Olive oil – the heart of the Mediterranean diet that’s good for your brain too!
Olive oil is something that should be on everyone’s table. Its anti-inflammatory properties are profoundly helpful at reducing oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. While our body naturally produces antioxidants to combat these free radicals, long term oxidative stress can damage cells, proteins, DNA and subsequently contribute to aging. Also, it may play a role in development of a number of health conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Olive oil has even been shown in animal models to reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques that lead to dementia and olive oil has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Oleocanthal, contained in virgin olive oil, possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties to ibuprofen. And as a bonus effect, because olive oil is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K, it’s an amazing booster for your skin health routine too!
We know that chronic inflammation is a critical factor in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory disease states including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. So we must do everything possible to reduce this inflammation and including olive oil in our dietary plans is a great start.
More ways to get the power of olive oil.
Olive oil is not just for cooking anymore. You can also get the superb benefits in a convenient nutritional supplement too such as those from OLIVIE Health. Some of the products we like include OLIVIE Force/Rich and OLIVIE PowerUp (Caviar) 100g as well as traditional bottled olive oil like OLIVIE Plus 30x that you can take by the teaspoon or enjoy drizzled over bread or mixed greens, for example.
It’s important to note that not all olive oils are alike and may actually contain other types of oil as well so it’s important to check the ingredients and product information. The high quality OLIVIE Health olive oil products, for example, are derived from olive trees planted in a rocky desert in Morocco. Much like the wine we obtain from grape vines, the olive tree must endure a number of external stressors in order to produce the best olives and oil. Considering the very hot environment (up to 53°C/127°F in summer), the rocky soil where roots cannot develop easily, and the lack of water, the olive trees essentially “suffer stress.” A panic phenomenon occurs in the trees (as a survival instinct), which results in a raised production of polyphenols (antioxidant) and, more importantly, hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol (self-defense).
Olivie Plus 30x is a product of the arid soil and harsh climate of the southern Sahara of Morocco. The climate extremities produce a cold-pressed olive oil that has 30 TIMES more ANTIOXIDANT than any regular extra virgin oil. This also means 30 TIMES more PROTECTION FOR YOUR HEART against the LDL cholesterol oxidation. Scientific data reviewed by the FDA shows that monounsaturated fats found in extra virgin olive oil naturally boost your good cholesterol levels, while reducing the prevalence of bad cholesterol LDL.
OLIVIE Force/Rich provides in just one capsule the same quantity of polyphenols as in two liters of regular olive oil and OLIVIE PowerUp pearls contain in just one teaspoon as much of the antioxidant hydroxytyrosol as 10 liters of regular olive oil.
There are several other excellent products for skin care as well so be sure and visit OLIVIE Health online (https://oliviehealth.us/) or you may also order these from our colleague, Dr. Jill Carnahan - Flatiron Functional Medicine who’ll be happy to ship directly to you.
We’ve included below several links to more information about olive oil including what you may want to choose for cooking based on chef recommendations! And, of course, we’re happy to answer any questions or provide additional suggestions for supplements appropriate to your individual health needs.
As my wonderful grandmother would say, “Zivijio,” which in Czech means “to a long life” - and that seems very appropriate to say when talking about something as healthful as olive oil!
In hope and healing,
Dr. Suzanne Gazda
1 Harvard School of Public Health: the Mediterranean diet
David G Loughrey, Sara Lavecchia, Sabina Brennan, Brian A Lawlor, Michelle E Kelly, The Impact of the Mediterranean Diet on the Cognitive Functioning of Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 8, Issue 4, July 2017, Pages 571–586, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.117.015495
Fezai, M., Senovilla, L., et al. Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory and Anticancer Activities of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Hindawi Journals. 23 Dec 2013. Volume 2013 |Article ID 129736 | 7 pages | https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/129736
Lauretti E, Iuliano L, Praticò D. Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2017;4:564-574.
Mazzocchi, A., Leone, L., Agostoni, C., & Pali-Schöll, I. (2019). The Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet. Does [Only] Olive Oil Matter? Nutrients, 11(12), 2941. doi:10.3390/nu11122941
Román GC, Jackson RE, Reis J, Román AN, Toledo JB, Toledo E. Extra-virgin olive oil for potential prevention of Alzheimer disease. Rev Neurol (Paris). 2019;175(10):705-723. doi:10.1016/j.neurol.2019.07.017
Mayo Clinic: Can a Mediterranean diet lower my risk of Alzheimer's?
Mayo Clinic: Mediterranean diet - slide show.
The Best Olive Oils, According to People Who Consume a Lot of It.
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Dr. Suzanne Gazda, Integrative Neurology