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EVOO Benefits: 7 Ways Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Protect Your Health

An image of extra virgin olive oilIf you have been perusing wellness sites and stores, you may have come across a product that goes by the name of EVOO. It's not a strange and foreign health product - EVOO is simply the shortened term for extra virgin olive oil. The use of EVOO has expanded dramatically from being used as a tasty salad dressing to now being an ingredient in some ice cream and being available as a supplement. This could be because of the multiple EVOO benefits for your health. This article will explore the EVOO benefits and why it may be a product to add to your healthcare regimen.

An Introduction to EVOO Benefits

Olive oil is an oil that is extracted from olives. The process is simple, with the olives being pressed to extract the oil. The result of this process is three different oils:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Refined olive oil

These oils differ in flavor, acidity, and the number of defects. EVOO is the olive oil with the highest quality followed by virgin olive oil and then refined olive oil. For olive oil to have a classification as EVOO or virgin olive oil, the pressing process needs to be mechanical and no heat or chemical solvents are allowed to be used in the process.

Due to the pressing process and EVOO being the highest quality olive oil, it retains its antioxidants and polyphenols and is rich in nutrients such as:

  • Monounsaturated fats (MUFA)
  • Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA)
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

EVOO Benefits for Health


Inflammation is a common side effect of many conditions and can result in more complications and delayed healing time. To measure your inflammation, multiple inflammation markers are used. The higher the marker, the higher the inflammation within your body.

EVOO contains multiple beneficial substances such as oleic acid as well as antioxidants. Oleic acid is the most abundant unsaturated fat, and oleacein and oleocanthal are two antioxidants prevalent in EVOO.

In studies investigating the anti-inflammatory properties of EVOO, oleic acid helped in reducing the c-reactive protein marker, an inflammation marker within the body. Oleacein and oleocanthal also helped to reduce this marker and also helped to reduce interleukin-6, another marker of inflammation.

More studies are necessary to study the relationship between EVOO, and inflammation but there is potential for EVOO to help individuals manage their inflammation naturally.

Reduces Risk of Heart Conditions

EVOO reduces the risk of heart conditions in many different ways. The first way is that EVOO reduces inflammation. Inflammation is a marker for heart conditions, and if inflammation reduces, the risk of heart conditions likewise lowers.

Another way that EVOO reduces heart conditions risk is oleuropein, a substance that reduces LDL cholesterol. In your body, there is good and bad cholesterol. The good cholesterol (HDL) helps to reduce your risk for stroke or heart attack, whilst an increase in the bad cholesterol (LDL) increases your risk. The lower your LDL, the less risk you are at of having a stroke or heart attack.

EVOO also helps to promote the functioning of the lining of your blood vessels, helping them to function optimally. It can help to prevent blood clotting and research suggests that it may help to reduce blood pressure.

These benefits as a whole help to reduce the risk of heart conditions, with many studies suggesting that an increase in the intake of EVOO can help to reduce the risk of heart conditions and stroke.

Promotes Brain Health

An image of an older woman smilingEVOO benefits your brain health in multiple ways which can help manage depression, and anxiety and reduce conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Your gut communicates to your brain, and if your gut is not healthy this communication reduces, resulting in depression and anxiety. By improving gut health, this communication can be enhanced thus helping to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are two chemicals that help to optimize the survival, growth, and functioning of your brain cells. Research suggests that individuals with depression have reduced levels of these chemicals, which could be a factor contributing to depression. EVOO can assist with this low level as it boosts levels of BDNF and NGF.


Alzheimer’s is a common brain condition and involves the build-up of a protein in the brain cells that causes a reduction in memory and eventually the development of Alzheimer’s.

The types of fats found in EVOO also help to increase levels of acetylcholine in the body, a brain hormone that assists in memory and learning. The polyphenol, oleocanthal, also plays a part as it can cross the barrier into the brain, reduce inflammation, and helps to reduce the proteins that are involved in the development of Alzheimer’s. Vitamin E in EVOO can also help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Enhances Gut Health

When you ingest EVOO, your body transports EVOO to the gut for digestion and absorption. In the gut, EVOO stimulates the production of beneficial bacteria, reduces the growth of harmful bacteria, and increases the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs can help to reduce inflammation, promote a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of gut conditions.

Reduces Cellular Damage

During cellular processes and in times of stress and illness, your body produces free radicals. These free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to your cells. Antioxidants help to reduce this damage caused by free radicals.

Research has found a link between cancer and the damage from these free radicals. EVOO is high in antioxidants and can help reduce damage by free radicals. Studies focusing on the development of cancer in individuals in countries having a high intake of olive oil had lower cancer rates than individuals in countries with a low olive oil intake. This could be due to the antioxidants in the EVOO; however, more research is necessary.

How to Use EVOO Benefits

EVOO can be used in many ways. It can be used as is. However, it can also be used in sauteing, stir-frying, and marinades.

If you would like to cook with EVOO, the good news is that unsaturated fats in the EVOO make it resistant to heat so you can still reap the EVOO benefits. EVOO also has a high smoke point. In simple terms, this means that the chances of you burning the oil is low. However to get the most benefit out of the antioxidants, the best way to take in EVOO is raw.

EVOO Benefits and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)

An image of the adrenal glandsAdrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is a syndrome that describes a group of symptoms individuals experience as a result of chronic stress. Your body responds to stress via your adrenal glands, two glands on top of your kidneys that release hormones in times of stress. The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response system supports your adrenal glands. The NEM is composed of six circuits of related organ systems.

Whilst your body can cope with short-term stress, long-term stress becomes a problem. If your body experiences stress for a long period of time, the adrenal glands are not able to release stress hormones efficiently and an imbalance in the NEM system occurs.

This imbalance results in a wide range of symptoms depending on where the imbalances are occurring. The Neuroaffect circuit is one of the six circuits of the NEM system. The brain, autonomic system, and gut microbiome make up this circuit.

If there is an imbalance within the Neuroaffect circuit, individuals may experience anxiousness, depression, poor gut health, and sleep disturbances.

So how can the EVOO benefits help these AFS symptoms?

EVOO can help to relieve symptoms of depression and help to enhance your gut health which can indirectly reduce depression and feelings of anxiousness. It can also help to reduce inflammation, which is a major problem with AFS.

Cautions With EVOO

Whilst the EVOO benefits are vast and can help to reduce many health issues, it is important to practice caution when beginning a new health practice, especially if you are currently experiencing AFS.

During AFS, your body becomes sensitive to external products which include EVOO, especially if you haven’t used EVOO before or you are increasing your intake of it. This can result in your body reacting to it negatively and rather than exerting its benefits, it can set you back in your healing journey. This is why it's important to talk to your doctor about new supplements or foods you plan to add to your diet.

Another concern with EVOO is the quality of EVOO. EVOO does have the highest quality out of the olive oils; however, it is important to purchase EVOO that has been certified. This reduces the risk of you consuming oil that is not of high quality. Also, be wary of supplements with other filler substances. The FDA does not regulate supplements. This means that the quality of the oil is not verified, may contain additional ingredients, and may not have the same benefits compared to EVOO in its natural form.

Final Thoughts

EVOO is a versatile food product, and the EVOO benefits are impressive. It can help lower your risk for heart conditions, cancer, and Alzheimer's while reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and inflammation as well. Just make sure you are using high-quality EVOO, and talk to your doctor if this is a new addition to your diet or if you have preexisting health conditions.

For more information on other beneficial dietary supplements that can help manage multiple health conditions, you can chat with our team at +1 (626) 571-1234 or click here for a free initial consultation.

© Copyright 2023 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Olive oil is available in supplemental form. However, it is important to remember that the FDA does not regulate these products. This means that the quality of the oil is not verified, may contain additional ingredients, and may not have the same benefits compared to EVOO in its natural form.

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