Olive Oil … Good for your health

Olive oil has always been placed somewhere between food and medicine. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, recommended the juices of fresh olives as a cure for mental illness and poultices of macerated olives for ulcers. In the Middle Ages, it was used to treat gynecological complaints and in the Mediterranean country side was used as a treatment for ear aches, as a purgative, especially for children, as a treatment for stomach aches, gastritis, gastro duodenal ulcers and to soften calluses. Olive oil was thought to have a very positive effect on atrophy of the gallbladder and to inhibit hepatobiliary secretion during gallbladder emptying time.

Today, research has shown the scientific basis for many of these beliefs.

Here’s what the experts say:

“New Italian research finds olive oil contains antioxidants, similar to those in tea and red wine, that combat disease processes, including LDL cholesterol’s ability to clog arteries.”

Jean Carper, leading authority on health and nutrition,
an award winning correspondent for CNN, author of “The Food Pharmacy” and “Food-Your Miracle Medicine” and a nationally syndicated column

“I love the whole idea of olive oil’s versatility. I use it for baking, as well as salad dressings and sautÈing. Olive Oil has been around for a long time, and the more we know about it, the more we learn about its great contribution to good health.”

Pat Baird, dietician and nutrition consultant,
author of “The Pyramid Cookbook: Pleasures of the Food Guide Pyramid”

“American women might actually experience as much as a fifty percent (50%) reduction in breast cancer risk if they consumed more olive oil in place of saturated fats.”

Dr. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, chairman of the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard University School of Public Health

“I like the taste of olive oil. And, because olive oil is so flavorful, a little goes a long way while cooking, which is great for people like me who watch their fat intake.”

Dr. Barbara Levine, director of the Nutrition Information Center
at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

“Olive oil has a protective effect against some types of malignant tumors: prostate, breast, colon, squamous cell, and oesophageal.”

Dr. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, chairman of the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard University School of Public Health

“Olive oil has been shown to strengthen the inmune system in mice. Diets high in olive oil do not suppress lymphoblastogenesis, CD11a and CD18, and increase expression and capping of CD44 and CD25.”

D. Peck, School of Medicine, University of Miami

“In vitro and in vivo (in animals), the minor polar components of extra virgin olive oil increase significantly the resistance of LDL to oxidation.

Bruno Berra, Facolta di Farmacia, Milan

“Olive oil prevents insulin resistance and ensures better control of the glucose in the blood.”

A.A. Rivellese, G. Riccardi, M. Mancini
Institute of Internal Medicine and Metabolism Disease
University of Federico II, Naples

Dietary intake of olive oilyphenols may lower the risk of reactive oxygen metabolite-mediated diseases such as some gastrointestinal diseases and atherosclerosis. Olive oil hydroxytyrosol protects human erythrocytes against oxidative damage.”

Patrizia Galletti, Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia,
Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli, Naples

“A diet in which virgin olive oil is the only source of fat causes less peroxidation of the lipids in the subcellular membrane. Attention is drawn to the greater part played by the saponifiable fraction of the oil and to the absence of effects caused by the polyphenol fraction, as well as to the cardiac antioxidant role of coenzyme Q10.”

Jose Mataix Verdu, Jesus Rodriguez Huertas,
Instituto de Nutricion y Tecnologia de Alimentos,,Universidad de Granada

“An olive-oil-rich diet is more effective than a low-fat diet in controlling and treating obesity. Moreover, it leads to longer-lasting weight loss and it is easier to keep to because it tastes good.”

Frank Sacks, Harvard School of Public Health

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