Olive Oil and our Health

Since ancient times, it is known that olive oil is vital for both health and wellness. Many of the greatest doctors at that time including Hippocrates, the father of medicine, firmly believed its beneficial effects on health and recommended its use on a daily basis.

Results of many scientific studies have revealed that olive oil has anticancer properties due to its antioxidants ingredients, as for example oleuropein, a type of phenolic bitter compound found exclusively in olives. Moreover, olive oil has been identified for its rapid destruction of cancer cells as scientists have proven that the oleocanthal compound found in it causes death in cancer cells. The oleocantha ruptures the cancer cell lysosomes causing cell death within 30 minutes to an hour, while leaving un-cancerous cells unharmed.

Human studies revealed that daily consumption of olive oil, key component of the Mediterranean diet, prevents the decline in bone mineral density, and improve bone health. More specifically oil’s polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which prevent osteoporosis, a skeletal degeneration due to aging.

Olive oil antioxidants are a powerful weapon against cardiovascular diseases, a main cause of death in industrialized world. The lowest rates of death due to coronary heart disease are currently documented in populations where olive oil is virtually the only fat consumed. Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol wide known as “bad”cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time, olive-oil-rich diets maintain the levels of HDL-cholesterol, the “good”cholesterol.

The consumption of olive oil has a number of positive effects to the digestive system. Its ingredients partially suspend gastric motility. As a result, the gastric content of the stomach is released more slowly, giving a greater sensation of «fullness», favoring the digestion and absorption of nutrients in the intestine. Thus, diets rich in olive oil are recommended in diseases where pancreatic function has to be maintained, such as pancreas failure, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, malabsorption syndromes, etc.

Olive extracts function as anti-histamines at a cellular level. Their unique components may help to lessen a cell’s histamine response, a substance that can get overproduced in allergy-related conditions and can be a key player in the inflammatory process. It has been founded that olive products may play a significant role as part of an anti-allergenic diet.

Dietary habits rich in olive oil play a key role in foetal development during pregnancy while a shortage may have malicious effects on the baby’s subsequent development. It has been demonstrated that the post-natal development of babies of mothers who consumed olive oil when pregnant is better in terms of height, weight, behavior and psychomotor reflexes.

As mentioned, olive oil is high in antioxidants which can help to reduce the damage results from the oxidative stress which caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. Therefore, olive oil contributes to the prevention of child and adult diabetes as well as it delays the attack of this disease.

Recent researches suggest that extra-virgin olive oil may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease the type 3 diabetes, as it is now called.

Olive oil is a great tank of A, D, E and K vitamins. These valuable components prevent structural and functional skin damage as they contribute to the protection against free radical oxidation mainly caused of ageing. Use of olive oil favors therapies against several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and seborrheic eczemas. Products from olive oil, as several cosmetics prevent skin tissue from a number of changes such as fibrosis which is related to the accumulation of collagen and continuous oxidation from external factors, such as the sun’s rays.