The low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean countries has generated a lot of interest and research. Scientists have agreed that it is largely due to their diet, within which, olives play a major role. Up until recently, research indicated that it was the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) that contributed to their longevity and low statistics of cardiac problems. Lately, however, studies have uncovered one of the minor components, a polyphenol called hydroxytyrosol. Hydroxytyrosol is regarded as the highest free radical scavenging antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Without the balance created by antioxidants, free radicals cause atypical cell function and at times cell death. Systemic inflammation has also been shown to be the basis of many degenerative illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis etc.
Phytolive is rich in hydroxytyrosol and can therefore, help to keep your heart healthy. High cholesterol is becoming more and more common these days. Cholesterol is not soluble in blood plasma and uses low-density lipoproteins (LDL – aka bad cholesterol) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL – aka good cholesterol) as carriers. HDL carries the excess cholesterol back to the liver to be destroyed or converted to bile. LDL on the other hand, takes the cholesterol to where it is needed, but because it is a sticky substance, the cholesterol sometimes gets deposited in the arteries. The white blood cells then step in and in the process of “eliminating” the LDL, they oxidise it. A loop is developed, and eventually, the oxidised LDL enters the wall of the artery and creates plaque. Over time, this narrows and hardens the blood vessels and one develops atherosclerosis that causes strokes and heart attacks. In some cases, the surface of the plaque erupts, creating a blood clot, which can also lead to a heart attack.
The good news is that the results of these various global studies have been so conclusive, that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and European Commission have given their stamp of approval and stated that “olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood lipids and LDL cholesterol from oxidative stress.”
What this means, is that hydroxytyrosol binds with LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood stream and prevents oxidation and damage to the inner walls of the arteries, allowing the blood to flow smoothly while, at the same time, raising the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and replacing damaged cells. In practical terms hydroxytyrosol lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces blood clotting and improves the health of artery linings.
It is common knowledge that antioxidants delay ageing and skin damage and as Phytolive has potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging abilities, it plays a vital role in anti-ageing, skin care and the prevention of sun damage. As an antioxidant, hydroxytyrosol has a direct, positive influence on the length and ageing of DNA telomeres by preventing DNA oxidation. Telomeres protect our genetic material and allow the cells to divide without losing genes. A long telomere is a sign of good health, strong immunity and longevity but with time, oxidation tends to shorten these DNA telomeres, which adversely effects DNA duplication and accelerates ageing. Scientists from the Department of Dermatology at the Dalian Medical University in China explored the chemoprotective effect of hydroxytyrosol on UVB-induced DNA damage. They found that hydroxytyrosol could help prevent skin cancer as it is extremely effective in reducing DNA strand breaks caused by UVB rays. By successfully blocking the effects of UV free radicals on the skin it reduces the associated inflammation that causes damage and ageing.
Phytolive’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have also proven to be beneficial for the following conditions:
- Its ability to lower LDL, improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels makes Phytolive a valuable supplement for diabetics.
- It has the unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and absorb free radicals in the central nervous system, which contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s