Chapter 1

Extra Virgin Olive Oils: Bioactive Compounds and Health Benefits

Maria Lisa Clodoveo, Tiziana Dipalmo, Pasquale Crupi, Bernardo C. de Gennaro, Carlo Franchini, Filomena Corbo and Constantin Apetrei

Abstract

Due to the unique extraction process, extra virgin olive oils conserve numerous substances, which are often excluded from other vegetable oils during the extraction and refining steps. Previous works showed that fatty acids profile of lipids are important for the dietary. In the last five decades many researchers demonstrated that monounsaturated fatty acids are involved in prevention of diseases such as the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular ones. Moreover, vitamin E is active against weakened immunity, aging, environmental toxic substances, diabetic syndrome symptoms, enhancing the health status from different points of view, such as cardiovascular and neoplastic ones. Hydroxytyrosol has many effects; it is an antiinflammatory compound, with antibacterial, antioxidant and cardioprotective properties. However, not all extra virgin olive oils are equal. Inside the market category “extra virgin” there is a wide number of products ranging from the highest quality to the standard quality ones. In 2012 the European Commission approved three health claim applicable to the extra virgin olive oil but they are still scarcely used by the producers.

Total Pages: 3-31 (29)

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