Saturday February 24, 2024

Why you should make olive oil part of your diet immediately

Mediterranean diet, which is often regarded as one of the healthiest diets, is built around olive oil

By Web Desk
February 26, 2023
The image shows an Italian snack and a bottle of olive oil.— Unsplash
The image shows an Italian snack and a bottle of olive oil.— Unsplash

The Mediterranean diet, which is often regarded as one of the healthiest ways to eat, is built around olive oil. 

Olive oil has several health advantages, and most of these are due to its small ingredients, such as polyphenols. The potential advantages of oleic acid, which constitutes between 70% - 80% of olive oil and is now the focus of a new study published in the journal Nutrients, are being highlighted. 

According to researchers from the University of Seville's Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, the main ingredient in olive oil has qualities that decrease cholesterol and help prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

It is difficult to top the Mediterranean diet when it comes to disease prevention and slowing ageing. 

Olive trees are widely spread over the Mediterranean region. Naturally, the fruits of those trees are where olive oil is derived from, making it the most distinctive nutrient and the main source of fat in a normal Mediterranean diet. Many vegetables, moderate fish consumption, low to moderate dairy consumption, little or no red meat consumption, and moderate wine consumption are further components of the Mediterranean diet.

Oleic acid

The primary component of olive oil, oleic acid, is involved in many of the oil's health advantages. 

According to researchers working with experts from the Seville North and Aljarafe Health District and the Costa del Sol Hospital, oleic acid serves as the primary monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) in the human circulatory system. It is a significant component of membrane phospholipids in the human brain and is abundant in neuronal myelin sheaths. 

Patients with serious depressive disorders and Alzheimer's disease have lower levels of oleic acid in their brains, according to medical professionals.

Fighting cancer?

Oleic acid, like all free fatty acids, is primarily used as an energy source and as a part of cell membranes. Its antioxidant qualities, which can directly control both the synthesis and activity of antioxidant enzymes, are one of its most notable traits. 

Its capacity to block the production of proteins associated with cholesterol transport, lowering cholesterol absorption, and ultimately preventing atherosclerosis, is another advantage.

Not only that. Due to its inhibitory effects on the overexpression of oncogenes (genes that have the potential to cause cancer) and their impact on programmed cell death, oleic acid is a recognised anti-cancer chemical. Oleic acid is also labelled as an anti-inflammatory chemical by most researchers, however, there is some disagreement about this.

Even the oleic acid derivative oleoylethanolamide exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been suggested by some as an effective treatment agent to treat obesity. Further research suggests that oleic acid influences both the immune system through the control of cells linked to inflammation and epigenetic mechanisms (direct alterations of DNA and DNA-associated proteins).