Olive oil is an important source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and it is less sensible to oxidation from all other edible oils. It is abundant in oleic acid, which protects against oxidation of LDL.
The LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), which is the bad cholesterol, transfers cholesterol in the arteries. This action results in atherosclerosis. The mono-unsaturated fatty acids, protect against atherosclerosis by lowering the LDL cholesterol levels, without influencing the HDL (High Density Lipoproteins), which is the good cholesterol, and transports cholesterol, far from the arteries, protecting against heart disease.
To reduce bad cholesterol, replace saturated fats with olive oil. Follow the Mediterranean diet for a healthy lifestyle.
Studies have proven for large groups of participants, that the intake of extra virgin olive oil, lowers the blood pressure.
The European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition study in Greece, which included about 29,000 participants, concluded that the consumption of olive oil, effects the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Researchers believe that poly-phenols are responsible for this action, but they also believe the oleic acid, which is a fatty acid in olive oil, can also take some responsibility for it.
Another study at the Sequimiento University of Navara with a few thousands of participants, proved that the extra virgin olive oil intake, reduced hypertension. The poly-phenols in olive oil decrease hypertension and blood pressure.
Poly-phenols and phyto-chemicals are compounds in olive oil with high antioxidant activity. Olive oil has oleic acid that can not be found anywhere else. Researchers at the Euroline Study Group have proven that the consumption of 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, protects the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL promotes plaque build up in the arteries, which result in atherosclerosis. Poly-phenols in extra virgin olive oil are the protectors of blood lipids from oxidative stress.
Greek researchers in the University of Athens, reviewed 19 observational studies with 40,000 participants, and found that olive oil consumption minimizes the chances of cancer. A different review of 25 epidemiological studies, found that replacing saturated fats with olive oil, lowers the risk of breast, colon and other cancers.
A Three City Study with 7,000 participants showed that the individuals using extra virgin olive oil, had very low declining brain function, in comparison with individuals who never used it.
The mono-unsaturated fatty acids help with brain connectivity and memory.