ABSTRACT OLIVE OIL-CVD-CA-NEURO- REVIEW-20SEPT-2018 .The term Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) refers to dietary patterns found in olive‐growing areas of the Mediterranean region (Southern Italy, Spain, Greece, France, etc). Olive oil is the foremost source of fat in the Mediterranean diet. The discovery of the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet is attributed to the American scientist Dr. Ancel Keys (physiologist, University of Minnesota, USA, School of Public Health), who led an international study, called “Seven Countries Study” (Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, USA, Greece, Japan and Yugoslavia) to document the relationship between lifestyles, nutrition and risk for cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Nutritional studies with large number of participants that olive oil is beneficial to human health. Based on these studies, scientists investigated the case of olive oil consumption (the main ingredient of fat in the Mediterranean diet) and its beneficial effects on reducing oxidative stress (antioxidant polyphenols), anti-inflammatory action and decrease in lipid peroxidation of cellular membranes. Olive oil as a vegetable oil contains a high proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids, especially oleic acid, but very low in saturated fatty acids and a number of strong antioxidant polyphenols, vitamin E, vitamin K and other natural antioxidants. Olive oil polyphenols have nutritional and organoleptic properties, of which Oleuropein, Oleocanthal and Hydroxytyrosol are the most important antioxidants. Numerous epidemiological and clinical studies in the last 20 years provided growing evidence in support of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. People who adhere to the Mediterranean diet (olive oil, fruit, vegetables) have lower risk from cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancer (breast and colorectal) and lower incidence of neurodegenerative diseases in later life. Growing evidence from epidemiological studies showed that olive oil plays an important role in beneficial public health outcomes including Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer, with a particular focus on recent results from cohort studies, dietary intervention trials and meta-analysis. This review focus on olive oil, its constituents with beneficial health outcomes, and the large number of the most important studies worldwide supporting the prevention of CVD, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
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