230 HEALTH BENEFICIAL COMPOUNDS IN VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Scientists have isolated about 230 compounds, many of them phenolic, which have very healthy antioxidant properties and from which researchers begin to have the first scientific data on its effect in the prevention of certain types of cancer.
But only virgin olive oil contains these minor compounds since these compounds disappear during the refining process of olive oil and are absolutely absent in all seed oils.
Very Healthy Antioxidant Properties
These compounds include squalene, pigments (chlorophylls, pheophytin), beta-carotene or vitamin A and alpha-tocopherol or vitamin E.
The presence of all these minority compounds is a characteristic and distinctive fact of virgin olive oil, as these compounds disappear during the refinement process in which the impurities of olive oils with defects, are eliminated (SEE MORE: What is virgin olive oil?) These substances are absolutely absent in all seed oils as sunflower.
There is epidemiological evidence suggesting that regular and moderate consumption of virgin olive oil may help to reduce the risk of certain types of tumors, such as breast or colon cancer, but it could also prevent other cancers. The data obtained so far are consistent and very promising, but we still have much to know, above all, the molecular pathways that are activated to produce these healthy effects. It is a line of investigation in full expansion and that augurs very promising results.
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Maria Molina holds a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy and a Master of Science, with more than 10 years of experience in the control of HACCP Food Safety Systems in the Health Department of Madrid, Spain.