Subclinical chronic inflammation (SCI) is associated with impaired animal growth. Previous work has demonstrated that olive-derived plant bioactives exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that could possibly counteract the growth-depressing effects of SCI. To test this hypothesis and define the underlying mechanism, we conducted a 30-day study in which piglets fed an olive-oil bioactive extract (OBE) and their control counterparts (C+) were injected repeatedly during the last 10 days of the study with increasing doses of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharides (LPS) to induce SCI. A third group of piglets remained untreated throughout the study and served as a negative control (C-). In C+ pigs, SCI increased the circulating concentration of interleukin 1 beta (p < 0.001) and decreased feed ingestion (p < 0.05) and weight gain (p < 0.05). These responses were not observed in OBE animals. Although intestinal inflammation and colonic microbial ecology was not altered by treatments, OBE enhanced ileal mRNA abundance of tight and adherens junctional proteins (p < 0.05) and plasma recovery of mannitol (p < 0.05) compared with C+ and C-. In line with these findings, OBE improved transepithelial electrical resistance (p < 0.01) in TNF-α-challenged Caco-2/TC-7 cells, and repressed the production of inflammatory cytokines (p < 0.05) in LPS-stimulated macrophages. In summary, this work demonstrates that OBE attenuates the suppressing effect of SCI on animal growth through a mechanism that appears to involve improvements in intestinal integrity unrelated to alterations in gut microbial ecology and function.