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Hydroxytyrosol: What is it

Over the past years most studies have focused on the protective activity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a source of monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid). The reason is simple, there were no available technologies to extract/isolate other minor compounds..

Hydroxytyrosol is mostly found in the water fraction resulting after the milling process of olives, although it is also located (mainly in its derivatives forms) in virgin olive oil, though in much lower quantities.

It is considered as one of the phenols with the highest antioxidant capacity as a free radical scavenger available in the vegetable kingdom.

Current lines of research focusing on hydroxytyrosol are many, but most are dedicated to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

Hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives protect blood lipids from oxidative stress.
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Aging is one of the
oxidative stress consequences

Know more...

Hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives have been the first polyphenols oficially granted to have a health claim associated under the EC 1924/2006 Regulation. The EFSA Scientific Panel stated a positive opinion regarding hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives, in connection with the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress.

Antioxidant capacity

Investigations have been mainly focused on their antioxidant properties, given the potential they have to scavenge reactive oxidative species (ROS) and nitrogen (RON). This is due to the presence of the catechol group (orto-diphenol) in its molecular structure.

Good absorption

Hydroxytyrosol has shown a high bioavailability in humans. Many studies have documented a high degree of absortion, fundamental to exert their metabolic and pharmacokinetics properties. The anfifilic character facilitates its intestinal absortion and makes it exert a protective activity in both, the water and lipid compartments of cells.

Lines of research

There is a whole array of lines researching hydroxytyrosol, though most are focused on its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties:

  • Hydroxytyrosol protects, dose dependent, against LDL cholesterol oxidation, known as one of the first triggers of artheriosclerosis.
  • It contributes to the protection against oxidative stress, promoting relaxation of arteries and therefore having influence on the blood pressure levels.
  • It is a potent anti-platelet aggregating agent, preventing the production of thrombos.
  • It has protective effects on muscles against the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitrogen (RON), during exercise. The lactate production is severily reduced during exercise. The contraction of muscles is protected against the presence of radicals.
  • The intake of hydroxytyrosol increases our internal defensive system, by increasing the gluthation levels, our main endogenous defensive agent.
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Progression of arteriosclerosis
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Free radicals have influence on the muscles