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Olive Oil & Health

For centuries, the natural juice of olives, which has an ideal chemical structure and no extracts or refinements, has provided health and longevity for the Mediterranean people. lts alimentary, nutritional, and biological value is important; 0live oil is among the 10 most beneficial foodstuffs. The following table presents its constituent substances, to which 600 antioxidizing substances should be added.

Vitamin E 3-30mg

Provitamin A (CAROTENE)

Monounsaturated fatty acids 56-63% (Oleic acid)

Polyunsaturated non fatty acids 3,5-20% (Linolenic acid)

Polyunsaturated fatty acids 0-1,5% (Linolenic acid)

Saturated fatty acids 8-23,5%

Lipids 99% (990 cals/100g)

Olive oil (like all oils) contains fatty acids, which may be saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Animal fats mainly contain saturated fatty acids; seed oils contain polyunsaturated mainly fatty acids. Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (up to 83 percent in the form of oleic acid), few saturated fats, and basic polyunsaturated fats such as linoleic acid. The coexistence of the oleic acid with the linoleic and linoleic acids gives olive oil its unique biological value.

Natural antioxidizers: In addition to fatty acids, olive oil contains small quantities of other elements with beneficial properties, such as vitamins A and E, minerals, selenium, and a heterogeneous class of polyphenolic substances called antioxidizers. These antioxidizing substances protect cells from oxidative stress, active oxygen, and free radicals. Free radicals substances that can damage nucleic acids and proteins; they are considered factors in chronic diseases such as cancer. The present survey deals with the role of these microelements as protective factors against chronic diseases, with a particular emphasis on cancer.