Benefits of Olive Oil

Top Ten Reasons You Should Use Olive Oil!

Prepared by Dr. Su Fairchild

1. Palmitoleic acid in olive oil helps make people feel full, and thus possibly eat less. Oral administration of omega-7 palmitoleic acid induces satiety and the release of appetite-related hormones in male rats.
Yang ZH, Takeo J, Katayama M.

We have shown that orally administered palmitoleic acid induced satiety, enhanced the release of satiety hormones in rats.

 2. Olive oil contains polyphenols that may have anti-cancer and anti-aging effects.
Cell Cycle. 2013 Jan 31;12(4).
Xenohormetic and anti-aging activity of secoiridoid polyphenols present in extra virgin olive oil
Source: Metabolism and Cancer Group; Translational Research Laboratory; Catalan Institute of Oncology, Girona, Spain; Girona Biomedical Research Institute; Girona, Spain.

Abstract: Aging can be viewed as a quasi-programmed phenomenon driven by the overactivation of the nutrient-sensing mTOR gerogene. mTOR-driven aging can be triggered or accelerated by a decline or loss of responsiveness to activation of the energy-sensing protein AMPK, a critical gerosuppressor of mTOR. The occurrence of age-related diseases, therefore, reflects the synergistic interaction between our evolutionary path to sedentarism, which chronically increases a number of mTOR activating gero-promoters (e.g., food, growth factors, cytokines and insulin) and the “defective design” of central metabolic integrators such as mTOR and AMPK. Our laboratories at the Bioactive Food Component Platform in Spain have initiated a systematic approach to molecularly elucidate and clinically explore whether the “xenohormesis hypothesis,” which states that stress-induced synthesis of plant polyphenols and many other phytochemicals provides an environmental chemical signature that upregulates stress-resistance pathways in plant consumers, can be explained in terms of the reactivity of the AMPK/mTOR-axis to so-called xenohormetins. Here, we explore the AMPK/mTOR-xenohormetic nature of complex polyphenols naturally present in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a pivotal component of the Mediterranean style diet that has been repeatedly associated with a reduction in age-related morbid conditions and longer life expectancy. Using crude EVOO phenolic extracts highly enriched in the secoiridoids oleuropein aglycon and decarboxymethyl oleuropein aglycon, we show for the first time that (1) the anticancer activity of EVOO secoiridoids is related to the activation of anti-aging/cellular stress-like gene signatures, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response, spermidine and polyamine metabolism, sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) and NRF2 signaling; (2) EVOO secoiridoids activate AMPK and suppress crucial genes involved in the Warburg effect and the self-renewal capacity of “immortal” cancer stem cells; (3) EVOO secoiridoids prevent age-related changes in the cell size, morphological heterogeneity, arrayed cell arrangement and senescence-associated β-galactosidase staining of normal diploid human fibroblasts at the end of their proliferative lifespans. EVOO secoiridoids, which provide an effective defense against plant attack by herbivores and pathogens, are bona fide xenohormetins that are able to activate the gerosuppressor AMPK and trigger numerous resveratrol-like anti-aging transcriptomic signatures. As such, EVOO secoiridoids constitute a new family of plant-produced gerosuppressant agents that molecularly “repair” the aimless (and harmful) AMPK/mTOR-driven quasi-program that leads to aging and aging-related diseases, including cancer.


3. Olive oil contains phenols that have anti-microbial activity.
J Food Prot. 2007 May;70(5):1194-9.
Antimicrobial activity of olive oil, vinegar, and various beverages against foodborne pathogens.

Abstract: The survival of food borne pathogens in aqueous extracts of olive oil, virgin olive oil, vinegar, and several beverages was evaluated. Vinegar and aqueous extracts of virgin olive oil showed the strongest bactericidal activity against all strains tested. Red and white wines also killed most strains after 5 min of contact, black and green tea extracts showed weak antimicrobial activity under these conditions, and no effect was observed for the remaining beverages (fruit juices, Coca-Cola, dairy products, coffee, and beer). The phenolic compound content of the aqueous olive oil and virgin olive oil extracts could explain their antibacterial activity, which was also confirmed in mayonnaises and salads used as food models. Virgin olive oil in mayonnaises and salads reduced the counts of inoculated Salmonella Enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes by approximately 3 log CFU/g. Therefore, olive oil could be a hurdle component in certain processed foods and exert a protective effect against foodborne pathogens when contaminated foods are ingested.


4. Olive oil can help boost HDL, which is the ‘good’ cholesterol.
Effects of dietary supplementation with ghee, hydrogenated oil, or olive oil on lipid profile and fatty streak formation in rabbits.

BACKGROUND; Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. A high-fat diet, rich in saturated fatty acids and low in polyunsaturated fatty acids, is said to be an important cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

RESULTS: In rabbits under normal diet, ghee significantly increased TC, LDL, and HDL compared to the beginning (P < 0.01) and also to the other two types of fat (P < 0.05). Moreover, normal diet plus olive oil significantly enhanced FSF in left coronary arteries and aorta compared to normal diet plus ghee. In groups receiving hypercholesterolemic diets, ghee significantly increased HDL and CRP (P < 0.05) and significantly decreased FBS (P < 0.01). The hypecholesterolemic diet plus olive oil significantly increased HDL (P < 0.01). Supplementation of hypecholesterolemic diet with ghee significantly increased HDL and FBS in comparison with hydrogenated oil. Significant increase of FBS was also detected with the use of ghee compared to olive oil. Ghee also significantly reduced FSF in left and right coronary arteries compared to olive oil. FSF in left coronary arteries was significantly lower in the hypecholesterolemic diet plus ghee group compared to the hypecholesterolemic diet plus hydrogenated oil group.

CONCLUSION: According to the achieved results, future clinical trial studies and investigation of other risk factors such as inflammatory factors are required.

5. Olive oil has strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and flaxseed oil does not seem to confer additional anti0inflammatory effects in those who already consume olive oil.
Metabolism. 2013 Jan 21. pii: S0026-0495(12)00441-6. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.11.007.
Flax seed oil does not affect inflammatory markers and lipid profile compared to olive oil, in young, healthy, normal weight adults.

OBJECTIVE: Olive oil (OO) is a rich source of monounsaturated fat and bioactive components that exert strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Flaxseed oil (FO) is rich in α-linolenic n-3 fatty acid (ALA), which also exhibits anti-inflammatory effects. This randomized, cross-over study aimed at exploring whether diet’s enrichment with FO could beneficially alter inflammatory markers and lipid profile, compared to OO, in a sample of normal weight, apparently healthy young adults.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants were supplied with 15mL/day of either FO or OO. Each intervention and the wash-out period lasted 6weeks. Dietary, anthropometric and physical activity variables were recorded at the beginning and the end of each intervention. Serum biochemical and inflammatory markers were measured. Compliance to the intervention was evaluated by fatty acid analysis in erythrocytes. Repeated Measures ANOVA was used to assess the effect of the treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Daily consumption of FO did not confer any benefit in inflammatory or biochemical markers in normal weight young adults, who traditionally use olive oil as the main edible oil.

6. Do not deep-fry food in olive oil. Possibly use high oleic sunflower oil instead.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jan 20. pii: S0278-6915(13)00019-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.12.058.
Impact of cooking and handling conditions on furanic compounds in breaded fish products.

Abstract: This study evaluates the influence of cooking and handling conditions on the quantity of furanic compounds (furan, 2-furfural, furfuryl alcohol, 2-pentylfuran, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural) in breaded fish products. Oven-baking and reheating in the microwave lead to low furanic compounds formation in comparison with deep-frying. The use of olive oil for deep-frying promoted higher levels of furanic compounds than sunflower oil. The amounts of these compounds diminished as the temperature and time of deep-frying decreased as well as after a delay after deep-frying. Thus, the generation of furanic compounds can be minimized by adjusting the cooking method and conditions, such as using an electric oven, deep-frying in sunflower oil at 160°C during 4min, or waiting 10min after cooking. However, these conditions that reduce furanic compounds levels also reduce the content of volatile compounds related to the aroma and flavour of fried foods. In this sense, new efforts should be done to reduce the formation of furanic compound without being detrimental to the volatile profile.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

7. Olive oil rich diets can improve cholesterol numbers, blood vessel function, and blood pressure. Phenolic compounds in olive oil have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 May;20(4):284-94. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2009.12.007. Epub 2010 Mar 19.
Olive oil and health: summary of the II international conference on olive oil and health consensus report, Jaén and Córdoba (Spain) 2008.

Abstract: Olive oil (OO) is the most representative food of the traditional Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet). Increasing evidence suggests that monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) as a nutrient, OO as a food, and the MedDiet as a food pattern are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. A MedDiet rich in OO and OO per se has been shown to improve cardiovascular risk factors, such as lipid profiles, blood pressure, postprandial hyperlipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and antithrombotic profiles. Some of these beneficial effects can be attributed to the OO minor components. Therefore, the definition of the MedDiet should include OO. Phenolic compounds in OO have shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, prevent lipoperoxidation, induce favorable changes of lipid profile, improve endothelial function, and disclose antithrombotic properties. Observational studies from Mediterranean cohorts have suggested that dietary MUFA may be protective against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies consistently support the concept that the OO-rich MedDiet is compatible with healthier aging and increased longevity. In countries where the population adheres to the MedDiet, such as Spain, Greece and Italy, and OO is the principal source of fat, rates of cancer incidence are lower than in northern European countries. Experimental and human cellular studies have provided new evidence on the potential protective effect of OO on cancer. Furthermore, results of case-control and cohort studies suggest that MUFA intake including OO is associated with a reduction in cancer risk (mainly breast, colorectal and prostate cancers).

8. Diabetics tend to have lower glucose concentrations and lower blood pressure on a diet high in monounsaturated fats compared against a diet high in carbohydrates.
Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2003 Apr;111(2):60-5.
Fat modification in the diabetes diet.

Abstract: The modification of dietary fat in the diet of diabetic patients is of interest with respect to metabolic and other consequences of this modification. To begin with the data are reviewed for the use of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in the diabetes diet. Compared to a carbohydrate-rich diet, glucose concentrations are lower. Blood pressure was also found to be lower. There were no major differences with respect to lipid concentrations. HDL-cholesterol levels tended to be higher after a MUFA-rich diet. In type-1 diabetic patients, the number of circulating big VLDL particles was greater after a MUFA diet than after a carbohydrate-rich diet. Comparisons were also made between diets enriched with MUFA and with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). With respect to lipid concentrations, different groups observed different effects. While one group saw no differences in fasting lipids, they measured a higher remnant-like particle cholesterol after a diet enriched with MUFA. Another group found higher total and LDL-cholesterol levels after a PUFA-rich diet than after a MUFA-diet. In their study, fasting glucose, insulin and fasting chylomicrons and postprandial chylomicrons and VLDL were higher following the PUFA diet. A MUFA-rich diet increased endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilatation in the superficial femoral artery. Alpha-linolenic acid appears to be a precursor of eicospentaenoic and docosahexaenoic fatty acids. As a diet rich in n-6 PUFA reduces this conversion, a n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio not exceeding 4 – 6 should be observed. No prospective data are available for alpha-linolenic acid in diabetic patients. The review summarizes the results of the Lyon Diet Heart Study and the Nurses’ Health Study. Both studies saw a reduced cardiovascular risk associated with a higher intake of alpha-linolenic acid. Finally, data on the effects of fish oil are given. The latter has a clearly expressed triglyceride-lowering effect. Data with respect to glucose control are heterogeneous. Major studies did not find any influence in glucose concentrations. Hepatic glucose production and peripheral insulin sensitivity remained constant. Evidently, nerve function can be improved by fish oil. Data have been compiled comparing the effects of fish oil with those of olive oil, linseed oil and sunflower oil.

9. Olive oil does many good things that together help reduce mortality from heart disease.
Pharmacol Res. 2007 Mar;55(3):175-86. Epub 2007 Jan 30.
Olive oil and the cardiovascular system.

Abstract: Olive oil is the primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet which is associated with a low mortality for cardiovascular disease. In spite of this, data concerning olive oil consumption and primary end points for cardiovascular disease are scarce. However, a large body of knowledge exists providing evidence of the benefits of olive oil consumption on secondary end points for cardiovascular disease. The benefits of olive oil consumption are beyond a mere reduction of the low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Here, we review the state of the art concerning the knowledge of the most important biological and clinical effects related to the intake of olive oil rich diets on lipoprotein metabolism, oxidative damage, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, blood pressure, thrombosis, and carbohydrate metabolism. The extent to which we possess evidence of the health benefits of olive oil minor components is also assessed. The wide range of anti-atherogenic effects associated with olive oil consumption could contribute to explain the low rate of cardiovascular mortality found in Southern European Mediterranean countries, in comparison with other western countries, despite a high prevalence of coronary heart disease risk factors.

10. Olive oil increases HDL as well as protects HDL from oxidation.
J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Jan 17. pii: S0955-2863(12)00285-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.10.008. [Epub ahead of print]
Olive oil polyphenols enhance the expression of cholesterol efflux related genes in vivo in humans. A randomized controlled trial.

Abstract: Both oleic acid and polyphenols have been shown to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and to protect HDL from oxidation, a phenomenon associated with a low cholesterol efflux from cells. Our goal was to determine whether polyphenols from olive oil could exert an in vivo nutrigenomic effect on genes related to cholesterol efflux in humans. In a randomized, controlled, cross-over trial, 13 pre/hypertensive patients were assigned 30 ml of two similar olive oils with high (961 mg/kg) and moderate (289 mg/kg) polyphenol content. We found an increase in ATP binding cassette transporter-A1, scavenger receptor class B type 1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)BP, PPARα, PPARγ, PPARδ and CD36 gene expression in white blood cells at postprandial after high polyphenol olive oil when compared with moderate polyphenol olive oil intervention (P<.017), with COX-1 reaching borderline significance (P=.024). Linear regression analyses showed that changes in gene expression were related to a decrease in oxidized low-density lipoproteins and with an increase in oxygen radical absorbance capacity and olive oil polyphenols (P<.05). Our results indicate a significant role of olive oil polyphenols in the up-regulation of genes involved in the cholesterol efflux from cells to HDL in vivo in humans. These results are in agreement with previous ones concerning the fact that benefits associated with polyphenol-rich olive oil consumption on cardiovascular risk could be mediated through an in vivo nutrigenomic effect in humans.