Olive Power — The Benefits of Daily Hydroxytyrosol

By The Wonderfeel Team

You’ve likely heard about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and you may suspect that olive oil is somehow involved. You’re right on both counts, but you may be less schooled on the role hydroxytyrosol plays in all of this. It’s kind of a mouthful, but hydroxytyrosol is worth understanding. This naturally-occurring phytochemical is a triple threat, with antioxidant, metabolic, and cancer-prevention properties. And as you’ve probably guessed, it’s abundantly found in olives, olive oil, even olive leaves. Let’s dive into the health perks of this potent little compound and some good news about the easiest way to get them.

Hydroxytyrosol, structurally speaking.

Part of what makes hydroxytyrosol so special is its composition. It’s a phenolic compound with both a fat-soluble end and a water-soluble end, a clever structure that means it can seamlessly penetrate cell membranes for rapid absorption and elimination. And once it’s effortlessly made its way into our cells, hydroxytyrosol diligently goes about the usual antioxidant tasks — scavenging free radicals and minimizing inflammation. Not to brag, but hydroxytyrosol is actually the most powerful anti-inflammatory compound of all the polyphenols found in olive oil. But impressive antioxidant prowess isn’t all this compound has up its sleeve.

Hydroxytyrosol for heart health.

If we work backwards from the “heart-healthy” Mediterranean diet, we quickly dial in on another benefit of hydroxytyrosol. Ever heard of atherosclerosis? It’s a wildly common condition in which chronic cholesterol, fats, and other substances build up on the artery walls to the point that they can’t supply adequate blood to your organs and tissues. A major culprit of atherosclerosis is oxidative stress in the arteries, something that — you guessed it — hydroxytyrosol can help reduce. Specifically, hydroxytyrosol increases mRNA and protein levels, which boosts antioxidant enzyme expression. That increased activity helps reduce damaging reactive oxygen species in the arteries.

Hydroxytyrosol for cholesterol management.

You’ll recall that there’s a good kind of cholesterol and a not-so-good version. LDL is the bad cholesterol, and oxidized LDL — produced from free radical damage — is even worse. As LDL breaks down, it becomes a significant player in the development of both high cholesterol and the aforementioned atherosclerosis. Surprise — hydroxytyrosol can reduce both LDL oxidation and the gene expression of atherosclerosis-related genes. In other words, it helps manage cholesterol more effectively.

Hydroxytyrosol for cancer prevention.

It’s a fact that nutritionally-deficient diets, obesity, alcohol and tobacco use, and inactivity are all linked to increased cancer risk. An estimated 30 to 40 percent of all cancers can be prevented by diet and lifestyle changes, and a big part of that is getting a steady stream of fruits and vegetables into your system. Why? Mostly because of polyphenols, and we already know that hydroxytyrosol falls into that category. During various phases of a cancer forming, hydroxytyrosol jumps into action. Not only does it prevent DNA damage from various molecules, it can reduce what’s known as tumor proliferation.

Hydroxytyrosol for metabolic benefits.

Metabolic conditions that occur together, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess body fat, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, have a cascading effect for the worse, increasing risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Clinical studies show that hydroxytyrosol can fend off much of this by improving insulin sensitivity, blood glucose levels, and lipid profile. And, again, that anti-inflammatory habit is another boon for metabolic health.

The takeaway.

Clearly, the Mediterranean diet is onto something, and we can credit hydroxytyrosol for many of its perks. Now, if you’re thinking you’re covered on hydroxytyrosol because you down olive oil regularly, fair warning — “the content of this compound is largely dependent on the oil quality,” as the authors of “Hydroxytyrosol and Potential Uses in Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancer, and AIDS” put it. So make sure you’re forking over for the good stuff! Or, cover all your bases with a daily dose of hydroxytyrosol, ergothioneine, vitamin D, resveratrol, and NMN with Wonderfeel Youngr™. It’s the latest, greatest version of our classic formula, and it’s the hands-down easiest way to benefit not only from hydroxytyrosol, but all kinds of science-proven compounds.

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