12 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil Based on Research

Olive oil is a natural oil extracted from olives, about 14% is saturated fat, while 11 % is polyunsaturated like omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.But the dominant fatty acid in olive oil is a type of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which makes up 73% of the total oil content.

Several studies have shown that oleic acid can reduce inflammation and even has a beneficial potential to fight cancer.

Monounsaturated fats are also quite resistant to high heat, making olive oil (especially extra virgin types) a healthier choice for cooking.

Olive oil also contains antioxidants. Antioxidant compounds can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, fight inflammation, and prevent blood cholesterol from oxidizing; this is very important in the prevention of heart disease.

Consumption of olive oil does not cause obesity. A 2006 study that lasted for 30 months involving more than 7,000 Spanish students, it is known that consuming olive oil in large quantities is not associated with weight gain.

Apart from that, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009, this study involving 187 participants.

From the results of the study note that the consumption of olive oil provides benefits in the form of increased levels of antioxidants in the blood, and weight loss.

From the two results of the study, it was concluded that consuming olive oil does not increase body weight, even moderate intake of olive oil can help with weight loss.

The following health benefits of olive oil are supported by scientific research:

  1. Protect heart health
  2. Fight and Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
  3. Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  4. Reducing the Risk of Stroke
  5. Olive Oil Has Anti-Cancer Properties
  6. Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis
  7. Olive Oil Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  8. Olive Oil Has Antibacterial Properties
  9. Reducing the Risk of Depression
  10. Maintaining Liver Health (Liver)
  11. Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
  12. Maintaining Normal / Healthy Cholesterol Levels

The following explanation is below:

1. Protect Heart Health

Heart disease is the most common and terrible cause of death in the world.

Observational studies that have been conducted show that people in Mediterranean countries less commonly experience heart disease.

This is of interest to scientists or health experts, so there has been extensive research on the diet of Mediterranean people, which has now been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease significantly.

Extra virgin olive oil is the main ingredient in a Mediterranean healthy diet, which can reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways, namely:

  • Prevents oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL).
  • Relieve inflammation.
  • Repairing the lining of blood vessels.
  • Prevents excessive blood clotting.
  • Reduces high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for heart disease and early death.

There is even a study that found that olive oil can reduce the need for blood pressure medications by 48%.

There have been dozens of studies that show extra virgin olive oil has substantial benefits for heart health.

In conclusion, olive oil (especially the type of extra virgin) is beneficial for heart health, lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL), and maintaining blood vessel function.

2. Fighting and Preventing Alzheimer’s 

A decrease in memory characterizes disease Alzheimer ‘s disease, decreased ability to think and speak, as well as a change in behavior in patients caused by brain function disorders.

At first, people with Alzheimer’s will look natural to forget, whether it’s the contents of conversations that have not been talked about for a long time, incidents that have not been through long, to forget the name of the object, place, etc.

Several studies have shown that olive oil intake can fight Alzheimer’s disease, but further research is still needed.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, showed that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil is beneficial for brain function.

The study assessed 522 participants with high vascular risk. The results were obtained after adjusting for gender, age, education, the phenotype of Apollinaire E, family history of cognitive impairment/dementia, smoking, physical activity, body mass index, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, alcohol, and total energy intake.

3. Reducing the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The results of the study found that olive oil has the potential to protect the body from the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Several studies have proven the association of olive oil with beneficial benefits on the stability of blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

In a study published in the 2009 Current Diabetes Review, I am adopting a healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet provides a useful role regarding the development of diabetes.

In addition to implementing a Mediterranean diet that is rich in olive oil, to improve or prevent diabetes also have to undergo a healthy diet in general, such as eating fruits, vegetables, monounsaturated fatty acids, whole grains, dietary fiber, fish and avoiding alcohol consumption.

The journal also states: “Unfortunately, the dietary habits of people in developed countries are changing in an unhealthy direction.”

A randomized clinical trial study of 418 people confirmed the protective effect of olive oil.

In this study, a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than 40%.

Other studies that have discovered the beneficial health benefits of olive oil (including diabetes prevention) are studies published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine in 2006.

From many studies, it was concluded that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

4. Reducing the Risk of Stroke

Stroke caused by interference/obstruction of blood flow to parts of the brain, either due to blood clots or the presence of bleeding.

In developed countries, stroke is the second most common cause of death after heart disease.

The benefits of olive oil to reduce the risk of stroke have been extensively studied.

A study published in 2014  conducted an extensive review of 841,000 people. The study found that olive oil is the only source of monounsaturated fat (a type of healthy fat) that is useful for reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.

In another review of 140,000 participants, it was found that people who consumed olive oil were at a much lower risk of stroke than those who did not consume olive oil.

Several extensive studies have shown that consuming olive oil has proven to be beneficial in preventing stroke. Stroke is a hazardous disease.

5. Olive Oil Has Anti-Cancer Properties

Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in the world, and people greatly fear this disease.

In a study published in the Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers & Prevention in 2000, people in Mediterranean countries have a lower risk of some types of cancer, and many researchers believe olive oil is the reason for the small risk of cancer.The overall cancer incidence in Mediterranean countries is lower than in Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These types of cancers are breast, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers.

This low risk of cancer has been linked to traditional Mediterranean diets, in the form of high consumption of plant-based foods, relatively low consumption of red meat, and high consumption of olive oil.


If the population of developed Western countries shifts to a healthy Mediterranean diet, it is
estimated that it can reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by 25%, the rate of breast cancer by around 15%, and cut about 10% of the impact of prostate, pancreatic and endometrial cancers.

In a study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2004, antioxidants in olive oil can minimize oxidative damage due to free radicals, which scientists believe are the leading causes of cancer.

In the study, olives and olive oil contained abundant antioxidants. Olive oil, especially extra virgin, contains small amounts of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, but they are high in secoiridoids and lignans.

Both olives and olive oil contain large amounts of compounds that function as anticancer agents (for example, squalene and terpenoids) as well as lipid peroxidation oleic acid.

A study published in the European Journal of Cancer in 2000 found that the antioxidant phenol compounds present in olive oil are potential inhibitors of free radical formation (a trigger for cancer risk).

There have been many studies that show that compounds in olive oil can fight the development of cancer cells.

Preliminary evidence suggests that olive oil can reduce the risk of cancer, but further research is still needed to ascertain the benefits of olive oil.

6. Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by pain in the joints. This later causes chronic inflammation that affects many joints, including in the hands and feet.

Although the exact cause is not well understood, this possibility involves the immune system that attacks healthy cells (normal) accidentally.

The content in olive oil is believed by scientists to be beneficial for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis.

A study published in Nutrition Hospitalaria2014 aims to analyze the evidence for the therapeutic benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids, Mediterranean diet, olive oil, and certain antioxidant nutrients in relieving chronic inflammation and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Research shows that some dietary elements (polyunsaturated fatty acids, Mediterranean diets, and antioxidants) have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce the activity of rheumatoid arthritis.

Further research is still needed before there is already evidence that polyunsaturated fatty acids produce clinical improvement and the inhibitory effects of inflammation of Rheumatoid arthritis.

The Mediterranean diet has proven to be beneficial in reducing pain and disease activity. Regarding olive oil, it is known to have the potential to relieve inflammation (inflammation) and inhibit oxidative stress.

Olive oil seems to be very useful when combined with fish oil because it is a source of omega-3 fatty acids that function as anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatory) properties.

A 2005 study found that olive oil and fish can significantly increase handgrip strength and reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Based on some research results, olive oil is beneficial in reducing joint pain and swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis.

7. Olive Oil Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is mentioned by scientists as one of the primary triggers of dangerous diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.

Olive oil (especially the extra-virgin type) can reduce inflammation. The benefits of anti-inflammation (anti-inflammation) are due to the content of antioxidant compounds.

Olive oil contains oleocanthal compounds, which are a kind of natural phenolic compound. Some scientists estimate that the oleoctal compound in extra virgin olive oil has a function like ibuprofen.

A  study published in 2006 showed that oleic acid, the primary type of fatty acid in olive oil, can reduce the level of inflammation.

In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology, scientists have determined that inflammation is a cause of cardiovascular disease. Intake of oleic acid, linoleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid have contributed to preventing or minimizing the problem.

A study published in the 2010 FASEB Journal also showed that olive oil antioxidants could inhibit several genes and proteins that trigger inflammation, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

8. Olive Oil Has Antibacterial Properties

The content in olive oil has the property to inhibit or kill harmful bacteria.

One of them is Helicobacter pylori, this type of bacteria lives in the stomach and can cause stomach ulcers, to the worst of which is stomach cancer.

In a study published in the journal Inflammopharmacology in 2009, hydrophilic phenol is the most abundant natural antioxidant from VOO (virgin olive oil) or pure olive oil, besides that tocopherol and carotene are also contained.

The general categories of hydrophilic phenols found in VOO are phenolics, flavonoids, lignans, and secoiridoids. Research has seen several important biological properties (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive, and anti-cancer) associated with this phenol VOO.

Research results have shown that extra virgin olive oil can function effectively against these strains of bacteria, three of which are resistant to antibiotics (bacteria cannot be killed with antibiotics).

This is as mentioned in a 2007 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

A study in humans published in the Wiley Online Library in 2012, the study asked study participants to consume 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil, consumed/drunk every day. The results can eliminate Helicobacter pylori infection in 10-40% of people in just two weeks.

The background of this study is to deepen the knowledge of the efficacy of pure olive oil to fight the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Researchers also conducted two clinical trials to evaluate the effects of olive oil on individuals infected with H. pylori.

In this study, as many as 13 subjects withdrew from the study due to nausea.

Researchers concluded that the administration of pure olive oil showed moderate effectiveness in eradicating H. pylori. Further research is needed over a more extended period.

9. Reducing the Risk of Depression

People who often consume trans fats (a type of unhealthy fats) have a higher risk of depression compared to people who consume healthy and polyunsaturated fats.

The content of trans fat is found in fast food, junk food, pastries, fried foods, and the like.

According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain published in the journal PLoS ONE, olive oil is known to have the potential to reduce the risk of depression.

The study took into account the overall eating patterns of people, physical activity, and lifestyle.

Data on 12,000 volunteers over 6 years showed that people who often consumed trans fats had a 48 percent higher risk of developing depression compared to people who were accustomed to consuming healthy fats from olive oil.

The more trans fat consumed, the higher the risk of stress or depression.

10. Maintaining Liver Health

Researchers from Tunisia and Saudi Arabia conducted studies that showed that extra virgin olive oil could protect the liver from oxidative stress disorders.

Oxidative stress is dangerous because it can cause damage to body cells, which are associated with chemical reactions between free radicals and other molecules in the body.

Laboratory studies have shown that olive oil has the potential to protect and prevent liver damage.

11. Preventing Alzheimer’s

Disease Alzheimer ‘s disease is a condition characterized by decreased memory and decreased ability to think, which is usually experienced by older people.

Oleocanthal is a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil.
In laboratory studies, it is known that oleocanthal compounds have a function to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers are looking into whether oleocanthal compounds can help prevent beta-amyloid accumulation. Beta-amyloid is considered as the leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2013 study published in the American Chemical Society found that oleocanthal compounds increase the production of proteins and key enzymes that help get rid of beta-amyloid from the brain.

In that study, trying to find out how extra virgin olive oil can protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers estimate the presence of a component in olive oil that helps move abnormal proteins (triggers of Alzheimer’s) from the brain.

Scientists once linked high concentrations of monounsaturated fats (a type of healthy fats) in olive oil to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

New research shows that the real protective agent seems to be a substance called oleocanthal, which has the effect of protecting nerve cells from damage, thus helping to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Scientists say that oleocanthal derived from olive oil has the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or neurodegenerative related.

Alzheimer’s disease rates are lower in Mediterranean countries; in that region, olive oil consumption is higher than anywhere else in the world.

Researchers in Spain, as published in JAMA Internal MedicineNet has been suggested to follow a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants and mixed nuts (healthy nuts), which help protect cognitive function.

Emerging evidence shows the relationship between healthy eating patterns and cognitive performance. Oxidative stress (the body’s inability to detoxify completely) has long been assessed as a significant cause of the cognitive decline.

In the study, scientists concluded that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with healthy olive oil or nuts could fight age-related cognitive decline.

12. Maintaining Normal / Healthy Cholesterol Levels

A 2004 study in Japan published in the Medical Science Monitor showed that LDL (bad cholesterol) concentrations dropped in 28 outpatients who took olive oil supplements once a day for six weeks.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often referred to as “bad cholesterol.” The good cholesterol is called high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Oleic acid, polyphenols, and other abundant ingredients present in olive oil are believed by scientists to help prevent and alleviate the problem of high cholesterol levels, which are very dangerous for the health of the body.


Extra virgin olive oil has antibacterial properties and is very effective against Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and can trigger the risk of stomach cancer.

Extra virgin olive oil retains several vital antioxidants and bioactive compounds from olives.

There is a lot of fraud in the olive oil market because many products that write “extra virgin” on the label but have been diluted with other refined oils.

Therefore, check the label carefully to make sure you are getting real extra virgin olive oil. Check the ingredients list and product quality certification.

Extra virgin olive oil is very healthy and high quality. That’s thanks to the content of potent antioxidant compounds that are beneficial for heart health, brain, body joints, and others.

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