Olive oil and health

Olive oil is mostly composed of fats that give it an energetic character, like other oils it provides 9 Kcal/gr. Olive oil is a source of essential fatty acids linoleic [18:2(9, 12)] and linolenic [18:3(9, 12, 15)]. When consuming 50 g/day of olive oil in a 2,000 Kcal diet, we would cover, if not completely, a good part of the needs of these two essential fatty acids (Serrano Morago and Lezcano Martín, 2005, cited in González Moreno and Valderrama Rodríguez, 2014).

In relation to cardiovascular health, numerous case-control studies have shown an inverse association between olive oil and myocardial infarction. Epidemiological studies have shown that olive oil is associated with a decreased chronic disease risks such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) (Lou-Bonafonte et al., 2012).

In the same way, the consumption of olive oil influences aging since unsaturated fatty acids act as protectors of memory loss associated with aging or dementia.

Olive oil may also reduce risk of death, due to its beneficial effect in various types of cancer prevention. Epidemiological studies related to olive oil and cancer showed that olive oil consumption was inversely associated with the risk of upper digestive tract cancer, breast cancer and possibly colorectal cancer (Covas et al., 2006). Several epidemiological studies have observed inverse relationship between olive oil intake and cancer risk, specially lung and stomach cancer, but also colon, endometrium and ovary (Giacosa et al., 1993). Although there are  few evidences due to the small number of studies, the results suggest possible effects (González Moreno and Valderrama Rodríguez, 2014).