Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been a staple of Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, and its health benefits have been well-documented in scientific literature. Recent studies have shown that EVOO has various health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, improving cognitive function, and preventing certain types of cancer. In this article, we will explore the scientific benefits of extra virgin olive oil, backed by scientific sources.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally, and a healthy diet plays a vital role in preventing it. Research suggests that consuming EVOO can reduce the risk of heart disease. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events by 30% compared to a low-fat diet. Moreover, EVOO has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to reduce the oxidative stress that contributes to heart disease.
- Improves cognitive function
Cognitive decline is a natural part of aging, and it can lead to dementia and Alzheimer's disease. However, some studies have shown that consuming EVOO can help to improve cognitive function. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease showed that consuming EVOO as part of a Mediterranean diet was associated with improved cognitive function in older adults. EVOO contains oleocanthal, a compound that has been shown to reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease.
- Prevents certain types of cancer
Cancer is a complex disease that can have multiple causes. However, research has shown that EVOO can help to prevent certain types of cancer. A study published in the Annals of Oncology showed that consuming a Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO reduced the risk of breast cancer by 68% compared to a low-fat diet. EVOO contains polyphenols, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Moreover, EVOO has been shown to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells, which can prevent their proliferation.
- Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of many chronic diseases. EVOO has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that consuming EVOO reduced the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood of healthy adults.
Extra virgin olive oil is a nutritious and healthy food that has been used for centuries in Mediterranean cuisine. Its health benefits have been scientifically proven, and it can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve cognitive function, prevent certain types of cancer, and reduce inflammation. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of EVOO, make sure to choose a high-quality product from a trusted source.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease:
- Schwingshackl, L., & Hoffmann, G. (2014). Monounsaturated fatty acids and risk of cardiovascular disease: synopsis of the evidence available from systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Nutrients, 6(10), 4345-4383. doi: 10.3390/nu6104345
- Covas, M. I., Ruiz-Gutiérrez, V., de la Torre, R., Kafatos, A., Lamuela-Raventos, R. M., Osada, J.,... & Visioli, F. (2006). Minor components of olive oil: evidence to date of health benefits in humans. Nutrition Reviews, 64(10), S20-S30. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2006.tb00225.x
- Improves cognitive function:
- Martínez-Lapiscina, E. H., Clavero, P., Toledo, E., San Julián, B., Sanchez-Tainta, A., Corella, D.,... & Martínez-González, M. A. (2013). Virgin olive oil supplementation and long-term cognition: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomized, trial. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 17(6), 544-552. doi: 10.1007/s12603-013-0027-6
- Farr, S. A., Price, T. O., Dominguez, L. J., Motisi, A., Saiano, F., Niehoff, M. L.,... & Morley, J. E. (2012). Extra virgin olive oil improves learning and memory in SAMP8 mice. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 28(1), 81-92. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-110449
- Prevents certain types of cancer:
- Toledo, E., Salas-Salvadó, J., Donat-Vargas, C., Buil-Cosiales, P., Estruch, R., Ros, E.,... & Martínez-González, M. A. (2015). Mediterranean diet and invasive breast cancer risk among women at high cardiovascular risk in the PREDIMED trial: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(11), 1752-1760. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4838
- Guasch-Ferré, M., Hu, F. B., Martínez-González, M. A., Fitó, M., Bulló, M., Estruch, R.,... & Salas-Salvadó, J. (2015). Olive oil intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in the PREDIMED Study. BMC Medicine, 13(1), 1-14. doi: 10.1186/s12916-015-0295-0
- Reduces inflammation:
- Casas, R., Sacanella, E., Urpí-Sardà, M., Chiva-Blanch, G., Ros, E., Martínez-González, M. A.,... & Estruch, R. (2014). The effects of the Mediterranean diet on biomarkers of vascular wall inflammation and plaque vulnerability in subjects with high risk for cardiovascular disease. A randomized trial. PloS One, 9(6), e100084. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100084
- Beauchamp, G. K., Keast, R. S., Morel, D., Lin, J., Pika, J., Han, Q.,... & Breslin, P. A. (2005). Phytochemistry: ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil. Nature, 437(7055), 45-46. doi: 10.1038/437045a