

The clinical trial, involving a little over 300 participants who agreed to see if through to the end, involved assigning a 1:1:1 ratio to administering either metformin, empagliflozin, or the 5:2 MR diet over a 16-week treatment period, followed by an 8-week follow-up appointment. Of the three options, the diet performed best.

In the olive research, led by Dongmin Liu, PhD, a professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise at Virginia Tech, the team sought to find bioactive compounds from natural products for diabetes management. Their previous work focused on targeting specific molecular spots in the pancreas, muscles, fat tissues, and liver. However, due to the poor bioavailability of natural products, they shifted their focus to influencing metabolic hormone secretion in the gut, hoping to indirectly regulate metabolic functions.

They began by identifying natural compounds that act on L-cells in the gut, which release two metabolic hormones, GLP-1 and PYY, when eating meals. These hormones help control blood sugar levels, metabolism, and appetite. The screening process identified elenolic acid, found in mature olives and extra virgin olive oil, as a promising compound that induces the release of these hormones.

“Overall, the study showed that elenolic acid from olives has promising effects on hormone release and metabolic health, particularly in obese and diabetic conditions,” said Liu. The compound appears to mimic the physiological effects of eating by promoting gut hormone secretion, balancing energy balance and promoting overall metabolic efficiency.


Natural compound found in olives can lower blood sugar levels and promote weight loss

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