New Findings from Natural Substances

Olive Oil: A Natural Source of Benefits for Human Health

Author(s): Fabio Mastrogiovanni*, Roberta Bernini and Antonio Tiezzi

Pp: 164-182 (19)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815051421122010010

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


 Since ancient times, olive oil has been part of human culture. It is the main source of fatty acids in the Mediterranean diet and has beneficial effects on human health. Due to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and polyphenols, it is generally considered one of the best sources of fat. Among its health properties, olive oil can counteract LDL cholesterol, and protect against cardiovascular diseases and furthermore, its biomolecules (such as polyphenols) can positively interact with oxidative stress, carcinogenesis and arteriosclerosis. Oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol (HTyr) are characteristic phenols of olive oil. Oleuropein is hydrolyzed by endogenous βglycosidases to produce HTyr. The beneficial effect of olive oil on oxidative stress is largely due to HTyr and its derivatives. Furthermore, HTyr exhibits antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and neuroprotective activities. The search for synthetic compounds derived from HTyr can be an interesting way to enhance their biological activities and / or to discover other properties. HTyr can be obtained from crusher wastewater, which is considered a good source of Htyr. 

Keywords: Biological assets, Health benefits, Hydroxytyrosol, Hydroxytyrosol derivatives, MUFA, Olea europaea, Oleuropein, Olive oil, Polyphenols.

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