The Incredible Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
We often find it overwhelming to aggregate all the scientific evidence showcasing the incredible health benefits of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. This article, originally published on Greek Liquid Gold has become our reference guide for more than 75 scientific papers with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the power of EVOO.
Dear Kosterina Community,
Today, we are sharing an in-depth article on the benefits of olive oil written by Dr. Lisa Radinovsky, who our team had the pleasure of meeting during the Mediterranean Diet & Health Conference in Crete, Greece.
In 2015, Dr. Radinovsky began an exploration of the Greek olive oil scene and captured it through words and pictures for the Olive Oil Times. Drawing insights from conversations with producers, consumers, exporters, tasters, and various industry insiders, she mined information from written sources in both Greek and English to become a well-rounded authority on the subject of olive oil. Today Radinovsky runs Greek Liquid Gold, a website dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the Greek olive oil world.
This well-researched piece from Greek Liquid Gold provides a detailed summary (with lots of links and backup) outlining the incredible benefits of extra virgin olive oil.
The Incredible Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is good for us--so good that it is considered both a healthy food and a delicious medicine! There are so many articles about the scientific evidence for the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil that it’s hard to keep track of them. Here is an overview, followed by links to the best, clearest, most useful recent articles I’ve read.
When used to replace animal fat, olive oil can help control cholesterol levels, as both the European Union and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have acknowledged. And it now seems that olive oil can do much more than that. Study results increasingly show that many of the health benefits of olive oil come from its phenolic compounds (polyphenols), which have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, meaning they help prevent many serious, common diseases.
In 2012 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved a health claim about olive oil that states, “olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress.” As Dr. Prokopios Magiatis explains, this “means protection of LDL cholesterol from oxidation, and consequently protection from heart attack and stroke.” The EFSA limited this claim to olive oils containing “at least 5mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex and tyrosol) per 20mg of olive oil”; this also includes oleacein and oleocanthal.
There are more of these polyphenols in some olive oils than others, with early harvest extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) from certain olive varieties, including some of the most common ones in Greece, having the highest phenolic content and thus the greatest health benefits.
Scientific studies have provided support for claims that consumption of two to three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily can reduce inflammation, improve “good” (HDL) cholesterol function, and provide the following health benefits:
Extra virgin olive oil can help lower
- blood pressure
- blood glucose levels
- total blood cholesterol
- “bad” (LDL) cholesterol
Extra virgin olive oil can help decrease the risk of and/or alleviate
- skin cancer
- heart disease
- breast cancer
- type 2 diabetes
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Alzheimer's disease
- hardening of the arteries
- development of atherosclerosis
Olive oil phenols have killed cancer cells in test tubes, decreased inflammation like ibuprofen does, and inhibited the growth of tumors. No wonder Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician known as the father of western medicine, called olive oil “the great healer” and prescribed it for more than 60 medical conditions!
Some people try to avoid consuming much fat in order to avoid gaining weight. However, when used in moderation olive oil can help us lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, because this healthy fat helps us feel full, making us less likely to overeat or eat again too soon. It also makes nutritious vegetables taste better.
There is some debate about whether to consume olive oil raw rather than cooked, so nutrients that can be damaged by heat remain intact, and this may be the best way to get EVOO’s full benefits. However, EVOO may also be the best fat to cook with, because cooking certain vegetables in olive oil increases their polyphenol content and hence their health benefits. Olive oil also helps us digest and absorb the carotenoids in plants that are considered anti-carcinogenic. Marinating and cooking meat with olive oil is a good idea, as well, thanks to its antioxidants.
OLIVE OIL HEALTH BENEFITS WEB LINKS
- Higher Consumption of Polyphenols Linked to Lower Risk of Contracting Covid-19
- Research Shows the Role of Polyphenols in Inhibiting Cancer Metastasis
- Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil the Critical Ingredient Driving the Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet? A Narrative Review
- Biophenols in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Linked to Improved Outcomes in Obesity and Prediabetes
- Chemical compounds in extra virgin olive oil could aid in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
- The protective effects of extra virgin olive oil on disease risk factors
- The health benefits of olive oil in cardiovascular disease prevention: An update
- Virgin Olive Oil Ranks First in a New Nutritional Quality Score Due to Its Compositional Profile
- Auburn researcher finds olive oil to improve brain health, memory in mild cognitive impairment individuals
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Enhances the Blood–Brain Barrier Function in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Study Links Cooking Methods and Health
- High-Phenolic EVOO May Improve Prognosis of Some Leukemia Patients, Research Suggests
- Olive Oil Health Benefits
- Olive Oil Reduces Both Total and Cause-specific Mortality
- Olive oil intake and cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis
- Oleocanthal in Olive Oil Lowers White Blood Cells (WBC) in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Patients
- Olive Oil & Type 2 Diabetes
- How Much Olive Oil Per Day Should You Consume?
- Antiviral Functional Foods and Exercise Lifestyle Prevention of Coronavirus
- High-Polyphenol EVOO May Lower Risk of Vascular Diseases Associated with Diabetes
- Using olive oil instead of these foods could add years to the life of your heart, study says
- Olive Oil: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information
- Consuming High-Polyphenol EVOO Reduces Blood Pressure, Study Finds
- Health Benefits of Olive Oil (Short Video)
- Found in Virgin Olive Oil, Squalene Benefits Skin and Body
- Greek Scientists Conduct Trials to Find Olive Oil Cancer Cure
- Welcome to the EVOO-lution: Greek Olive Oils Add Science to Tradition
- Key Ingredient in Olive Oil Destroys Cancer Cells
- Superfood: Why Greek Olive Oil is a Food and Medicine in One
- Could olive oil help you live longer? Exploring the cooking staple's health benefits (Video)
- Research Finds Extra Virgin Olive Oil Safest, Most Stable for Cooking
- New Study Confirms Olive Oil Retains Health Benefits During Cooking
- Fight Alzheimer’s disease with olive oil, Auburn University researcher says
- Eating olive oil once a week may be associated with making blood less likely to clot in obese people
- FDA Allows Cardiovascular Health on Olive Oil Labels
- Olive Oil and Healthy Eating (article narrated on video)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – What Makes It So Special?
- Olive Oil Health & Science
- Olive Oil Offers Unique Cardiovascular Protection
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Health
- Olive Oil Reduces Cardiovascular Problems Associated with Diabetes
- 7 Superfoods that Can Reduce Your Risk of Stroke
- Exclusive Olive Oil Consumption Protects Against Coronary Artery Disease
- Component in EVOO [Extra Virgin Olive Oil] Kills Cancer Cells
- Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Olive Oil
- Health Benefits of Olive Oil, “the Great Therapeutic”
- Role of Olive Oil in the Hallmarks of Aging
- Oleocanthal, a Phenolic Derived from Virgin Olive Oil: A Review of the Beneficial Effects on Inflammatory Disease
- Researchers Say New Tool Measures Olive Oil ‘Healthfulness’
- Olive Oil May Protect Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Better for Frying Fish
- The Olive Oil Diet [with Dr. Mary Flynn]
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Improves Health Outcomes for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
- Oleocanthal, a Polyphenol in Olive Oil, Positively Impacts Human Melanoma Cells
- Researchers Link Oleocanthal to Cancer, Alzheimer’s Prevention
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Prevent Alzheimer’s, Study Finds
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Preserves Memory and Protects Brain Against Alzheimer's Disease, New Research at Temple Shows
- Comparing the Lipid-Lowering Effect of EVOO and Statins in Type 2 Diabetes
- How Eating Fat Can Save Your Life
- Virginia Tech biochemists dip into the health benefits of olives and olive oil
- Aristoleo Awards Winners 2017 [some of the world's healthiest olive oils]
- Frying Vegetables in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Recommended for Men With Prostate Cancer
- What are the Benefits of Olive Oil? [cardiovascular disease prevention]
- Olive Oil Compound Kills Cancer Cells In Less Than An Hour: All-Powerful Oleocanthal
- How the Mediterranean diet and Extra Virgin Olive Oil aid in the prevention and management of diabetes
- How the Combination of Olive Oil and Sleep Can Prevent Cardiovascular Events
- Compound Found in Olives May Help Prevent Deadly Type of Breast Cancer
- Mapping the Polyphenols of Greek EVOOs for Healthy Aging
- Following a MedDiet with EVOO Lowers Need for Medications in Diabetics
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Consumption Can Protect Against Dementia
- Olive Oil For the Prevention of Colon Cancer
- Olive Oil Nutrition: What is the Difference Between Antioxidants and Polyphenols?
- Oleocanthal: Three powerful health benefits you need to know
- Health Effects of Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet: A Review of Recent Systematic Literature Reviews
- Olive Oil Is the Next Weight Loss EVOOlution
- Studies Find Olive Oil Improves Oral Health and Prevents Periodontitis
- 5 Ways Olive Oil Supports Healthy Aging + Longevity
- Oleocanthal: The Secret of Olive Oil is No Secret Anymore
Originally published on Greek Liquid Gold: Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (greekliquidgold.com). See that site for recipes with olive oil, photos from Greece, agrotourism and food tourism suggestions, and olive oil news and information.