The leaves, the core and the bark of the olive trees contain substances that shield the heart from coronary disease, while they also have a beneficial effect on the body’s cells. The olive provides protection to the heart and blood vessels. This biological “treasure” contains natural ingredients with a powerful antioxidant effect which contribute positively to the treatment of the cardiovascular system. The leaves, core and bark of the olive contain large quantities of the ingredient oleuropein. This substance is a “shield” for the heart against coronary disease as well as against the cardiotoxic effects caused by certain anticancer drugs. This is the conclusion reached by a team of scientists of the 2nd Dept. Of the Cardiology Clinic of the “Attikon” hospital, after years of research in the laboratory, in collaboration with the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Athens.

The study’s findings were presented by the Clinic’s Director, Professor of Cardiology Mr. Dimitris Kremastinos, Professor Mrs. Evangelia Krania and associate professors Mr. Efstathios Iliodromitis and Ioannis Lekakis, on the occasion of the 2nd Annual International Conference “Developments and Prospects on Cardiology”. With reference to the effects of the olive, the scientists said that this natural fruit contains phenols with a beneficial effect. On one hand, they protect the body’s cells from strong active substances, such as free radicals, which are associated with the onset of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, they have an antilipemic effect, reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. What is impressive is the fact that, according to the researchers, the greatest protection is provided from the olive parts that we through away, such as the pit, the bark and the leaves of the tree. Studies have shown that their effect is so important that it could be utilized in two ways. One is the processing and production of nutritional supplements which could also be consumed for preventative reasons by healthy people. The other is the creation of a drug that could be administered orally or parenterally in people with heart problems, so as to reduce the risk of ischemic attacks. The same formulation could have a protective effect on cancer patients, too, who are treated with oncology drugs which are toxic to the heart.