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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Health Information


Extra virgin olive oil ’s beneficial health promoting properties include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-atherogenic, anti-thrombotic, and anti-mutagenic effects.


Extra virgin olive oil ’s beneficial health promoting properties include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-atherogenic, anti-thrombotic, and anti-mutagenic effects. As a result, extra virgin olive oil (XVOO) is associated with prevention and improvement in several degenerative chronic diseases: cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cancer which contribute to increased longevity (how long a person lives).1,2


A very extensive article was published in a 2016 edition of Molecules which outlined nine biomarkers (measurable biological entities) that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) effects concerning longevity. The 2016 article discusses EVOO’s anti-oxidant properties and its effects on metabolic pathways. Metabolic pathways are becoming more (if not the most) important player in the ageing process along with free radical damage to the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (yes DNA does exist outside of the nucleus).1


Metabolic pathways and signaling begin in the beta cells of the pancreas producing the hormone insulin. Insulin’s primary function is allowing glucose to be transported into the cell through the cell membrane. The cell membranes functions are to protect the cell from the exterior (exoplasm) and interior (cytoplasm) and allow the cell to move substances from the exoplasm to the cytoplasm.


XVOO is known for being a monounsaturated fat (omega-9) positively influencing the cell membrane making it more fluid. The membranes consist of a phospholipid bilayer, glycolipds, cholesterol, fatty acids, channeling proteins, transport proteins, and signaling receptor proteins. Consumption of XVOO allows the various membrane movement proteins to function more precisely and efficiently.


XVOO also contains an array of bioactive molecules that affect metabolic cycle signaling pathways and prevent DNA damage in the nucleus and mitochondria. The bioactive molecules of XVOO are often overlooked.


The most cited bioactive molecules in XVOO are polyphenols. Polyphenols demonstrate potent anti-oxidant properties which are extensively discussed in the medical scientific literature. The most frequent publications on XVOO polyphenols involve prevention and proliferation of cancer acting as an anti-oxidant and neutralizing reactive oxygen species (ROS).


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) damaging cell membranes and proteins (DNA) has been well documented since the 1930s. ROS damage both the nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA. XVOO is a potent anti-oxidant led by its polyphenol content. Another DNA protein damaged by ROS is the telomere which protects the ends of chromosomes similar to aglets (plastic ends) of a shoe lace. Fascinating studies have been performed regarding telomere lengths and their relation to biological aging. A Mediterranean diet using XVOO has been shown to slow telomere shortening (attrition) and possibly lengthen telomeres.

REFERENCES

[1] Fernandez del Rio et al. Olive Oil and the Hallmarks of Aging. Molecules 2016, 21, 163; doi:10.3390/molecules21020163


[2] Gorzynik-Debicka et al. Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols. Int. J. of Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 547; doi:103390/ijms1903086



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