Chemical composition of olive oil – an essential component of the Mediterranean diet and its impact on human health
The Mediterranean diet is known for its many health benefits, including the low prevalence of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Olive oil is considered an essential component of the Mediterranean diet. The consumption of olive oil is associated with many beneficial effects on the human body, most of which are attributed to its phenol content, which varies between cultivars due to different processing and extraction procedures, with only 0.3-1.5% of phenols being transferred to the oil from the olive fruit. Many studies suggest that olive oil phenolic compounds have a protective role in preventing cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus type 2, metabolic syndrome, obesity, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, recent epidemiological research has shown that regular olive oil consumption is associated with increased longevity.
Keywords: olive oil, phenols, health benefits
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