There is much more health in olive oil than previously thought.

Some new studies are now even raising hopes of treatment options for brain tumours, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

Many of the health benefits of olive oil have been known for years – and more and more are being discovered as researchers look more closely at this centuries-old product from the Mediterranean region.

Based on these 6 diseases, you can see how much medicinal power is contained in high-quality olive oil.

I. Heart and circulation

Almost everyone is familiar with this first plus point: cardiovascular diseases in particular can be prevented or significantly improved by switching to a Mediterranean diet, which is heavily based on olive oil, as confirmed by a study conducted by the Medical Research Institute in Barcelona in February 2017.
Olive oil contains 73 per cent unsaturated fatty acids, but above all a large number of antioxidants, such as oleic acid, which lowers LDL cholesterol and thus prevents hardening of the arteries. In addition, there is oleuropein, which dilates the arteries. This even goes so far that vegetables fried in olive oil are healthier than cooked ones, as was found in a study at the University of Granada: Antioxidants are lost when cooking, but not when frying in olive oil.

II. Cancer therapy

Almost everyone is familiar with this first plus point: cardiovascular diseases in particular can be prevented or significantly improved by switching to a Mediterranean diet, which is heavily based on olive oil, as confirmed by a study conducted by the Medical Research Institute in Barcelona in February 2017.
A few years ago, an ibuprofen-like effect of the oleocanthal contained in olive oil was already noted. Not enough to relieve headaches straight away, but in concentrated quantities this phenylethanoid does have a highly interesting effect.
And the more research is done on olive oil, the more surprising the results. Oleocanthal also has an extremely toxic effect on cancer cells. It attacks the lysosomes inside the cancer cells, where they store waste. They are destroyed by the oleocanthal – and so the cancer cells die within about 30 minutes, as the scientists Paul Breslin, David Foster and Onica LeGendre found in their study.

“The more people opt for a Mediterranean diet, the higher the importance of oleocanthal as a key element in this dietary pattern.”

Paul Breslin,

Nutrition specialist at the State University of New Jersey

III. Tumour control

According to studies by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology at the University of Edinburgh, the oleic acid already mentioned is able to stop a very specific protein that plays a decisive role in the formation of brain tumours.

To be more precise: the oleic acid prevents the protein from developing the so-called miR-7. This also prevents the formation of the tumours.

The researchers cannot say whether olive oil as a food already helps to prevent the formation of cancer in the brain. But:

“The results of the studies suggest that oleic acid supports the production of tumour-suppressing molecules in cell cultures in the laboratory.”

Dr. Gracjan Michlewski,

University Edinburgh

According to the results of his research so far, not only brain cells are positively influenced by oleic acid – an inhibition of breast cancer cells could also be proven.

#Was sind Polyphenole

IV. Alzheimer’s

A third case study in June 2017 brought another exciting insight into olive oil. This time, the scientists tested two groups of mice.

After nine and twelve months of life, respectively, the animals were tested for their memory and learning abilities. The olive oil-fed animals performed significantly better in all tests.

A third case study in June 2017 brought another exciting insight into olive oil. This time, the scientists tested two groups of mice. In later comparisons of the brains, the same result: the brain cells of the olive oil group were visibly healthier and they had less amyloid plaque, a consequence of toxic proteins that accumulate in the brain.

The researchers’ finding: Olive oil could trigger “nerve cell autophagy”. This is a process in which cells break down and utilise their own components. A kind of purification process. In this way, memory and synaptic integrity could be preserved and the pathological effect reduced.

“This is a very important discovery, because we suspect that a reduction in autophagy signifies the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Domenico Praticò,

Temple University

V. Blood sugar

Olive oil can also have a positive effect on diabetes: studies have shown that the use of olive oil in type 1 diabetes patients, for example, ensures that the rise in blood sugar after eating is lower. And doctors also recommend the Mediterranean diet for patients with type 2 diabetes – preferably exclusively with olive oil, as this ensures a permanent reduction in blood sugar..

VI. Osteoporosis

Olive oil can even have a positive influence on the formation of osteoporosis: In the Mediterranean countries, this disease of brittle bones, which affects many people in old age, is nowhere near as common. The phenols contained in olive oil protect the bone mass.

In all of this, however, it is extremely important to pay attention to the really good quality of the olive oil. Not every “extra virgin” or “extra virgin” is really what it should be: namely natural. Olive oils from supermarkets or discounters, even though they are labelled “extra virgin” or “extra virgin”, are not natural, but processed used oils, they contain neither much oleic acid nor polyphenols such as oleocanthal, but only many free oleic acids and therefore taste “mild“. Olive oil that has not been refined, i.e. fresh and not heat-treated, is slightly bitter – for which the oleocanthal is responsible. An olive oil that is no longer bitter and pungent therefore has hardly any oleocanthal or oleuropein and is thus also free of health effects at the same time.

So don’t put taste before health. It is better to go for a really natural “extra virgin” and none of the “manipulated” variants. A few euros more for the original is always worth it.