Olive leaves contain oleanolic acid, a substance with anti-inflammatory properties that has achieved, in a laboratory test, pathologies that have a strong inflammatory component, as is the case of multiple sclerosis, progress more slowly, by decreasing the inflammatory processes inherent in the disease.
In a study conducted by a group of researchers from the Institute of Biology and Molecular Genetics (IBGM) of Valladolid, oleanolic acid has been used as an active principle in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a condition that presents with similar processes and symptoms. those that presents multiple sclerosis in humans.
Oleanolic acid has the ability to block the inflammatory response and also regulate the response of the immune system, making the disease less aggressive
The scientists found that treating the sick animals with oleanolic acid significantly reduced the symptoms of the disease, both the clinical manifestations and the immuno-inflammatory processes that it triggered. As explained by María Luisa Nieto, of the Innate Immunity and Inflammation Unit of the IBGM, the compounds used have the capacity to block the inflammatory response and also regulate the response of the immune system, making the disease less aggressive.
It is a laboratory test whose good results have led the authors of the work to patent a new pharmacological application that they hope will awaken the interest of the pharmaceutical industry. The researchers intend to also contact specialists in neurology to test their findings in clinical practice.
The treatment with oleanolic acid could also be used for other types of pathologies associated with inflammatory processes, such as myocarditis, a disease that affects the heart and is due to an infection - caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi - that causes inflammation of the organ. Thus, the IBGM researchers carried out another study in cell cultures to observe how the oleanolic acid acted against the infection, and found that in this case there was also a remission of symptoms.