Olive oil has a number of benefits to each part of the body, but is most remarkable for its overall ability to increase lifespan. There has been a great amount of research into the “Mediterranean diet” and its ability to cause long lifespans. Remarkably, people who consume Italian and Greek diets – which heavily utilize olive oil – tend to live longer and show greater health at later ages.
Research shows that the Mediterranean diet led to better aging markers, such as longer telomeres in DNA. Telomeres are shortened as cells continue to live and divide, which can lead to senescence and aging. For this reason, it is believed that olive oil is the cause for longer telomeres – a good marker for reduced aging. In addition, research on a number of compounds in olive oil – like oleacein and oleuropein – have shown the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil.
While we may simply be tasting the fresh taste of extra virgin olive oil, our cells are receiving compounds that are helping to extend our lives.