Olive oil, the main source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, is a functional food which besides having a high level of monounsaturated fatty acid contains several minor components with biological properties. For some olive oil minor components, such as the antioxidant phenolic compounds, a large body of studies, mainly experimental or in animal models, have been performed. Randomized, controlled, clinical trials in humans are required to provide evidence that olive phenolic compounds contribute significantly to health benefits in order to give recommendations at population level. Here, we summarize the state of the art of the body of knowledge, and to which extent we have evidence, of the bioavailability and of the antioxidant benefits of olive oil phenolic compounds in humans.
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