Oleocanthal (OC), a phenolic compound in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), has been implicated in the health benefits associated with diets rich in EVOO.
Researchers have discovered that the key to understanding the effect of oleocanthal on cancerous cells lies in its reaction with the lysosomes of the cell.
Lysosomes are subcellular units where cells store waste. The oleocanthal ruptures the membranes surrounding the lysosomes in cancer cells, causing cancer cell death within 30 minutes to an hour while leaving noncancerous cells unharmed.
This suggests that the lysosomal membranes of cancerous cells are weaker than those of noncancerous cells.
These findings on the effects of oleocanthal on cancerous and noncancerous cells lead to larger implications about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in extra virgin olive oil. While the entire Mediterranean diet likely has many benefits, this study points directly to this olive oil phenolic as playing an especially important role.
Type of Olive Oil Is Key
To boost profits, many producers have been caught adulterating olive oil they label as "extra virgin" with much cheaper hazelnut, soy, or sunflower seed oil, among others, as well as mislabeling its country of origin.
Rampant fraud makes it difficult for high-quality producers to compete. But critics say the extra-virgin standard fails even the market of legitimate oils. The minimum sensory and chemical requirements admit a huge range of oils. Some are perfectly fine. Others are extraordinary.
Only the highest quality extra virgin olive oils are manufactured by simply pressing (milling) the fruit without refining, heating, extracting, use of chemicals or other process; just cold (no heat applied) pressing of the olives.Â Every other oil involves a refining process using high heat and chemicals to extract the oil. Extra virgin olive oil is unique, because you are essentially eating a component of the raw fruit. This is the secret of its enormous health benefits.
How do you find a reputable source? There are hundreds of different kinds of olives, which make thousands of different kinds of oil. Asking "what's the best olive oil?" is like asking "what's the best wine?"
As the farming population continues to age and the costs of production exponentially continue to increase, aggressive short cuts are used with radical pesticides and chemicals to control Grubb and grass. Although not as cost effective, those manufacturers who strive for quality olive oils continue to cultivate and control grass through mechanical, organic and non-chemical means.
Even though most quality olive oil is said to be cold-pressed, it is still being cooked at a temperature of 33 C, a common enough process.
A scientific study that has determined that the colder the process in making olive oil, the higher the immune-boosting properties.The protective effects of olive oil on cognitive function was part of a study conducted by Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez of the University of Navarra in Spain and reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
The most health-empowering olive oil on the market is Ice-Pressed Olive Oil. It's the only truly raw olive oil loaded with nutrients. Ice-pressing yields significantly less oil than heat, and produces a more premium product, deliciously fragrant and flavourful.
Only the freshest -- and usually most expensive -- olive oil has significant amounts of oleocanthal. The irritating intensity of the taste of a fresh extra virgin olive oil is directly related to how much oleocanthal the oil contains.
Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance.