Chemistry and health of olive oil phenolics

Sara Cicerale, Xavier A. Conlan, Andrew J. Sinclair, Russell S.J. Keast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

233 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower incidence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. The apparent health benefits have been partially attributed to the dietary consumption of virgin olive oil by Mediterranean populations. Most recent interest has focused on the biologically active phenolic compounds naturally present in virgin olive oils. Studies (human, animal, in vivo and in vitro) have shown that olive oil phenolics have positive effects on certain physiological parameters, such as plasma lipoproteins, oxidative damage, inflammatory markers, platelet and cellular function, and antimicrobial activity. Presumably, regular dietary consumption of virgin olive oil containing phenolic compounds manifests in health benefits associated with a Mediterranean diet. This paper summarizes current knowledge on the physiological effects of olive oil phenolics. Moreover, a number of factors have the ability to affect phenolic concentrations in virgin olive oil, so it is of great importance to understand these factors in order to preserve the essential health promoting benefits of olive oil phenolic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-236
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Health benefits
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Olive oil phenolics
  • Virgin olive oil

Cite this

Cicerale, S., Conlan, X. A., Sinclair, A. J., & Keast, R. S. J. (2009). Chemistry and health of olive oil phenolics. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 49(3), 218-236. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408390701856223