Olive oil polyphenols: Against cell damage and skin ageing

Oxidative stress and ageing processes of the skin

Have you ever wondered why Italian women usually look at least 5 years younger than their Northern European counterparts, even though they are exposed to more sunlight ? Recent studies on oxidative stress processes in the skin establish a link between dietary habits and aging processes and discover a powerful helper: olive oil!

Olive oil and the leaves of olive trees contain a natural substance called oleuropein. Oleuropein belongs to the group of polyphenols and is found in the fruit, the root and above all in the olive leaf. This substance is used in cosmetic products because it helps neutralise cell damage and prevents skin ageing caused by light. It is considered a bitter substance and serves primarily as an antioxidant in cosmetic products. An antioxidant is a low-molecular group or enzyme that is supposed to protect the organism from reactive oxygen species and thus from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is considered to be partly responsible for the ageing process and is associated with the development of a number of diseases. In nutrition, polyphenols have long attracted the interest of science. They are said to have antioxidant and antiviral effects, render free radicals harmless, regulate blood pressure, inhibit inflammatory processes and help against numerous diseases of civilisation. They are even thought to have a cancer-preventing effect.

BYE-BYE smooth SKIN ?

By the mid-twenties at the latest, sometimes even earlier, skin ageing becomes noticeable in the form of fine lines or irregularities. Expression lines also deepen – but they also make the face more expressive. The reason for the visible signs of ageing skin is, simply put, that dead cells are no longer replaced by new ones as quickly as they are in children and young people. The sun (UV radiation) also leaves its mark, as does fast food or alcohol. In order to promote the regeneration of the skin and protect it from negative influences, it is advisable to start early with the right care and to counteract this with the diet. Here, a polyphenol-rich olive oil is very helpful. Unfortunately, these are not easy to find, as only low-quality goods are offered in supermarkets. Such olive oil works best when it is added raw, i.e. unheated, to food. You should not worry about gaining weight with olive oil, this is absolutely unfounded. 

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