Neurotoxicity from exposure to low levels of lead in the environment has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Discovering herbs that have lead-eliminating properties without harmful side effects is now essential for the management of lead poisoning. Preliminary studies by Yu Wang and colleagues from Longnan Teachers College have verified that olive leaf extract can protect the blood, spleen and hippocampus in lead-poisoned mice. However, little is known about the effects of olive leaf extract on lead-induced brain injury.
A recent study from Yu Wang and colleagues investigated brain histological structure and antioxidant capacity in lead-poisoned mice as well as apoptotic factors in the cerebral cortex of mice using transmission electron microscopy, spectrophotometry and immunohistochemical staining. The researchers have confirmed that olive leaf extract can inhibit lead-induced brain injury by increasing antioxidant capacity and reducing apoptosis. These findings, published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 22, 2013), initially reveal the action mechanism underlying olive leaf extract treatment for lead poisoning, and provide scientific evidence and theoretical basis for development and utilization of olive leaf in boosting the body antioxidant capacity and discharging foreign bodies.