The Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower incidence of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of cancer. The apparent health benefits have been partially ascribed to the dietary consumption of virgin olive oil by Mediterranean populations. Much research has focused on the biologically active phenolic compounds naturally present in virgin olive oils to aid in explaining reduced mortality and morbidity experienced by people consuming a traditional Mediterranean diet. Studies (human, animal, in vivo and in vitro) have demonstrated that olive oil phenolic compounds have positive effects on certain physiological parameters, such as plasma lipoproteins, oxidative damage, inflammatory markers, platelet and cellular function, antimicrobial activity and bone health. This paper summarizes current knowledge on the bioavailability and biological activities of olive oil phenolic compounds.
Cicerale, S., Lucas, L., & Keast, R. (2010, February). Biological activities of phenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms11020458