WHAT IS HYDROXYTYROSOL?
Hydroxytyrosol is a tyrosol ester and phytonutrient (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health) that is believed to be 1 of the most powerful antioxidants available. In this article I will be taking a detailed look at hydroxytyrosol.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF HYDROXYTYROSOL?
There is very little information available on the discovery of tyrosol. However, people have been aware of its healing properties for many years with olive oil (1 of the main food sources of hydroxytyrosol) classed as a miracle food in the ancient world.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HYDROXYTYROSOL?
Hydroxytyrosol is 1 of the most powerful antioxidants available and has a wide range of health benefits in humans. The list below highlights the main health benefits of this phytonutrient:
– Acting as an antibacterial (a substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria).
– Acting as an antioxidant and protecting the body against damaging free radicals (harmful by-products of oxygen based reactions).
– Strengthening the immune system.
Early evidence suggests hydroxytyrosol may have many more benefits but further studies are required before these can be confirmed. These potential health benefits are listed below:
– Possibly preventing atherosclerosis (a condition where hard plaques form in the artery walls and restrict the flow of blood which ultimately increases your heart disease risk).
– Possibly preventing degenerative nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (a disorder which leads to the loss of memory, thought and speech) and Parkinson’s disease (a disorder which leads to the loss of mobility and speech).
– Possibly preventing heart disease (by protecting the heart from free radicals and lowering LDL cholesterol levels).
– Possibly preventing the damage caused by smoking.
– Possibly preventing cancer.
– Possibly protecting the nervous system from damage.
– Possibly reducing blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a type of cholesterol which can cause blockages in the arteries and increase your heart disease risk).
HOW MUCH HYDROXYTYROSOL DO YOU NEED?
Hydroxytyrosol is not classed as an essential nutrient so no official recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN HYDROXYTYROSOL?
Hydroxytyrosol can be sourced naturally from olives, olive leaves and olive oil but the exact amounts these foods contain are not known. It can also be found in various herbal supplements.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CONSUMING TOO MUCH HYDROXYTYROSOL?
Currently there are no reported overdose symptoms associated with hydroxytyrosol consumption.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FAILING TO CONSUME ENOUGH HYDROXYTYROSOL?
Hydroxytyrosol is not classed as an essential nutrient so no deficiency symptoms have been established.
There is still a lot more research to be done before the health benefits of hydroxytyrosol can be fully realised. However, with it being 1 of the most powerful antioxidants known to man and all these other potential health benefits, you should make sure olives or olive oil are included in your diet. Olives can be added to salads or eaten as a snack whilst olive oil can be used when cooking almost any dish. Eating them regularly will ensure that your body is fully protected from free radicals and possibly many more nasty diseases too.