The main antioxidants in olive oil are the poly-phenols and the vitamin E.
The antioxidants are not only protective against cancer, they are protective against atherosclerosis. This action is owed to the oxidation of the low density of the lipo-proteins (LDL), which sticks on the walls of the arteries and results in atherosclerosis.
The extra virgin olive oil plays a major role in heart disease by lowering the danger of arteriosclerosis and is characterized as a medicine for diseases of the circulation system.
The use of extra virgin olive oil, because of its antioxidants and vitamin E, is the reason for the lower mortality in the Mediterranean countries, which are following the Mediterranean diet (which is due by 70% from the consumption of extra virgin olive oil).
The saturated fatty acids are the main reason for heart disease, according to the epidemiological studies, between populations which moved from one geographical point to another, and mainly Greeks who moved to Australia, or United States etc, show that with the diet change, resulting in significant changes, in high levels of cholesterol and diabetes.
The action of olive oil, is a result of lower cholesterol and is a protective element against arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is a disease developing in the walls of the arteries. The deposits of cholesterol in the arteries and in continuation of the deposits of calcium, the lowering of the diameter of the arteries and the loss of elasticity, result in the fragility of the arterial pressure. The heart overtakes a big pressure, trying to push the blood through. The arteries brake and result in bleeding, of corresponding organs.
When extra virgin olive oil is used in vegetarian diets, the protection against arteriosclerosis is even higher. When it is used with vegetables, its protective action, becomes more noticeable.
The olive oil increases the gathering of HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering the gathering of LDL (bad cholesterol). Also it doesn’t contribute, like other oils, in the thickening of the blood, resulting in blood clots, which are a major contributor to arteriosclerosis.
The extra virgin olive oil minimizes the ability of the oxidation of the lipo-proteins. Experimental and clinical studies have proven that the extra virgin olive oil stabilizes the saturated fatty acids also in the liver and has negative effects in the arteriosclerosis of the cerebral arteries.
As a major element of the Mediterranean diet, results in the lowering the deaths do to brain episodes.