Olive oil is good for you—in more ways than one

August 28, 2013
Olive oil is good for you--in more ways than one
Credit: Shutterstuck

Olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet and is considered by many to be a natural health-food product. Until recently, the known protective effects of olive oil against oxidative stress-associated diseases, such as cardiovascular, cancer, or neurodegenerative diseases, had been attributed to its high monounsaturated fat content.

The EU-funded project EUROLIVE ('The effect of olive oil consumption on oxidative damage in European populations') investigated whether there might be other chemical factors contributing to the documented beneficial health effects of olive oil.

In particular, project partners, led by researchers at the Mar Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona, wanted to know if olive oil rich in , such as virgin olive oil, would have particular health benefits beyond those already established for olive oil in general.

The researchers did six clinical trials in which 200 healthy volunteers were given 25 millilitres per day of three similar olive oils for three weeks. The olive oils had different polyphenol content. The dose was similar to the amount typically ingested daily in Mediterranean countries.

The results showed that the higher the polyphenolic content of the olive oil consumed, the higher the increase in HDL cholesterol levels (so-called good cholesterol).

Positive effects were also recorded for the atherogenic index - the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol, and the oxidative damage of lipids decreased in a linear manner with olive oil polyphenolic content. Lipid oxidation is considered a high risk factor for the development of .

Finally, the results of the EUROLIVE project demonstrated that consuming 25 millilitres of olive oil per day, in place of other fats, did not lead to participants gaining weight.

For many, these results put an end to the debate over the antioxidant properties of olive oil polyphenols when consumed, and confirm the added value of as opposed to other oils in protecting against cardiovascular disease and other risk factors.

EUROLIVE received EUR 1.9 million in EU funding. The researchers completed their work in December 2004.

Explore further: Using olive oil in your diet may prevent a stroke

More information: cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/64505_en.html

Related Stories

Using olive oil in your diet may prevent a stroke

June 15, 2011
A new study suggests that consuming olive oil may help prevent a stroke in older people. The research is published in the June 15, 2011, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

A taste for olive oil could provide insight into its anti-inflammatory properties

October 8, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Deakin University researchers are investigating the anti-inflammatory properties of virgin olive oil to see if it as the potential to protect against the inflammation involved in muscle wasting conditions ...

Olive oil makes you feel full

March 14, 2013
Work groups at Technische Universität München (TUM) under Prof. Peter Schieberle and at the University of Vienna under Prof. Veronika Somoza studied four different edible fats and oils: Lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil and ...

Consumers like olive oil for health and flavor but need more facts, survey finds

May 31, 2013
Consumers in the United States are enthusiastic about the flavor and potential health benefits of olive oil but still a bit hazy on how to select, evaluate and describe this ancient but increasingly popular food product, ...

Recommended for you

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.