…. no – unfortunately we have not found a natural vaccine for the coronavirus.
But the choice and placement of this topic is both a total coincidence and no coincidence at all. A few months ago, we decided to implement the Journoel format and to publish it at the end of the first quarter. Since then, we have watched daily how the spread of Sars-CoV-2 / COVID 19 has brought us to wave goodbye to the possibilities of our everyday life piece by piece.
If, at this point, something positive can be gained from these new living conditions, then that would be, in our opinion, the public discussion and awareness about health. Everybody’s health. Or the threat to that health. This topic is particularly multifaceted and multifactorial. Nutrition, as a factor that fundamentally contributes to everybody’s health, is very dear to us and we will discuss it here in more detail.
A high-quality olive oil, as one of many staple foods, is generally rich in ingredients such as antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamin E, and omega fatty acids. But what exactly do these ingredients do, and do they justify olive oil’s reputation as a “cure-all”?
Antioxidants such as oleic acid sink our LDL cholesterol levels (as described in detail on our website https://oel-berlin.de/de/warum), thus positively influencing the very sensitive ratio of LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol, to HDL cholesterol, the so-called good cholesterol. The ratio of the two cholesterols in an individual is significantly influenced by the intake of saturated fatty acids (LDL) (mostly from animal sources) and unsaturated fatty acids (HDL) (mostly from plant sources). Oleic acid thus directly counteracts heart attacks and high blood pressure and supports the entire circulation system.
The antioxidant oleuropein also plays a role with oleic acid by expanding the arteries, preventing them from calcifying and so, for example, preventing strokes. However, oleuropein’s main effect is to quickly prevent the development of carcinogenic free radicals. As robust as these antioxidants seem, they are unfortunately lost during cooking. But good news for lovers of French fries: they are preserved when frying. But before you fry the entire pantry, we recommend that you simply consume pure olive oil on a regular basis.
The polyphenols oleocanthal and hydroxytyrosol (danger: tripping hazard) play a particularly important role in terms of their effectiveness. Recent studies have shown that the oleocanthal in olive oil works in the same way as ibuprofen and aspirin. It inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase and thus inflammation.
In the field of oncology research, oleocanthal has been found to attack and destabilize the lysosome membrane. This may sound like bad news, but it’s actually cause for celebration. In contrast to healthy cells, cancer cells have a more sensitive and vulnerable lysosome membrane. As a result, it can be said that the oleocanthal is an effective and targeted mechanism against cancer cells.
In order to finally put oleocanthal on the throne it deserves, scientists have known for 12 years that its structure is capable of modifying amyloid-β-oligomers, which are toxic to nerve cells, in such a way that the nerve cells are preventively protected from the consequences of Alzheimer’s disease.
Hydroxytyrosol, for its part, is the most studied of all polyphenols due to the variety of processes in which it exerts an antioxidant effect. At their origin, polyphenols are plant defense agents. However, the polyphenols of the olive work in almost the same way in the human organism. This means that they are antibacterial, antiviral, antimycotic (against fungi), and antiparasitic, as well as anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting.
Hydroxytyrosol also improves blood flow, works against thrombosis and protects the neutrons in the brain. It is therefore responsible for a higher reactivity of the brain cells.
After this list of almost unbelievable properties, it’s hard or even impossible to stay level. So we won’t even try at this point. But, for the sake of completeness, we’ll briefly mention the fatty acids and vitamin E. While the omega-3 and 9 fatty acids support the cardiovascular system and balance the cholesterol levels, vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) protects the olive oil itself and thus all the above-mentioned ingredients. A high vitamin E content is therefore crucial when considering statements about the quality and effects of olive oil.
With the conscious purchase of a high-quality olive oil, we can make a contribution to our health that should not be underestimated. And that is true of a large number of everyday products. We hope that we have not exhausted you with the factual content. Now we’ll give you a sneak preview by saying that the following content is easier to absorb.
For further and deeper research needs, we have listed the terms used in the article and cited our sources.
Antioxidants – collective term for anti-inflammatory ingredients in an oil
Polyphenols – collective term for phenolic compounds, i.e. secondary plant compounds = plant defense agents
Oleic acid – an antioxidant
Oleuropein – another antioxidant, “works” with oleic acid
Hydroxytyrosol – a phenolic compound
Oleocanthal – another phenolic compound
Vitamin E – Vitamin contained in olive oil
Omega-3 and 9 fatty acids – fatty acid chains contained in olive oil
- Amadeus Großmutter