Special Report

The health benefits of olive oil are unrivaled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day. In fact, we are only just beginning to understand the countless ways olive oil can improve our health, and our lives. Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet — an essential nutritional mainstay for the world’s longest-living cultures.

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Some Diseases Olive Oil Has Been Found to Be Effective Against

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Heart Disease

Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HDL-cholesterol (and may even raise them), which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches, thus stimulating the elimination of the low-density lipoproteins.

Olive Oil and The Immune System
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Heart Disease

Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HDL-cholesterol (and may even raise them), which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches, thus stimulating the elimination of the low-density lipoproteins.

Olive Oil and The Immune System
Image

Heart Disease

Olive oil lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time it does not alter the levels of HDL-cholesterol (and may even raise them), which plays a protective role and prevents the formation of fatty patches, thus stimulating the elimination of the low-density lipoproteins.

Olive Oil and The Immune System
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Olive Oil Diet Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Traditionally a low-fat diet has been prescribed to prevent various diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. While studies have shown that high fat diets may increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat. We now know that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts and seeds actually protects from many of these chronic diseases.

A study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet. Type II diabetes is the most common and preventable form of diabetes.

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Olive Oil Keeps The Heart Young

A diet rich in olive oil may actually be able to slow down the aging of the heart.

It is a known fact that as we grow older the heart also goes through a normal aging process. The arteries may not function as well as they did and this can lead to a number of health problems. However, in a recent study, Spanish researchers discovered that a diet rich in olive oil or other monounsaturated fats could improve the arterial function of elderly individuals.

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Olive Oil Fights Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass, which in turn causes the architecture of bone tissue to become fragile. This can then increase the possibly of fractures, making even the slightest of knocks potentially fatal for sufferers.

Olive oil supplementation was found to positively affect the thickness of bones. Olive oil will not be the only solution in the continuing fight against postmenopausal osteoporosis, hoever scientists have concluded that it is a very promising candidate for future treatments of the disease.

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Olive Oil May Protect From Depression

It is common knowledge that olive oil and the Mediterranean diet confer a multitude of health benefits. But what about emotional health benefits?

According to Spanish researchers from the University of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a diet rich in olive oil can protect from mental illness.

Researchers recently discovered that a higher intake of olive oil and polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish and vegetable oils was associated with a lower risk of depression.

The findings suggested that cardiovascular disease and depression may share some common mechanisms related to one's diet.

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Olive Oil Found to Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Another recent study found that olive oil, along with other components of a Mediterranean diet, may contribute to the prevention of malignant melanoma. The most dangerous type of skin cancer may be slowed down by consumption of olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants, the researchers found.

The use of sunscreen remains the best way to prevent sunburn and shield the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. However, "Going Greek" and consuming olive oil and other Mediterranean food staples, could help counter the oxidizing effect of the sun.

Only three in every 100,000 residents of countries in the Mediterranean develop any form of skin cancer. The figure is low, especially when considering the warm climate in the region. In Australia, the figure is 50 in every 100,000 residents.

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Explaining Why Virgin Olive Oil Protects Against Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Western countries. While a diet rich in fats is directly related to a higher incidence of cancer, some types of fats can actually play a protective role against the development of these tumors. Such is the case of virgin olive oil which is rich in oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, and contains several bioactive compounds such as antioxidants.

A moderate and regular intake of virgin olive oil, characteristic of the Mediterranean diet, is associated with a low incidences of specific types of cancer, including breast cancer, as well as with having a protective role against coronary diseases and other health problems.

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Olive Oil Can Reduce The Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

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Numerous studies, including one recently published in the journal Chemical Neuroscience, showed that the oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil has the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and the cognitive decline that comes with aging.

Olive oil polyphenols are known to be powerful antioxidants which may help to reverse oxidative damage that occurs in the aging process.

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