- Published Papers (7 papers)
- 11 Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil That You Can’t Ignore
- 1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a Fantastic Source of Antioxidants and Healthy Fats
- 2. More Olive Oil Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
- 3. Olive Oil May Protect Against Stroke
- 4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Help Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- 5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the Best Cooking Oil
- 6. Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Make Your Food More Nutritious
- 7. Olive Oil Consumption May Improve Bone Health
- 8. The Compounds in Olive Oil May Protect Against Certain Cancers
- 9. A Diet High in Extra Virgin Olive Oil May be Good for Brain Health
- 10. Olive Oil Can Contribute to Health and Longevity
- 11. Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is The Best Quality
- 7 Amazing Health Benefits of Olive Oil + Emerging Research | Nature Knows
- Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is the Healthiest Fat on Earth
Virgin olive oil is a vegetable, edible oil made from healthy and intact fruits of the olive tree, only by mechanical means such as crushing, malaxation and centrifugation. It is used without refining and keeps its unique sensory characteristics and biological properties.
The oil has a health nimbus as a basic ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, but its positive role in health is now a topic of universal concern and the oil has become an agricultural product of paramount reputation. The benefits of the consumption of olive oil are due to its fatty acid composition and the presence of bioactive compounds, mainly phenols and squalene.
These features justify existing recommendations and approved health claims related to protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress and coronary heart disease.
New evidence, however, emerging from a better understanding of the chemistry of olive oil minor constituents relates these constituents to lower levels of systematic inflammation, and certain types of cancer and diabetes; these constituents may also have an effect on cognition.
In light of these findings, new proposals should appear to modify and improve the technology of production to avoid significant losses of bioactive components due to processing, storage and packaging. Innovative approaches for quality and authenticity and properly designed human studies are a prerequisite for understanding better the health benefits of olive oil. Studies focusing on cellular and molecular effects of bioactive compounds are also a challenge.
Prof. Dimitrios BoskouDr. Maria Lisa Clodoveo
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- Olive Oil
- Production technology
- bioactive constituents
- Mediterranean diet
Published Papers (7 papers)
11 Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil That You Can’t Ignore
Olive oil is widely recognised as one of the world’s healthiest oils.
In fact, people tend to live longer and healthier lives in regions where olive oil is a staple part of the diet.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the highest quality olive oil available, extracted from the olive fruit without the use of any heat or chemicals.
In this article we’re looking at the major health benefits of adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your diet, the latest scientific evidence.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a Fantastic Source of Antioxidants and Healthy Fats
Regular olive oil is refined and stripped of important nutrients and antioxidants.
In contrast, the natural extraction process used to produce Extra Virgin Olive Oil ensures it retains all the nutrients and antioxidants from the olive fruit.
In particular, it contains over 30 various types of phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause cell damage and contribute to disease and the aging process (1).
The fat composition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also a major contributor to its healthfulness. It’s primarily made up of monounsaturated fat (approximately 73%), a heart healthy fat that is a staple of the Mediterranean diet.
Studies consistently link a diet high in monounsaturated fat with favourable effects on markers of cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). This includes a reduction in markers of chronic inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels (2, 3, 4).
Key Message: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a rich source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, both of which are thought to protective cardiovascular health.
2. More Olive Oil Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of premature death worldwide.
Interestingly, populations residing in mediterranean regions have low rates of mortality (death) from heart disease. While this is due to a combination of factors, their high consumption of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is thought to be a major one (5).
It appears the active compounds in Extra Virgin Olive Oil have powerful cardio-protective properties, such as helping to lower blood pressure and preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) (2, 6, 7).
One giant review study, which included data from over 840,000 subjects, found that those who ate the most olive oil were 9% less ly to have heart issues and 11% less ly to die early compared to those who ate the least olive oil (8).
Key Message: Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains a number of active compounds that contribute to heart health. Observational studies consistently find that those who consume the most have a lower risk of heart disease.
3. Olive Oil May Protect Against Stroke
Stroke is the second largest killer after heart disease.
It’s closely linked to heart disease and shares many of the same risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
One French study that compared olive oil use and stroke incidence that those who consumed the highest amounts of olive oil had a 41% lower risk of stroke. A number of other studies have also found similar results (9, 10).
These findings make sense because people who use olive oil will ly be replacing other less heart healthy fats in their diet. Combine this with the high antioxidant and monounsaturated fat content in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it’s clear why it appears to have a favourable impact on cardiovascular health.
Key Message: A diet high in olive has been shown to dramatically reduce the risk of stroke in observational studies.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Help Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Around one million people in Australia are thought to have type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the reduced effectiveness of insulin, the hormone that moves glucose (sugar) the blood and into cells to be used as energy.
It’s thought that the phenolic compounds present in Extra Virgin Olive Oil aid in glucose metabolism and improve the sensitivity and effectiveness of insulin.
A large analysis found that including olive oil in your daily diet could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%. In comparison to a low-fat diet, a diet high in olive oil was also found to help normalise blood glucose in people who already had type 2 diabetes (11).
These beneficial effects are even more pronounced when combined with a Mediterranean style diet. One study found that a Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts or Extra Virgin Olive Oil decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 50% (12).
Key Message: Extra Virgin Olive Oil may help improve insulin sensitivity, which can help protect against type 2 diabetes or to manage pre-existing diabetes.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the Best Cooking Oil
There are a lot of different cooking oils that claim to be the best.
However, when you consider the major factors that influence how an oil reacts to high temperatures – oxidative stability and ratio of monounsaturated fats – Extra Virgin Olive Oil is number one.
While virgin coconut oil has a similar oxidative stability (due to its high saturated fat content), it’s extremely low in antioxidants. By comparison, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in beneficial antioxidants such as tocopherols and hydroxytyrosol (13).
Additionally, if you use an oil regularly you must consider the known health effects of its primary fats. Saturated fat (coconut oil) has zero known benefits while monounsaturated fat (olive oil) appears to significantly benefit heart health in the long run.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also more practical for cooking because it comes in a variety of different flavour profiles (much wine) and can complement both sweet and savoury dishes.
Key Message: When you consider its oxidative stability, superior antioxidant contents and ratio of monounsaturated fat, as well as its diverse flavour profile, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is easily the best choice for cooking.
6. Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Make Your Food More Nutritious
Still not convinced that Extra Virgin Olive Oil should be your main cooking oil?
Studies show that cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil can even increase the nutrient content of your food.
This is because the antioxidants in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are so resistant to high heat that they don’t break down and instead end up being absorbed by the cooked food. In addition, it also helps the cooked food to retain some nutrients that are usually lost through cooking (13, 14, 15).
For example, one study showed that when broccoli was cooked with sunflower oil or even refined olive oil, several beneficial compounds in the broccoli (such as vitamin C) were reduced. However, when cooked in Extra Virgin Olive Oil the levels of those beneficial compounds remained unchanged (16).
Key Message: Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil can help retain – and in some instances increase – the number of nutrients and antioxidants in the cooked food that would otherwise be lost or damaged.
7. Olive Oil Consumption May Improve Bone Health
Olive oil, especially those rich in polyphenols such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, may prevent bone loss with aging.
Animal and human studies propose that olive oil can inhibit bone reabsorption (the breakdown of calcium) and increase bone formation.
The results of a recent study in 870 participants seem to support this theory. They found that people who consumed the highest amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil had a 51% reduced risk of bone fractures (17, 18).
This is an exciting prospect, however, more research is needed as most human studies have been relatively small in size.
Key Message: Emerging evidence links polyphenols and olive oil consumption to a reduced risk of bone loss in old age. More research is required to prove this with any certainty.
8. The Compounds in Olive Oil May Protect Against Certain Cancers
It’s known that what and how we eat can influence cancer risk.
Observational studies have shown a lower incidence of some cancers in regions where olive oil consumption is high (19).
A large analysis of 19 previous studies found that those with a higher consumption of olive oil had a lower risk of breast cancer and cancers of the digestive system (20, 21).
How or why isn’t completely understood, but researchers suspect that the unique oleocanthal content of Extra Virgin Olive Oil may play a protective role. Interestingly, oleocanthal is an antioxidant that forms during the malaxation of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and is not found in any other food… not even olives (22).
We cannot say for certain that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has anti-cancer properties, but the early evidence is promising.
Key Message: Extra Virgin Olive Oil could potentially protect against some cancers, at least theoretically.
9. A Diet High in Extra Virgin Olive Oil May be Good for Brain Health
Olive oil could potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related dementia.
The phenolic components of Extra Virgin Olive Oil may help clear the compounds that cause brain degeneration.
One study compared an Extra Virgin Olive Oil-enhanced Mediterranean diet with a standard low fat diet and found those on the Extra Virgin Olive Oil diet suffered less cognitive decline (loss of brain function and memory) after a 6.5 year follow up (23).
More research is need to confirm these benefits but it’s a hopeful area.
Key Message: Early research suggests that a diet high in Extra Virgin Olive Oil may inhibit the compounds responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
10. Olive Oil Can Contribute to Health and Longevity
In regions where olive oil is a central part of the diet, people tend to live longer.
A large epidemiological study followed over 40,000 Spanish subjects over 13.5 years. Those with the highest olive oil intake were far less ly to die early compared to those consuming the least amount of olive oil (24).
It makes sense that two of the places where people live the longest – Icaria and Sardinia – residents eat a diet rich in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Key Message: Observational studies consistently show that those who eat a diet rich in Extra Virgin Olive Oil tend to live longer.
11. Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is The Best Quality
Not all Extra Virgin Olive Oil is created equal.
Data shows that Australian certified olive oil is the highest quality in Australia when it comes to freshness and quality.
For the healthiest and most nutritious olive oil make sure to source yours locally and check for this Australian certification triangle.
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Olive Oil + Emerging Research | Nature Knows
Olive oil is not only good for cooking but for our health as well, with potential benefits to blood sugar, heart health, metabolic syndrome, depression, and more. Read on to learn how to take advantage of this Mediterranean superfood. What is Olive Oil? Olive oil is fat from the olive, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin.
The oil is made by pressing whole olives [ 1 ].Along with its culinary and religious uses, it also has many health benefits. The phenols in the oil contain most of the beneficial properties.Olive oil is also the primary fat source in the Mediterranean diet, a dietary strategy increasingly used to improve brain and heart health [ 2 ].
Health Benefits of Olive Oil Olive oil is safe to eat as food, but has not been approved by the FDA for medical use. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing. 1) Diabetes The Mediterranean diet uses olive oil as its main source of fat.
The ADA recommends using this diet to improve blood sugar control . By following this diet, there is a 20%-23% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes [ 3 ].11 overweight and diabetic patients added olive oil to their diet, which significantly reduced fasting blood sugar. Daily consumption can also improve metabolic control in overweight type 2 diabetes patients [ 4 ].
Older adults who were at risk of losing their eyesight due to diabetes were put on a diet containing olive oil. They were less ly to lose their eyesight in comparison to those who did not increase their olive oil intake [ 5 ]. 2) Heart Disease 165 patients who were at high risk for heart disease went on a diet including olive oil.
Those patients had decreased blood pressure, total cholesterol , low-density cholesterol , and triglycerides [ 6 ].Tomato sauce enriched with olive oil has a greater effect on heart risk factors than just raw tomato sauce [ 7 ].Olive oil enhanced the cholesterol-lowering properties of high-density lipids and protected cells from oxidative stress [ 8 ].
In non-smoking women, olive oil decreased blood nitric oxide as well as endothelin -1. This explains the effect of olive oil lowering blood pressure among hypertensive women [ 9 ].Olive oil increases high-density lipid cholesterol. It also reduces the oxidative damage to lipids, decreases inflammation and improves tissue function [ 10 ].
The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of olive oil for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before taking using olive oil for medical reasons, and never use it in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.
3) Metabolic Syndrome Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase the risk of heart problems, stroke, and diabetes.A diet enriched with olive oil enhanced the blood antioxidant capabilities [ 11 ].In women, an oil-rich diet reduced the risk of metabolic syndrome as well as heart disease [ 12 ].
A combination of olive and fish oil have a synergistic effect on lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in patients [ 13 ].Additionally, it is ly to cause the reversion of this condition [ 14 ]. 4) Depression Depressed patients were given a diet that included olive oil and evaluated over the time period. They showed a decrease in depression scores [ 15 ].
Olive consumption is inversely associated with depression risks and improved depressive symptoms [ 16 ].No clinical evidence supports the use of olive oil for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts.
However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit. 5) Alzheimer’s Disease Mice that had memory loss had olive oil included in their diet for 8 weeks. Their memory improved, and there was a significant response in the cortex to promote the formation of new cells in the brain [ 17 ].
Alzheimer’s is characterized by the accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau proteins in the brain. In mice, the oil leads to an up-regulation of Aβ degrading enzymes, which helps prevents Alzheimer’s [ 18 ]. 6) Osteoporosis Olive oil reduced bone loss in ovariectomized rats [ 19 ].
Additionally, it increased osteoblast cell formation [ 20 ].
Oil with vitamins might be beneficial to include in the diet of women to help for bone protection and against oxidative stress [ 21 ]. 7) Wound Healing Scientists treated mice (who had induced ulcers) with either water or olive oil to help them heal. The oil helped heal pressure ulcers and improved skin health [ 22 ].
Linear incisions and circular excisions wound models were created in the buccal mucosa of rats to determine the healing effect of olive oil on the wounds. The oil has healing effects in both incisions and excisions as well as anti-inflammatory effects [ 23 ].
Cancer Research One of the main phenols in olive oil, hydroxytyrosol, possesses antitumor effects due to pro-oxidant properties, the capacity to inhibit the growth of cells, and the promotion of cell death. Hydroxytyrosol treatment reduced thyroid cancer cells by promoting programmed cell death in those cells [ 24 ].
Higher olive oil intake may be a protective factor against breast cancer [ 25 ].Another polyphenol, oleuropein , can cause programmed cell death in breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and thyroid cancer [ 26 ].Olive oil diets also influenced the expression of age-related changes. Diets can regulate the different susceptibility to chemical exposure leading to breast cancer [ 27 ]. Take a look at your personal genetic data to find the root cause of your health issues and build a regimen that is right for you. SelfDecode’s personalized DNA reports can tell you which vitamins and mineral deficiencies you’re susceptible to, and which foods to consume to prevent these deficiencies. Start your journey to […]
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Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is the Healthiest Fat on Earth
By Kris Gunnars
Dietary fats are highly controversial, with debates about animal fats, seed oils, and everything in between in full force.
That said, most people agree that extra virgin olive oil is incredibly healthy.
Part of the Mediterranean diet, this traditional oil has been a dietary staple for some of the world's healthiest populations.
Studies show that the fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil can offer some powerful health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.
This article reviews why extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats.
Olive oil is oil that has been extracted from olives, the fruits of the olive tree.
The production process is incredibly simple. Olives can be pressed to extract their oil, but modern methods involve crushing the olives, mixing them together, and then separating the oil from the pulp in a centrifuge.
After centrifugation, small amounts of oil remain in the pomace. The leftover oil can be extracted using chemical solvents and is known as olive pomace oil.
Olive pomace oil is generally cheaper than regular olive oil and has a bad reputation.
Buying the right typeof olive oil is crucial. There are three main grades of olive oil — refined, virgin, and extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed or refined type.
Extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the healthiest type of olive oil. It's extracted using natural methods and standardized for purity and certain sensory qualities taste and smell.
Olive oil that is truly extra virgin has a distinct taste and is high in phenolic antioxidants, which is the main reason why it's so beneficial.
Legally, vegetable oils that are labeled as olive oil cannot be diluted with other types of oils. Nevertheless, it's essential to inspect the label carefully and buy from a reputable seller.
Extra virgin olive oil is fairly nutritious.
It contains modest amounts of vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids.
One tablespoon (13.5 grams) of olive oil contains the following:
- Saturated fat: 14%
- Monounsaturated fat: 73% (mostly oleic acid)
- Vitamin E: 13% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin K: 7% of the DV
Notably, extra virgin olive oil shines in its antioxidant content.
Antioxidants are biologically active, and some of them can help fight serious diseases.
The oil's main antioxidants include the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, as well as oleuropein, a substance that protects LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation.
Some people have criticized olive oil for having a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (over 10:1). However, its total amount of polyunsaturated fats is still relatively low, so this shouldn't be a cause for concern.
Chronic inflammation is believed to be among the leading drivers of many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and arthritis.
Some speculate that olive oil's ability to fight inflammation is behind its many health benefits.
Oleic acid, the most prominent fatty acid in olive oil, has been found to reduce inflammatory markers C-reactive protein.
However, the oil's main anti-inflammatory effects seem to be due to its antioxidants, primarily oleocanthal, which has been shown to work ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory drug.
Researchers estimate that the amount of oleocanthal in 50 ml (about 3.4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil exerts effects similar to those of 10 percent of the adult ibuprofen dosage for pain relief.
Also, one study showed that substances in olive oil can reduce the expression of genes and proteins that mediate inflammation.
Keep in mind that chronic, low-level inflammation is usually fairly mild, and it takes years or decades for it to do damage.
Using extra virgin olive oil may help prevent this from happening, leading to a reduced risk of various inflammatory diseases, especially heart disease.
Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, are among the most common causes of death in the world.
Many observational studies show that death from these diseases is low in certain areas of the world, especially in countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
This observation originally spurred interest in the Mediterranean diet, which is supposed to mimic the way the people in those countries eat.
Studies on the Mediterranean diet show that it can help prevent heart disease. In one major study, it reduced heart attacks, strokes, and death by 30 percent.
Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease via numerous mechanisms:
- Reducing inflammation. Olive oil protects against inflammation, a key driver of heart disease.
- Reduces oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. The oil protects LDL particles from oxidative damage, a key factor in the development of heart disease.
- Improves blood vessel health. Olive oil improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
- Helps manage blood clotting. Some studies suggest that olive oil can help prevent unwanted blood clotting, a key feature of heart attacks and strokes.
- Lowers blood pressure. One study in patients with elevated blood pressure found that olive oil reduced blood pressure significantly and lowered the need for blood pressure medication by 48 percent.
Given the biological effects of olive oil, it's not surprising that people who consume the greatest amounts of it are significantly less ly to die from heart attacks and strokes.
Dozens — if not hundreds — of animal and human studies have shown that olive oil has major benefits for the heart.
In fact, the evidence is strong enough to recommend that people who have or are at a high risk of developing heart disease include plenty of extra virgin olive oil in their diets.
Although olive oil has mostly been studied for its effects on heart health, its consumption has also been associated with a number of other health benefits.
Cancer is a common cause of death and characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells.
Studies have shown that people living in the Mediterranean countries have a fairly low risk of cancer, and some have speculated that olive oil has something to do with this.
One potential contributor to cancer is oxidative damage due to harmful molecules called free radicals. However, extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants that reduce oxidative damage.
The oleic acid in olive oil is also highly resistant to oxidation and has been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.
Many test-tube studies have observed that compounds in olive oil can help fight cancer at the molecular level.
That said, controlled trials in humans have yet to study whether olive oil helps prevent cancer.
Alzheimer's disease is the world's most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia.
One feature of Alzheimer's is a buildup of protein tangles called beta-amyloid plaques in certain neurons in the brain.
A study in mice observed that a substance in olive oil can help clear these plaques.
Additionally, a controlled study in humans showed that a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil improved brain function and reduced the risk of cognitive impairment.
During cooking, fatty acids can oxidize, meaning they react with oxygen and become damaged.
The double bonds in fatty acid molecules are mostly responsible for this.
For this reason, saturated fats, which have no double bonds, are resistant to high heat. Meanwhile, polyunsaturated fats, which have many double bonds, are sensitive and become damaged.
Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, which have only one double bond, and is fairly resistant to high heat.
In one study, researchers heated extra virgin olive oil to 356°F (180°C) for 36 hours. The oil was highly resistant to damage.
Another study used olive oil for deep-frying, and it took 24–27 hours for it to reach damage levels that were deemed harmful.
Overall, olive oil seems to be very safe — even for cooking at fairly high heat.
Olive oil is super healthy.
For those who have heart disease or are at a high risk of developing it, olive oil is most definitely a superfood.
The benefits of this wonderful fat are among the few things that most people in nutrition agree upon.
Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.