Health Benefits of Olives and Olive Oil
The health benefits of olives and and related natural products such as Olive Oil have long been recognized and touted by proponents of the Mediterranean diet.
In recent studies, researchers have discovered that the olive-derived compound oleuropein helps the body secrete more insulin, a central signaling molecule in the body that controls metabolism.
Only a small amount was previously known about what specific compounds and biochemical interactions in the fruit contribute to its medical and nutritional benefits such as weight loss and prevention of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, it was discovered that the olive-derived compound oleuropein helps the body secrete more insulin, a central signaling molecule in the body that controls metabolism.
Moreover, the same compound also detoxifies another signaling molecule known as amylin, which over-produces and forms harmful aggregates in type 2 diabetes. In these two unique ways, oleuropein helps prevent the onset of disease.
The findings were recently published in the journal Biochemistry as a Rapid Report, which is reserved for timely topics of unusual interest, according to the journal.
The discovery could help improve understanding of the scientific basis of health benefits of olive products and develop new, low-cost nutraceutical strategies to fight type 2 diabetes and related obesity.
Olive Oil Consumption Lowers Stroke Risk
In yet another European study, researchers looked closer at the medical records of 7,625 people ages 65 and older from three cities in France: Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. Participants had no history of stroke.
Olive Oil consumption was categorized as “no use,” “moderate use” such as using Olive Oil in cooking or as dressing or with bread, and “intensive use,” which included using Olive Oil for both cooking and as dressing or with bread.
After considering diet, physical activity, body mass index and other risk factors for stroke, the study found that those who routinely used Olive Oil for both cooking and as dressing had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet (1.5 percent in six years compared to 2.6 percent).
Overall, Olive Oil has been associated with potentially protective effects against many cardiovascular risk factors such as:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol and Obesity
- Alexis Barros