Health Benefits of

"Extra Virgin
Olive Oil"
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the healthiest from the edible oils and research reveals more and more benefits. In fact, it can significantly improve our health in countless ways.
EVOO is a very rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), like oleic acid (18:1) and palmitoleic acid (16:1) that help in lowering LDL or "bad cholesterol" and triglycerides and increase HDL or "good cholesterol" in the blood. Research studies suggest that it helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile [1]

EVOO also helps reduce cancer risk. It has a protective as well as therapeutic role against cancer and cancer cachexia. The phytonutrient and oleocanthal content helps reduce inflammation thereby decreasing cancer risk [2]

The high content in antioxidants and especially vitamin E reduces oxidative stress and prevents the occurrence of cancer. Moreover, during cancer therapy, EVOO can play a therapeutic role since it’s a rich source of ω3 fatty acids and in particular Eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) which can reverse cancer cachexia, the involuntary weight loss during chemotherapy or/and radiotherapy [3]

Diabetes Mellitus is also another disease that olive oil has a beneficial effect. It helps lower “bad” low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity. A study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in EVOO reduced the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet. It appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat [4]
EVOO is also a very good source of vitamin K; 100 g provides about 50% of Dailly Recommended Intake. Vitamin K has a potential role in the increase of bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone. Recent evidence suggests that EVOO supplementation was found to positively affect the thickness of bones thus playing a promising role against osteoporosis [5]

Scientific evidence also reveals an important effect of EVOO against Alzheimers disease. The oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil has the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and the cognitive decline that comes with aging. EVOO polyphenols are known to be powerful antioxidants may also help to reverse oxidative damage that occurs in the aging process [6]
Alesia Thomopoulou MSc
Nutritionist - Clinical Dietitian
University of Surrey, UK