Nutrient-dense EVOO contains many different polyphenolyic compounds that offer myriad benefits to human health, including “antioxidant, antimicrobial, hypoglycemic, vasodilator and antihypertensive effects.”
- EVOO provides similar benefits to caloric restriction
Plant polyphenols, including those found in extra virgin olive oil, have properties that mimic the effects of caloric restriction on the body, specifically by affecting the activity and levels of sirtuins, a family of proteins that regulate cellular health. Caloric restriction in humans has shown many beneficial effects, like prolonging lifespan and reducing the risk of age-associated diseases.
- Reduces inflammation and relieves rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
EVOO has shown that it can decrease systemic inflammation. By inhibiting the activity of specific enzymes that cause inflammation, the oleocanthal in EVOO helps improve health outcomes, as inflammation is a known factor across a variety of chronic diseases.
Some evidence suggests extra virgin olive oil can reduce the pain, inflammation and oxidative stress associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Patients taking fish oil also showed significant improvements when their diets were supplemented with extra virgin olive oil.
- Offers exciting results for the fight against cancer
The polyphenols found in EVOO have shown to have a debilitating effect on cancer cells, both in reducing cell proliferation and increasing cell death. EVOO’s polyphenols appear to be particularly effective against breast cancer cells, and may also kill skin cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
- Repairs the body and combats aging
EVOO polyphenols stimulate autophagy, the body’s system of clearing out dead cells and creating new cells, suggesting plant phenols to be a potent weapon against neurodegeneration. Scientists writing in the International Journal of Molecular Science found that “EVOO polyphenols can be considered a new family of plant-produced gerosuppressants… leading to prevention against aging and age-related diseases, including cancer.”
- Interferes with processes leading to amyloid diseases
Symptoms of amyloid diseases show correlation with diabetes and also neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers. EVOO polyphenols appear to reduce accumulation and buildup of the amyloid proteins associated with Alzheimers, with one study finding diminished chances of cognitive deficit for those who used extra virgin olive oil vs. those who did not. The same study found that those in the EVOO-consuming cohort had lower incidence of stroke, as well as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and CVD-related mortality.
- Improves cardiovascular health
Many studies have found extra virgin olive oil to be very beneficial for cardiovascular health. The polyphenols in EVOO lower the risk of heart disease, lower LDL cholesterol levels as well as total cholesterol levels, and help prevent the formation of plaque in arteries. A 2000 study published by the University of Naples, Italy concluded that the regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil reduces the daily dosage requirement for individuals prescribed medication for hypertension.
- Improves obesity outcomes
Several plant phenols show the ability to combat obesity-related conditions. Consumption of EVOO polyphenols can help reduce food intake and fat tissue accumulation by better regulating proper cell function, a process which also helps reduce obesity-related inflammation.
Obesity has high correlation with both cardiovascular disease and also type-2 diabetes. The polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil have been shown to improve fat metabolism and insulin sensitivity, while also helping to balance blood sugar levels.
Typically, the body stores fat in cells called adipocytes. In obese individuals, extra virgin olive oil can help prevent lipotoxicity and cell death when fatty acids get stored in non-adipose tissues.
EVOO can also help improve liver health related to metabolic syndrome, and protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by alleviating oxidative stress and improving inflammatory response.
- Shows antibacterial properties
Studies show that olive oil can destroy bacteria associated with ulcers and stomach cancer. Strains of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori have shown some antibiotic resistance. In tests extra virgin olive oil was able to eradicate all strains of the bacteria, including those with antibiotic resistance.
- Reduces the risk of depression
Research suggests that consumption of extra virgin olive oil as part of a Merditerranean diet can reduce the risk of depression, especially when compared to a cohort consuming trans-fats, a practice which shows correlation with increased risk of depression..
- Epigenetic therapy
Epigenetic therapy is a newer field of science studying how the nutrients consumed as part of an individual’s diet can help modify how genes express themselves. Similar to the old phrase, “you are what you eat,” the science is beginning to reveal that a diet rich in plant polyphenols can help prevent diseases like cancer, while also counteracting faulty biological processes, and even aging itself.