The olive tree – nature’s ancient source of health and wellness

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The Olive Wellness Institute is a science repository on the nutrition, health and wellness benefits of olives and olive products, which is all subject to extensive peer review. The institute is guided by scientific experts that specialise in the nutrition, health and wellness benefits related to olive products.This website is intended to be the go to source of credible information relating to the nutrition, health and wellness benefits of olives and olive products, such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil and other products derived from the olive tree.
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Oils are used every day to prepare and cook food. How do we choose an oil that is the healthiest? The type of oil in the diet can have a positive or negative effect on our health depending on the following factors; the source of the oil, the amount of antioxidants found in the oil, the fat profile of the oil; is it mainly saturated or unsaturated fat or does it contain trans fats? And lastly, what types of cooking methods or meal preparation is a particular oil most suitable for. This Oil Comparison section is designed to help you choose the most suitable oil for your health.

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*Click on a body part to see health benefits

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Blood pressure

Cognitive health & impairment

Inflammation

Cardiovascular disease

Depression & mental health

Metabolic syndrome

Weight & anthropometric

Cholesterol & blood lipids

Type 2 diabetes

Rheumatoid arthritis

High phenolic olive oils lead to a small reduction in systolic but not diastolic blood pressure and oxidized LDL compared to low phenolic olive oils, and there was no difference in cholesterol, triglycerides and malondialdehyde.
Key reference: Hohmann, C.D., et al., Effects of high phenolic olive oil on cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine, 2015. 22(6): p. 631-40.
A Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, and was associated with improved cognitive functioning.
Key reference: Petersson, S.D. and E. Philippou, Mediterranean Diet, Cognitive Function, and Dementia: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Adv Nutr, 2016. 7(5): p. 889-904.
Evidence from randomised controlled trials shows olive oil exerts beneficial effects on markers of inflammation and endothelial function.
Key reference: Schwingshackl, L., M. Christoph, and G. Hoffmann, Effects of Olive Oil on Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Function-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 2015. 7(9): p. 7651-75.
Olive oil consumption significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and stroke, but not specifically for coronary heart disease (CHD) risk.
Key reference: Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A., L.J. Dominguez, and M. Delgado-Rodriguez, Olive oil consumption and risk of CHD and/or stroke: a meta-analysis of case-control, cohort and intervention studies. Br J Nutr, 2014. 112(2): p. 248-59.
Any high diet quality, including a Mediterranean diet specifically, was associated with a reduction in the incidence of depressive symptoms, but a causal relationship is not yet established.
Key reference: Molendijk, M., et al., Diet quality and depression risk: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. J Affect Disord, 2018. 226: p. 346-354.
The Mediterranean diet was inversely associated with metabolic syndrome, although the data are limited and come mostly from cross-sectional studies.
Key reference: Godos, J., et al., Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with metabolic syndrome occurrence: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2017. 68(2): p. 138-148.
The Mediterranean diet was efficacious for long-term weight loss in overweight or obese individuals compared with low-fat diets, but not compared with other diets (a low carbohydrate diet or the American Diabetes Association diet).
Key reference: Mancini, J.G., et al., Systematic Review of the Mediterranean Diet for Long-Term Weight Loss. Am J Med, 2016. 129(4): p. 407-415 e4.
Olive oil consumption decreased total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglycerides (TG) significantly less than other plant oils, and increased HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) significantly more than other plant oils.
Key reference: Ghobadi, S., et al., Comparison of blood lipid-lowering effects of olive oil and other plant oils: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 27 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2018: p. 1-15.
High olive oil intake was associated with a decreased risk of T2D and improved glucose metabolism in persons with T2D.
Key reference: Schwingshackl, L., et al., Olive oil in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and intervention trials. Nutr Diabetes, 2017. 7(4): p. e262.
There was insufficient evidence to support the use of the Mediterranean Diet for the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis, but it may provide some benefit for the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
Key reference: Forsyth, C., et al., The effects of the Mediterranean diet on rheumatoid arthritis prevention and treatment: a systematic review of human prospective studies. Rheumatol Int, 2018. 38(5): p. 737-747.

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OWI Advisory Panel

The Olive Wellness Institute has an expert Advisory Panel, to provide insight and guidance, and to ensure a high level of scientific direction. The functions of the Advisory Panel members are to provide evidence-based guidance to the Olive Wellness Institute, to ensure:

  • The Olive Wellness Institute is viewed as a highly credible, evidence-based source of olive nutrition, health and wellness information.
  • All information that is prepared and released by the Olive Wellness Institute is credible, non-biased and scientifically sound.
  • Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos

  • Associate Professor Mary Flynn

  • Dr. Simon Poole

  • DR. Tassos C. Kyriakides

  • Dr. Michael Kingsley

  • Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore

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