Sunday, 12 April 2015

Olive Leaves as another Calcium Channel Blocker for Autism?

This is a brief post to pass on some information from Natasa, who reads this blog and has a big interest in the role of calcium channels in autism.

The readers of this blog who are doctors express a preference for drugs over supplements, but for many others the reverse is true.  One problem for the others is how to access prescription only drugs.

Natasa has pointed out the Olea europaea Leaf Extract (OLE) that is used by some parents in their “antifungal/antiviral autism protocols”, is actually an L-type calcium channel blocker.

In Southern Europe Olea europaea leafs are known as a folk remedy for hypertension (high blood pressure).

In Southern Europe Olea europaea leafs are known as a folk remedy for hypertension. Cardiovascular diseases are still the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in industrialized countries with hypertension being one of the main risk factors.
We investigated effects of a commercial Olea europaea leaf extract (OLE) on isolated hearts and cultured cardiomyocytes.
Isolated rabbit hearts were perfused according to the Langendorff technique and connected to a 256-channel epicardial mapping system. Voltage clamp experiments were performed in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes using a perforated-patch technique.
OLE caused a concentration-depended decrease in systolic left ventricular pressure and heart rate as well as an increase in relative coronary flow and a slight, but not significant prolongation of PQ-time. There were no significant changes between the groups in the activation-recovery interval and its dispersion, total activation time, peak-to-peak amplitude, percentage of identical breakthrough-points and similar vectors of local activation. Voltage clamp experiments in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes showed a significant decrease in maximum I(Ca,L) by OLE which was reversible upon wash-out.
OLE suppresses the L-type calcium channel directly and reversibly. Our findings might help to understand the traditional use of OLE in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Verapamil is part of my suggested Polypill for classic autism.  Several readers of this blog are successfully using Verapamil, this inexpensive L-type calcium channel blocker. 

Many other readers are unable to access Verapamil.

As many other parents are already using OLE as a treatment for autism, it would seem plausible that it is the calcium channel blocking effects that make it effective.  You can search on Google to see the dosage they use.

Interestingly a randomized controlled double-blind crossover trial in New Zealand found that olive leaf extract capsules significantly improved insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell responsiveness in middle-aged overweight men.

OLE is known to be an antioxidant, which is another useful property.  As we have seen before, antioxidants do improve insulin sensitivity.  We also saw how Verapamil protected pancreatic β-cells from damage that leads to type 2 diabetes.  This is why older people on Verapamil, for high blood pressure, tend not to develop type 2 diabetes.

It does look like OLE could have some of the autism benefits of Verapamil, as well as other properties.

Verapamil is standardized and extremely cheap, so I will be sticking with that. Olé!


  1. Peter, I am interested in calcium channel blockers and would like to give them a try.
    Health sign, a small supplements company offered me three free products of my choice for a trial.
    One of them is Panhealth which consists of: Olive leaves extracts 195 mg/tb,
    Olive extracts 100 mg/tb and Purica granatum 100 mg/tb all together in a tablet.
    How many tablets do you think I should give per day to see results?
    I also have a Super antioxidant with numerous things in it, something like Omnium, and a product with broccoli extracts 500 mg together with lycopene 50 mg.
    Thank you

    1. Olive leaves have numerous properties including lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, the latter is attributed to the effect on calcium channels.

      The dose of Verapamil that I use is very small (40 to 80 mg divided over the day). This is a very low dose and most people using it to lower blood pressure have far higher doses, Logically the equivalent would be the very lowest dose of olive leaves extract that is suggested for lowering blood pressure.

      It may be that your son does not have a calcium channel dysfunction. In responders it has helped reduce aggression, seizures and GI problems.

  2. Hi,

    I've been giving my son OLE for two years, on and off. It did not seem to have any effect on him. I used it as a part of a typical antiviral/antibacterial protocol. My son does not seem to respond to any treatments. I have ordered verapamil and want to trial it in the nearest future. Do you think it would help, if OLE did not? How long should I try it before giving up?



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