Olive oil has been shown in many studies to be heathy for the heart and to decrease mortality and some chronic illness. Most of the studies were done in the Mediterranean regions where intake of extra virgin olive oil can be up to 20 grams a day (about 5 teaspoons), along with up to 18 grams a day of refined mixed olive oil. There was a study done in the US and the US study participants intake was about 4-8 grams a day (4gm/tsp) yet the decrease in disease risk was astounding.
Here is what the study found in participants whose olive oil intake was greater than half a tablespoon or 8 grams a day:
- 15% lower risk of total mortality
- 15% lower risk of CVD death
- 38% lower risk of neurodegenerative disease death
- 12% lower risk of respiratory death
Replacing 10 g of margarine, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil was associated with 7–20% lower risk of total mortality, and death from CVD, cancer, neurodegenerative, and respiratory diseases. No significant associations were observed when olive oil was replacing other vegetable oils combined (corn, safflower, soybean, and canola oil).
Be sure to use a good quality, extra virgin olive oil that is high in polyphenols. There is more about that at the end of the article. Now for the surprising benefits. Olive oil can have a positive effect on hormones!
Olive oil can influence the following:
- May protect against breast cancer
- May increase testosterone levels and LH that stimulates testosterone production in men
- Increases leptin the hormone that makes you feel satisfied and brown fat. Brown fat uses fat as fuel and burns calories
- Polyphenols in olive oil and other foods may prevent diabetes, increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C).
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) combined with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in algae and a component of fish oil (EPA &DHA) was shown to protect the liver from Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), the most common liver disease.
- DHA + EVOO significantly reduces fat deposits in the liver, oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, and insulin resistance.
- A study showed that EVOO reduced body fat and lowered blood pressure.
- Associated with a lowered the risk of osteoporotic fractures.
Choose the best olive oil
There are many benefits to this wonderful oil due to its antioxidant properties, antioxidant polyphenols and other components. How do you choose a quality oil when many are adulterated and thinned out with soybean or cottonseed oil?
Look for Certifications:
- USDA Quality Monitoring
- The California Olive Oil Council (COOC)
- North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA)
- Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA)
Choose an oil with a harvest date
Oil should be packaged in dark glass
What these organizations look for:
- USDA and International Olive Oil Council. (IOC) set standards for olive oil quality. Manufacturers must pay a fee to have their product evaluated by the USDA Quality Monitoring Program. They test products for purity, quality, fruitiness, acidity, rancidity, and peroxide content as well as look for contamination and heavy metals
- ConsumerLab measures the polyphenol content, a key component of olive oil’s health benefits and does sensory testing that picks up things that chemical tests cannot such as aroma and flavor.
- The higher the level of polyphenol content, the more bitter and pungent it will be, however many of the health benefits are due to the polyphenol content.
- The top picks by ConsumerLab were California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Lucini Italia Organic EVOO, and second was California Olive Ranch EVOO Medium blend.
You can’t beat the taste of a fresh high quality olive oil and its health benefits. To learn how to prevent illness and maintain health in a safe, effective and more natural way, consider having a functional medicine anti aging evaluation.