Round table: Olive oil, cardiovascular health and other investigations

Olive oil is characterized by the fact that it is not obtained by extraction but by mechanical processes. It therefore retains many compounds that are important for our health. In addition to its organoleptic properties, the minor components of olive oil, most of which are phenolic in nature, have pharmacological/pharma-nutritional properties that are the subject of active research worldwide. Based on more than 30 years of research in this field, researchers agree that (poly)phenols are the most pharmacologically important components of olive oil. Most of their effects are not yet understood, but the (poly)phenolic molecules of extra virgin olive oil such as hydroxytyrosol and oleocanthal (which are often miscategorized as in vivo antioxidants) protect the cardiovascular system. Other potentially health-promoting activities remain to be studied in detail. Based on accumulated research – and as part of an appropriate diet that includes high-quality products – the use of high-quality olive oil contributes to achieving and maintaining overall health.