The effects of Mediterranean diet and EVOO consumption in relation to human health

  • Evangelia BASDEKI Agricultural University of Athens, School of Applied Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Genetics Laboratory, 75 Iera Odos 11855, Athens
  • Constantinos SALIS Agricultural University of Athens, School of Applied Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Genetics Laboratory, 75 Iera Odos 11855, Athens
  • Marianna HAGIDIMITRIOU Agricultural University of Athens, School of Applied Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Genetics Laboratory, 75 Iera Odos 11855, Athens
Keywords: aging; anti-inflammatory; antioxidant; cardiovascular diseases; neurodegenerative diseases; oleocanthal; oleuropein

Abstract

The Mediterranean basin is characterized by the presence and cultivation of olive trees since antiquity. All of the Mediterranean countries and especially Greece and Italy, are characterized by similar food patterns that are described as “Mediterranean diet”. The core of this diet is the daily intake of plant foods and as its main source of fat is olive oil and particularly in Greece EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). EVOO contains a large percentage of MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids - approximately 80% of its total lipid concentration), as well as some other substances in smaller concentrations such as oleocanthal, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein etc. The greater the adherence to the Mediterranean diet and to the intake of EVOO as the main fat source, the greater the health benefits encountered. Some of these benefits that have been reported are due to the antioxidant properties of EVOO, its anti-inflammatory effects, its ability to regulate the endothelial function, lipids, haemostasis, coagulation and fibrinolysis. Moreover, EVOO has a positive effect in chronic diseases such as obesity, metabolic and amyloid diseases, while it reduces the risk of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, it influences the aging process by reducing the genome and proteome damage that lead to aging. All the data collected, demonstrate that a daily intake of EVOO combined with a good percentile of adherence to the Mediterranean diet lead to a healthier lifestyle, longevity and a reduced morbidity rate.

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Published
2020-09-29
How to Cite
BASDEKI, E., SALIS, C., & HAGIDIMITRIOU, M. (2020). The effects of Mediterranean diet and EVOO consumption in relation to human health. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 12(3), 466-485. https://doi.org/10.15835/nsb12310784
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Review articles