However, a great deal of additional laboratory work will need to be performed to confirm these findings which would then need to be the subject of extensive clinical trials, principal researcher Dr Lesley Stevenson said.
The results of the study by the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education & Research (ACCMER), Australasia's leading centre for evidence-based research and post-graduate education in complementary medicine, were released today.
ACCMER is a joint venture between the University of Queensland and Southern Cross University, establishing a world first collaboration between conventional and complementary medicine.
Dr Stevenson, manager of the Natural Products Pharmacology Unit at SCU, said that in a separate aspect of the study, olive leaf extract was also found to produce inhibitory activity against some key mediators in the inflammatory process.
The new findings follow research in 2005, when the same olive leaf extract was shown to have an antioxidant capacity 400 per cent higher than Vitamin C and almost double that of green tea or grape seed extract.
"The broad ranging pharmacological activity associated with the tested olive leaf extracts shown in this laboratory study, and the previously measured anti-oxidant capacity, would suggest that olive leaf extract could have future potential as an intervention in disease processes that involve inflammation, such as arthritis," Dr Stevenson said.
Julian Archer, corporate development director at Olive Leaf Australia's head office in Queensland, said he was 'excited' about the results on his company's products and looked forward to full clinical trials.
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