The Mediterranean Diet is associated with heart health, beautiful skin, flexibility, youthfulness and longevity. In fact, Mediterranean populations-Greeks and Italians in particular-may have among the highest life expectancies and the lowest incidence rates of all-cause mortality in the world.1 Olives and olive oil, which are widely consumed among these populations, supply potent nutritional compounds that may help contribute to the remarkable health of Mediterranean citizens.
Traditionally, olives’ health-supportive activities were attributed to their content of oleic acid, also known as an Omega-9 fatty acid.2 However, some research now suggests that olives’ health-promoting biological activities may be more attributed to polyphenols: Powerful inflammation-soothing antioxidant compounds that appear to promote health across many body systems:3
Polyphenols seem to hold great promise for wellness. And now, research is zeroing in on one olive-sourced polyphenol in particular-hydroxytyrosol-because it seems to supply even greater nutritional support for both daily and long-term vitality. Olea25™ is a patented form of hydroxytyrosol that is designed to concentrate the polyphenol’s activity, potentially enhancing its nutritional support even further.
Hydroxytyrosol: The Most Important Phenol Ever Discovered?
Polyphenols are present in many fruits and vegetables. Hydroxytyrosol, however, is exclusively found in olives.4 In fact, hyroxytyrosol comprises 50% of the total phenolic content found in olives. It has the highest antioxidant activity of all the phenols found in olives, and appears to be well-absorbed in humans.5 Among hundreds of polyphenols in nature, hydroxytyrosol has emerged as one of the most promising for human health applications for its distinct biological properties:
- Hydroxytyrosol is considered to be one of the most powerful plant antioxidants ever discovered, with a staggering 68,000 ORAC value: 15X more powerful than green tea and 3X more powerful than CoQ10.6
- Hydroxytyrosol, a tiny molecule that is fat-and water-soluble, appears to be rapidly absorbed, distributed and metabolized in animal tissues- so its antioxidant and inflammation-modulating biological activities can reach and support many different body systems.7
- Due to its small molecular size, hydroxytyrosol is also one of the few antioxidants that can cross the blood-brain barrier; its beneficial activities appear to extend to brain health.7
Here’s the challenge: Olives and olive oil are a source of hydroxytyrosol, but let’s face it, they are heavy, dense foods. In fact, just one ounce of olive oil contains 250 calories and over 28 grams of fat!8 Plus, one ounce wouldn’t be nearly enough to provide beneficial levels of hydroxytyrosol.
“Olive” the Benefits Without “Olive” the Fat and Calories
In a significant nutritional advancement, some supplement manufacturers are now isolating hydroxytyrosol from olives and presenting it as a standalone compound-enabling them to supply an intensive dosage without the calories and fat of dietary olives and olive oil. By dramatically raising intake of olives’ “active ingredient” in this way, manufacturers may realize hydroxytyrosol’s full potential benefits. Let’s take a look into what those benefits might be.
Research has shown that those who followed a Mediterranean-style diet, including intake of olives and olive oil, appeared to have a 50% to 70% lower risk of recurrent heart concerns when compared with those who followed a diet that closely matched the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Step–I diet.9 Hydroxytyrosol may contribute to this heart-healthy diet through a few mechanisms:
- Hydroxytyrosol has been shown to strongly inhibit the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Oxidized LDL is believed to raise risk for cardiovascular health concerns.10
- Animal studies suggest hydroxytyrosol may help to maintain blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels already within normal range, while also promoting HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.11
- Hydroxytyrosol may help inhibit blood “stickiness” while blocking inflammatory signals that irritate blood vessels. These activities may support flexible arteries and clear circulation.12,13
Not all antioxidants can cross the blood-brain barrier, but hydroxytyrosol is capable of entering the brain.14 This means hydroxytyrosol can leverage its potent antioxidant activity within our gray matter, working to protect brain cells against the free radical-induced damage that has been implicated in a range of neurodegenerative conditions.15 Hydroxytyrosol has also been suggested to be especially effective at neutralizing peroxynitrite, a type of free radical that is believed to directly influence the onset of age-related cognitive decline.16
One animal study found that olive oil that was enhanced with hydroxytyrosol appeared to promote joint flexibility and comfort. In particular, the study suggested hydroxytyrosol seemed to reduce bone breakdown and bone spurs while soothing connective tissue swelling-biological activities that seemed to combine to promote healthy joint function. Researchers concluded that hydroxytyrosol may help with the acute and ongoing inflammation associated with joint aches and stiffness.17
UVB rays from sunlight can unleash free radicals in skin that may cause photodamage: “accelerated aging” changes seen in the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, sagging and spotting. These skin changes may also be associated with other more serious skin health concerns.18 Hydroxytyrosol has been suggested in some research to reduce UVB ray-induced DNA damage to human skin cells, a result that led research to suggest it may have “significant protective ability” against photodamage to skin.19
Did you know? Hydroxytyrosol may be a “green” nutritional supplement ingredient.
How to Get Hydroxytyrosol?
Consider ProHealth’s Hydroxytyrosol Featuring Olea25™
Olive oil supplements and olive leaf supplements supply hydroxytyrosol, but some of these products may have potency limitations. Olea25™, a hydroxytyrosol ingredient manufactured by Certified Nutraceuticals, Inc. using patent-pending production and purification processes, may offer advantages as presented in ProHealth’s Hydroxytyrosol Olea25™:
- Olea25™ is standardized to supply 25% hydroxytyrosol content, assuring a minimum of 25 mg of “active ingredient” is present in each vegetarian Hydroxytyrosol Olea25™ capsule
- Regular olives supply a compound called oleuropein which must be converted in the body into hydroxytyrosol. Olea25™ is pre-converted so no oleuropein is present, only hydroxytyrosol
- Olea25™ is manufactured from a superior quality hydroxytyrosol source: Cultivated organic olive leaves
- Olea25™ is potent: One 100 mg capsule supplies the equivalent hydroxytyrosol found in one liter of extra virgin olive oil-helping bring you concentrated olive nutrition without all the fat and calories
Manufactured to high quality standards by ProHealth, Hydroxytyrosol featuring Olea25™ may be an ideal supplement for supporting the many whole-body wellness benefits associated with this promising olive-derived natural compound.
- Dontas AS. Mediterranean diet and prevention of coronary heart disease in the elderly. Clin Interv Aging. 2007 Mar; 2(1): 109–115.
- Granados-Principal S. Hydroxytyrosol: from laboratory investigations to future clinical trials. Nutr Rev. 2010 Apr;68(4):191-206.
- Rafehi H1, Ververis K, Karagiannis TC. Mechanisms of action of phenolic compounds in olive. J Diet Suppl. 2012 Jun;9(2):96-109.
- Fabiani R. Production of hydrogen peroxide is responsible for the induction of apoptosis by hydroxytyrosol on HL60 cells. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Jul;53(7):887-96.
- Raederstorff D. Antioxidant activity of olive polyphenols in humans: a review. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2009 May;79(3):152-65.
- D’Angelo S. Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism of Hydroxytyrosol, a Natural Antioxidant from Olive Oil. DMD November 1, 2001 vol. 29 no. 11 1492-1498.
- de Lorgeril M, et al. Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factors, and the rate of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction: final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Circulation. 1999 Feb 16; 99(6):779-85.
- Aruoma O. Effect of Hydroxytyrosol Found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Oxidative DNA Damage and on Low-Density Lipoprotein Oxidation. J. Agric. Food Chem., 1998, 46 (12), pp 5181–5187.
- Jemai H, et al. Hypolipidimic and antioxidant activities of oleuropein and its hydrolysis derivative-rich extracts from Chemlali olive leaves. Chem Biol Interact. 2008 Nov 25;176(2-3):88-98.
- Anna Petroni, et al. Inhibition of platelet aggregation and eicosanoid production by phenolic components of olive oil. Thrombosis Research, April 15, 1995, Volume 78, Issue 2, Pages 151–160.
- Gonzales-Correa JA, et al. Effects of Hydroxytyrosol and Hydroxytyrosol Acetate Administration to Rats on Platelet Function Compared to Acetylsalicylic Acid. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008, 56 (17), pp 7872–7876.
- Wu YT, et al. Measurement of free hydroxytyrosol in microdialysates from blood and brain of anesthetized rats by liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. J Chromatogr A. 2009 Apr 17;1216(16):3501-7.
- Schaffer S, et al. Hydroxytyrosol-rich olive mill wastewater extract protects brain cells in vitro and ex vivo. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Jun 27;55(13):5043-9. Epub 2007 May 27.
- Torreilles F. Neurodegenerative disorders: the role of peroxynitrite. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 1999 Aug;30(2):153-63.
- Silva S, et al. Protective effects of hydroxytyrosol-supplemented refined olive oil in animal models of acute inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Apr;26(4):360-8.
- Guo W. The protective effects of hydroxytyrosol against UVB-induced DNA damage in HaCaT cells. Phytother Res. 2010 Mar;24(3):352-9.