High quality extra virgin olive oil contains high levels of polyphenol antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids that lower the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, while raising the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).A recent study from the Lipids and Atherosclerosis Research Unit of the Reina Sofia University Hospital in Córdoba, discovered that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil or other monounsaturated fats could improve the arterial function of elderly individuals.
A recent Spanish study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in extra virgin olive oil reduces the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50% compared to a low fat diet. Type II diabetes is the most common and preventable form of diabetes.Previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean style diet rich in extra virgin olive oil may prevent the appearance of type II diabetes by improving blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and blood lipid levels.
According to a study from France published in the online issue of Neurology (the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology), older individuals who consume extra virgin olive oil daily may be able to protect themselves from a stroke.The results showed that the “intensive” users of extra virgin olive oil, those that used for both cooking and dressings had a 41% lower risk of stroke compared to those that did not use extra virgin olive oil at all. These results were noted even after considering weight, diet, physical activity and other risk factors.
The phytonutrient in extra virgin olive oil, oleocanthal, mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer (the most common type of cancer in Western countries) and its recurrence.A study conducted by Dr. Niva Shapira from Tel Aviv University in Israel and Bob Kuklinski of Rockstock University in Germany found that extra virgin olive oil may contribute to the prevention of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.Due to its vitamin E contents, extra virgin olive oil aids in neutralizing free radicals, which leads to a lower risk for colon cancer.
According to a study published in the journal PNAS (Procedeings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America) extra virgin olive oil can protect from hypertension when combined with leafy green vegetables such as spinach, wild greens, and root vegetables.A study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reports that daily consumption of olive oil, about 40 grams per day, reduces the needed dosage of blood pressure medication by about 50% in hypertensive patients, possibly because of a reduction in nitric acid caused by polyphenols.
A high consumption of extra virgin olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps calcium absorption and so plays an important role in aiding sufferers and in preventing the onset of osteoporosis
High quality extra virgin olive oil is full of polyphenol antioxidants and rich with vitamins and minerals. Its naturally occurring Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids promote vital growth stimulation for pregnant/nursing mothers, infants and children.It has been demonstrated that the post-natal development of babies of mothers who consumed extra virgin olive oil when pregnant is better in terms of height, weight, behavior and psychomotor reflexes.Extra virgin olive oil has the ability to improve brain function and learning capacities in young children. Its consumption has been linked to a positive effect on a child's height, weight and cognitive and behavioral development.
Although high in calories, extra virgin olive oil has shown to help reduce levels of obesity. According to a review of 50 studies with over half a million participants published in the Journal of The American College of Cardiology, adherence to the Mediterranean style diet, which includes consumption of monounsaturated fats mainly in the form of extra virgin olive oil is associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and high blood sugar which can result in type II diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, or sudden death.
According to Spanish researchers from the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil can protect from mental illness. In addition, the researchers discovered that a higher intake of extra virgin olive oil and polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish oils was associated with a lower risk of depression.