Health properties of extra virgin olive oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil plays a key role in maintaining the health status of every person.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the strict government agency that oversees the regulation of food and pharmaceutical products that will be distributed on U.S. soil, has revisited the definition of extra virgin olive oil from a health food to a medicine.

Americans have not turned a blind eye to the growing solid scientific evidence of clinical efficacy of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in preventing deadly cardiovascular disease and cognitive deficits typical of the elderly, as well as in reducing the risk of silent type II diabetes mellitus.

Perhaps not everyone knows that daily intake of extra virgin olive oil is helpful in reducing the risk of breast cancer due to its great anti-inflammatory and nutrigenomic properties.

The FDA claim states that it is sufficient to ingest every day, and within a maximum of 12 to 18 months after extraction (according to Italian law (Law No. 9/2013, art.7), from the date of bottling of the product), 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of extra virgin olive oil (known to have an oleic acid content between 70 and 80 percent), raw and cold-processed, to ensure our body’s intake of at least 17.5 grams of oleic acid, an important monounsaturated fatty acid of the omega 9 family; 4.5 milligrams of vitamin E, a known fat-soluble antioxidant; and 10 milligrams of effective polyphenols (oleocanthal, tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol and oleacein, among them), powerful modulators of the expression of protective genes in an epigenetic manner.

In 2016, it was shown by a group of researchers at the Aldo Moro University of Bari that a single morning, fasting intake by healthy subjects of 50 milliliters (44 grams) of Coratina extra virgin olive oil promotes the expression of microRNAs (miR; the smallest RNAs in nature that block the expression of specific genes) with anti-inflammatory (miR-23b-3p) and anti-tumor (miR-519b-3p) actions, while inhibiting the expression of microRNAs that promote the onset of insulin resistance (miR-107)

23 grams of extra virgin olive oil ensures the intake of just over 200 calories. Therefore, EVO Oil should be the exclusive condiment of a balanced, low-fat diet, such as the Mediterranean diet or the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, to avoid excessive intake of calories from fat.

The studies supporting the FDA’s decision had been in the public eye for years and show that replacing certain saturated fatty acids in the diet, such as long-chain fatty acids (e.g., palmitic acid and myristic acid), with the right doses of oleic acid and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., omega-3s) greatly reduces serum levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, among the leading causes of atherosclerosis.


Cardiovascular system
Those who habitually consume olive oil greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Gastro-intestinal system
Extra virgin olive oil, compared with other fats, is undoubtedly the most digestible, as it is absorbed quickly, protecting the mucous membranes of the digestive system.

Skeletal system
Extra virgin olive oil slows the processes of bone decalcification in people of advanced age and is indicated for the development of the skeletal system in children.

Nervous system
Extra virgin olive oil prevents the onset of deterioration of brain function and has an important action on the development of the nervous system during childhood.

Immune system
Extra virgin olive oil is a protector of the immune system, neutralizing free radicals. Effective antioxidant action against cell walls.

Dermo-epithelial system
Extra virgin olive oil is a skin protector, treats hair loss and protects the skin from the sun.

Proper storage
In order not to alter its nutraceutical potential, it should be remembered that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is very demanding and preferred:
  • be stored at a temperature between 14 and 18 degrees; while, it does not like high temperatures or near or below zero;
  • be kept in small (maximum 500 milliliters) tightly closed, always clean, glass (opaque or dark), porcelain or stainless steel containers in cool places away from aromatic contamination. Although tin is a good compromise for short periods, food grade plastic should never be used. Remembering, however, that in catering, Italian Law 161 of Oct. 30, 2014 (Article 18, Paragraph 1 c) prescribes the use of closed, labeled and non-refillable containers, while prohibiting the use of pleasing and artistic “household” cruets or oil cruets
  • not be in contact with oxygen and therefore do not let it remain for long in half-empty containers, even if hermetically sealed.
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