Olive Oil and Health Effects

Álvaro Hernáez, Julieta Valussi, Alejandra Pérez-Vega, Olga Castañer, Montserrat Fitó

Research output: Book chapterChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Beneficial health effects of olive oil and its phenolics are presented in light of the Mediterranean diet (MD), which is characterized by (1) a high intake of cereals, vegetables including leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and fruit; (2) a moderate intake of poultry, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, as well as a regular but moderate ethanol consumption (generally in the form of wine during meals); and (3) a low intake of red and processed meat and industrial confectionary. Olive oil (OO) is the main fat used in all preparations of the MD. The health benefits of consuming OO have been known since antiquity and were traditionally attributed to its high MUFA content, mainly oleic acid. A large number of epidemiological and laboratory studies suggest beneficial and protective effects of OO in reduced risk of suffering cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases. Potential effects of OO on various diseases-related parameters are discussed in relation to OO and its phenolics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Series in Phytochemistry
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameReference Series in Phytochemistry
ISSN (Print)2511-834X
ISSN (Electronic)2511-8358


  • MUFA
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Olive oil
  • PUFA
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Virgin olive oil


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