Is demonstrated that several centuries B.C the olive tree was already a first order agricultural product in the Mediterranean basin. Epidemiologic studies conducted in the latter part of the twentieth century demonstrate conclusively that the people of the Mediterranean basin enjoy a healthy lifestyle with decreased incidences of degenerative diseases. They also suggest that Mediterranean diet (Which should include Extra Virgin Olive Oil) decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is almost unique among oils in that it can be used in the crude form without refining. This has an effect of conserving all its vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients. Because it contains all these nutrients, including antioxidants, extra virgin olive oil is beneficial to health and protects from damage by free radical oxidation. Cell membranes contain fatty acids that are highly susceptible to free radical damage.
This damage produces lipid peroxides that can kill the cell. Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains polyphenols, vitamin E, and other natural antioxidants that prevent this damage.
Numerous studies show that Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
- Reduces cholesterol.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Inhibits platelet aggregation.
- Lowers the incidence of breast cancer. It also reduces the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thereby preventing heart disease.
- Different observational conducted in humans have shown that the intake of monounsaturated fat may be protective against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.