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Clinical trial for people living with diabetes in Northern Rivers

Olive leaf and olive fruit with hand


4 July 2023

Researchers from Southern Cross University in collaboration with Torrens University are conducting a ground-breaking clinical trial investigating Olive Leaf Extract as a treatment option for people living with type-2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by poor blood glucose control which, left unchecked, can contribute to serious complications. However, it is estimated that only one-half of people with diabetes maintain their target blood glucose ranges.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Matthew Leach from Southern Cross University’s National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine said that Olive Leaf Extract presented a relatively safe and low-cost treatment option for those who cannot maintain good blood glucose control.

“Medications typically prescribed for diabetes aim to improve blood glucose control. While effective, these medicines are not always well tolerated due to frequent adverse effects.”

“There are a significant number of people who do not maintain good blood glucose control. This can be for several reasons such as limited access to suitable treatments and services, cost and complexity of treatment, and inadequate diabetes education,” said Associate Professor Leach.

“Medications typically prescribed for diabetes aim to improve blood glucose control. Although these medicines are effective in doing so, they are not always well tolerated due to frequent adverse effects.

“In order to reduce the burden of diabetes on these individuals, it is important that safer and equally effective treatments are identified and tested, such as Olive Leaf Extract,” he said.

Laboratory studies have found that Olive Leaf Extract may act on multiple metabolic pathways to improve blood glucose control, however robust clinical research is needed to support its use in clinical practice.

“This clinical trial hopes to enable people living with diabetes, and health care providers, to make informed decisions about using this treatment to complement their diabetes care,” Associate Professor Leach said.

“Ultimately leading to better outcomes for people with diabetes in their self-management capabilities.”

Study details

Researchers are seeking adults living in the NSW Northern Rivers region with a diagnosis of type-2 diabetes, who have lived with diabetes for more than 12 months and are not receiving insulin therapy.

Participants will be required to take OLE or placebo capsules once a day for 24 weeks, and to attend Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus on three separate occasions.

To find out more about the study and how to get involved, email

The study is funded by the Olive Wellness Institute, and Oborne Health Supplies.

 The research has been approved by the Southern Cross University Human Research Ethics Committee #2022/034.

The National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine at Southern Cross University is an internationally recognised centre of excellence and innovation in naturopathic medicine and health education, research and practice. The Centre creates, promotes and advocates a strong culture of incorporating evidence-based science into healthcare education and clinical practice. 

Media contact

Sharlene King, Media Office at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or