Hydroxytyrosol is a phenolic compound present in the olive leaf and in fresh olives, which stands out from the rest of the phenols due to its antioxidant activity, being even superior to that of vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C or resveratrol, in its capacity to inhibit free radicals and prevent oxidative damage as recognized by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) (EFSA Journal 2011; 9 (4): 2033).
There are two ways to obtain hydroxytyrosol, from the leaves of the olive tree through a chemical process or by a natural process of mechanical extraction from its fruit, the olive and which is linked to the extra virgin olive oil.
The main property of Hydroxytyrosol is its work as an antioxidant. Numerous studies have demonstrated its ability to curb the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL, also known as bad cholesterol). This action is of the utmost importance because oxidized LDL accumulates in the vascular wall and contributes to the development of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a common disease of the main blood vessels which is characterized by a narrowing in the arteries due to the presence of fatty plaques and cholesterol and calcium deposits that prevent the normal passage of blood through these arteries.
Demonstrated benefits of Hydroxytyrosol and that EFSA endorses:
- Decreased cardiovascular risk by preventing oxidation of low density cholesterol (LDL)
- Optimal preservative for the stabilization of functional foods rich in ins-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Anti-inflammatory potential for its action on free radicals
- Broad spectrum antimicrobial agent (against viruses and bacteria).
- Effective dermoprotector, since HT protects epithelial cells in a way from ultraviolet radiation by canceling the generated free radicals.
- Cancer prevention, since it protects the cells against a cancerogenic transformation by two ways: the protection of DNA against damage by free radicals and the antiproliferative effect demonstrated in vitro through the induction of apoptosis or cell death.
Aceites Valdezarza participates in the OILOX research project to obtain extra virgin olive oil with a high content of Hydroxytyrosol.