Extra virgin olive oil: nature’s powerful healer

The Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower incidence of chronic diseases and higher life expectancy1

. These health benefits have been partially attributed to the dietary consumption of extra virgin olive oil, and more specifically the phenolic compounds naturally present in EVOO2

. The beneficial effects of EVOO’s phenolic compounds result from their potent antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities3

In particular, according to research, high consumption of extra-virgin olive oils, which are particularly rich in phenolic antioxidants, may offer considerable protection against cancer4 , 5

, cardiovascular disease 6 , 7

and ageing by reducing oxidative stress, postprandial and chronic inflammation8



1 Willett, W.C., Sacks, F., Trichopoulou, A., Drescher, G., Ferro-Luzzi, A., Helsing, E. and Trichopoulos, D., 1995. Mediterranean diet pyramid: a cultural model for healthy eating. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 61(6), pp.1402S-1406S.

2 Martínez-González, M.Á. and Sánchez-Villegas, A., 2004. The emerging role of Mediterranean diets in cardiovascular epidemiology: monounsaturated fats, olive oil, red wine or the whole pattern?. European journal of epidemiology, 19(1), pp.9-13.

3 Cicerale, S., Lucas, L.J. and Keast, R.S.J., 2012. Antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenolic activities in extra virgin olive oil. Current opinion in biotechnology, 23(2), pp.129-135.

4 Owen, R.W., Giacosa, A., Hull, W.E., Haubner, R., Würtele, G., Spiegelhalder, B. and Bartsch, H., 2000. Olive-oil consumption and health: the possible role of antioxidants. The lancet oncology, 1(2), pp.107-112.

5 Psaltopoulou, T., Kosti, R.I., Haidopoulos, D., Dimopoulos, M. and Panagiotakos, D.B., 2011. Olive oil intake is inversely related to cancer prevalence: a systematic review and a meta-analysis of 13800 patients and 23340 controls in 19 observational studies. Lipids in health and disease, 10(1), p.127.

6 Schwingshackl, L. and Hoffmann, G., 2014. Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and health status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Lipids in health and disease, 13(1), p.154.

7 Buckland, G., Mayén, A.L., Agudo, A., Travier, N., Navarro, C., Huerta, J.M., Chirlaque, M.D., Barricarte, A., Ardanaz, E., Moreno-Iribas, C. and Marin, P., 2012. Olive oil intake and mortality within the Spanish population (EPIC-Spain). The American journal of clinical nutrition, 96(1), pp.142-149.

8 Jiménez-Gómez, Y., López-Miranda, J., Blanco-Colio, L.M., Marín, C., Pérez-Martínez, P., Ruano, J., Paniagua, J.A., Rodríguez, F., Egido, J. and Pérez-Jiménez, F., 2009. Olive oil and walnut breakfasts reduce the postprandial inflammatory response in mononuclear cells compared with a butter breakfast in healthy men. Atherosclerosis, 204(2), pp.e70-e76.


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