Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


The health benefits of olive oil include treatment of colon and breast cancer, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, and high cholesterol. It also aids weight loss, improves metabolism, digestion, and prevents aging. It is a staple ingredient for many culinary preparations and also serves a variety of medicinal purposes. Medical studies suggest that it is loaded with health benefits.

Cardiovascular Diseases
The beneficial effects of olive oil on coronary heart disease risk factors are now recognized and on November 2004, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S.A. permitted a claim on olive oil labels concerning: “the benefits on the risk of coronary heart disease of eating two tablespoons (23g) of olive oil daily, due to the monounsaturated fat (MUFA) in olive oil” (Covas, 2007). Thanks to powerful antioxidants, known as polyphenols, extra virgin olive oil is considered an anti-inflammatory food and cardiovascular protector. There is considerable evidence that the traditional Mediterranean diet with high monounsaturated fats may be an optimal diet for healthy people, as well as for patients with coronary heart disease .
Cancer
Approximately 80% of human cancers (especially breast, ovary, prostate, colorectal, upper digestive and respiratory tract cancers) have been associated with unhealthy lifestyles. There is now considerable evidence of the protective role of the Mediterranean diet on cancer incidence and mortality, significantly reducing the incidence of mortality from cancer by 6%. Extra virgin olive oil contains substantial amounts of compounds deemed to be anticancer agents, such as squalene, terpenoids and oleic acid.
Alzheimer Disease
Extra virgin olive oil is considered a brain food that improves focus and memory. It helps fight age-related cognitive decline, because it protects against inflammation and oxidative stress that are toxic to the brain and can trigger dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Diabetes
Evidence suggests that consuming olive oil has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and is likely to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids contained in extra virgin olive oil influence glucose metabolism by altering cell membrane function, enzyme activity, insulin signaling and gene expression. They help stabilize blood sugar levels and regulate insulin.
Hormone Regulation
Extra virgin olive oil has hormone-balancing, anti-inflammatory effects that can prevent neurotransmitter dysfunction. A study conducted by the University of Las Palmas in Spain found that consumption of olive oil, as part of a Mediterranean diet, had an inverse relationship with depression risk.
Skin Health
Extra virgin olive oil helps counter the harmful effects to our skin from exposure to toxicity, free radicals, UV light damage and inflammation-causing poor diets or food allergies. As a high source of vitamin A and other antioxidants, extra virgin olive oil can also help hydrate skin, speed up wound healing and help fight infections or hormonal imbalances that can lead to acne, eczema and other skin conditions