Oil and health

Modern science recognizes to extra virgin olive oil undisputed values and virtues, especially as food-medicine. Olive oil is universally acknowledged as natural defence in the prevention of the digestive system diseases, bone ageing, cardiovascular diseases, arteriosclerosis and some types of tumors.

Olive oil, besides, thank to its acid composition is similar to breast milk, so it is all along recommended in the weaning of babies and it is useful for old people because helps assimilate calcium and its mineralization, preventing from osteoporosis.
A new branch of the modern medicine studies the nutriceuticals. It is not sufficient anymore to reduce the amount of fats in a diet, but there is always more often the need to give not only to patients but also to the general population, specific suggestions compared to the single typology of fat and the way they take it.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in antioxidants. The extra virgin olive oil is poor in saturated fats and rich in antioxidant molecules (in particular phenols). A constant use of extra virgin olive oil phenols results to be associated to beneficial effects for the health, such as reduction of ischemic heart disease risk, insurgence of mammary carcinoma cells and also a better control of blood pressure.

The extra virgin olive oil is an essential nutrient of the Mediterranean diet. Correctly elaborated, raw oil keeps all the vitamins, the taste and flavoring of olives, that then passes on food. Moreover, thanks to the stability of the fatty unsaturated acids and antioxidants is perfect to fry at high temperatures. This method is used in the Mediterranean countries and food keeps its quality completely, even if oil is used to fry more than once.

Extra-virgin olive Oil as an anti-inflammatory: a team of experts coordinated by Gary Beauchamp and Paul Breslin of the Monel Chemical Senses Center from Philadelfia found a new molecule in fresh extra virgin olive oil and named it oleocanthal; this molecule has the same anti-inflammatory properties as ibuprofen, that is to say they are both able to inhibit Cox 1 and Cox 2 enzymes. This additionally proves that oil is among the healthiest nutrients of the Mediterranean diet. (Bibliography Beauchamp G et al. Ibuprofen-Like activity in extra-virgin olive oil, enzymes in an inflammation pathway are inhibited by oleocanthal, a component of olive oil. Nature 2005;437)