In recent years, a specific type of olive oil - high phenolic olive oil, has been at the forefront of longevity research. This article explores how this extraordinary variant of olive oil could be a pivotal factor in enhancing lifespan and combating age-related diseases.
Does Olive Oil Increase Life Expectancy?
High phenolic olive oil is renowned for its extraordinary health benefits. Studies have shown that its rich composition of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties significantly contribute to longevity. For instance, a study in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that higher consumption of olive oil was associated with a 26% lower risk of mortality.
What is the Best Oil for Longevity?
When it comes to choosing the best oil for longevity, the polyphenol content is a critical factor. To be classified as high phenolic, an olive oil should contain at least 250mg/kg of polyphenols. These natural compounds are pivotal in extending lifespan due to their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The rule is simple: the higher the polyphenol content, the more significant the longevity benefits. In contrast, regular olive oil typically falls short of this threshold, offering lesser health advantages.
Among the various types of high phenolic oils, wild olive oil stands out for its exceptionally high polyphenol count. For instance, our wild olive oil boasts an impressive 1865mg/kg of polyphenols, a concentration that categorizes it not just as high phenolic but also as medicinal. This extraordinary level of polyphenols in wild olive oil offers unparalleled health benefits, making it a superior choice for those seeking the ultimate oil for longevity.
How can you tell if olive oil has high polyphenols?
Identifying high phenolic olive oil involves careful consideration of labeling and certifications:
1. Look at the Labelling:
High phenolic olive oil is a rare and prized product, and producers who achieve this quality are often eager to showcase it. If an olive oil is high in polyphenols, it's likely that the producer will prominently state this fact on the label. In contrast, producers of olive oils with lower polyphenol content might use vague marketing terms instead of explicitly mentioning 'high phenolic'. As a consumer, be vigilant for clear, straightforward labeling that indicates high phenolic content.
2. Look for Polyphenol Certifications:
There are limited avenues for officially certifying olive oil as high phenolic. Despite many companies claiming high phenolic content in their product descriptions or websites, it's crucial to look for an official certificate that verifies the olive oil's polyphenol levels. Significant efforts in Greece, particularly by the Kapodistrian University of Athens and the World Olive Center for Health, are underway to regulate olive oil testing. They utilize cutting-edge NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectroscopy technology, currently the only reliable method to measure olive oil polyphenols accurately. This certification, as shown in our analysis below, is a reliable indicator of high phenolic content.
3. Third-Party Testing:
Third-party testing is another way to verify the polyphenol content, although it is not as trustworthy as NMR technology. Be aware that many third-party tests use chemical testing, which can be less accurate. When looking for credible high phenolic olive oil, prefer products from Greece with the certification mentioned above, which utilizes NMR technology for its reliability and precision.
4. Double Check by Tasting:
In addition to certifications and lab tests, the taste of olive oil can be a revealing indicator of its polyphenol content. High phenolic olive oils exhibit distinctive sensory qualities that set them apart from their less potent counterparts. These oils typically have a stronger, more robust flavor profile, characterized by a notable bitterness and a peppery sensation.
The presence of polyphenols in olive oil is responsible for these unique taste attributes. Polyphenols can impart a slightly bitter taste, which is a hallmark of high quality and potency in olive oil. Moreover, a pronounced peppery sensation in the throat, often leading to a slight cough, is a telltale sign of high polyphenol content. This "throat catch" is not just a sensory experience but a physical reaction to the potent antioxidants present in the oil. The more pronounced this sensation, the higher the likelihood of the olive oil being rich in polyphenols.
This method of 'taste-testing' is of course not accurate but it is a good way to double check! If the olive oil is truly high phenolic it will be reflected in the taste — boldly!
Is There a Downside to Olive Oil?
No, there is no downside to consuming high phenolic olive oil — not even the calories. When it comes to high phenolic olive oil, particularly when discussing longevity and health benefits, the focus should be on maximizing consumption rather than worrying about caloric intake. The key to harnessing the full potential of this oil lies in its polyphenol content – the more you consume, the greater the health benefits. Concerns about calorie content are often overstated, especially in the context of high phenolic olive oil. Olive oil in fact has been shown to help with weight loss.
Rather than fixating on calories, the emphasis should be on finding ways to incorporate more high phenolic olive oil into your daily diet. Its benefits far outweigh any concerns about calorie density. Lastly, to ensure you receive the maximum health benefits, it's best to consume olive oil in its raw, uncooked form. This preserves the integrity of the polyphenols and ensures you're getting the most out of this medicinal-grade oil.
Does Olive Oil Reduce Mortality?
Yes, high phenolic olive oil has a profound impact on reducing mortality. A study published in the "Journal of the American College of Cardiology" revealed that individuals who consumed olive oil regularly had a significantly lower risk of all-cause mortality, with a 21% reduction in cardiovascular mortality.
The reason being is that high phenolic olive oil is a formidable adversary against the so-called "Four Horsemen of Death" - atherosclerotic disease, metabolic disease, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer.
Olive Oil against Atherosclerotic Disease:
High phenolic olive oil plays a crucial role in cardiovascular health. It improves endothelial function, which is essential for vascular health. The endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, regulates blood pressure and blood clotting. Polyphenols in olive oil enhance endothelial function, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis – the buildup of plaques in arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, these polyphenols help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while maintaining or increasing HDL (good) cholesterol, further protecting against heart disease.
Olive Oil against Metabolic Disease:
In metabolic syndromes like diabetes, insulin sensitivity is a key factor. High phenolic olive oil enhances the body's response to insulin, making it more efficient at lowering blood sugar levels. This is particularly important in preventing and managing Type 2 Diabetes. The polyphenols in olive oil help regulate blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity, which can prevent the spikes and crashes that exacerbate metabolic disorders.
Olive Oil against Neurodegenerative Disease:
The antioxidants in high phenolic olive oil, particularly polyphenols like oleocanthal, have neuroprotective properties. They help in protecting brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, which are major contributors to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. These antioxidants can cross the blood-brain barrier, a unique ability that allows them to directly combat oxidative damage in the brain, potentially slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.
Olive Oil against Cancer:
Polyphenols in high phenolic olive oil, such as hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, have been linked to a reduced risk of various types of cancer. They function by promoting apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells and inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. These compounds also have anti-inflammatory properties, which are significant since chronic inflammation is a known risk factor for many types of cancer, including breast and colorectal cancer. By combating inflammation and directly affecting cancer cell growth, high phenolic olive oil serves as a valuable dietary component in cancer prevention.
Epidemiological Evidence on Olive Oil and Lifespan.
The body of epidemiological evidence connecting high phenolic olive oil to longer lifespan and reduced mortality rates is substantial and growing. A landmark study published in "The Lancet" demonstrated a significant association between regular consumption of olive oil and a reduced risk of mortality. This study is part of a larger body of research that consistently supports the health benefits of high phenolic olive oil.
For example, the PREDIMED study, a large-scale trial, found that participants who followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil had a 30% lower risk of major cardiovascular events (like heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes) compared to those on a low-fat diet. This suggests that high phenolic olive oil plays a pivotal role in reducing heart disease risk, one of the leading causes of death globally.
Further, research focusing specifically on high phenolic olive oil has indicated even more pronounced health benefits. A study published in the "Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry" found that high phenolic olive oil exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects, which are crucial in mitigating chronic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative disorders, and certain types of cancer.
Additionally, observational studies from Mediterranean regions, where olive oil is a dietary staple, consistently report lower incidence rates of certain cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, alongside increased life expectancy. These findings are attributed, in part, to the regular consumption of high phenolic olive oil, which is abundant in the traditional diets of these regions.
To truly benefit from olive oil's life-extending properties, it's essential to choose high phenolic varieties. Our wild olive oil stands out in this category, boasting record-breaking, certified levels of polyphenols. Embrace a choice that goes beyond mere nutrition to a commitment to longevity and health. Discover the exceptional qualities of our wild olive oil here.