WHAT ARE THE TYROSOL ESTERS?
The tyrosol esters are a group of phytonutrients (plant based chemical compounds that have numerous health benefits in the human body but are not classed as essential nutrients) that are found exclusively in olives, olive leaf and olive oil.
Although they are not believed to be essential for human survival, the tyrosol esters have a number of important health benefits. For starters, they are amongst the most powerful antioxidants around and can provide significant protection from free radicals (harmful substances that are released into your body’s cells during oxygen related reactions). They also offer protection against inflammation, strengthen your immune system and much more.
In this article I will be focussing on this topic and looking at 4 of the main tyrosol esters in greater detail:
Health Benefits:- Hydroxytyrosol is 1 of the most potent antioxidants around. It is also a powerful antibacterial (a substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria) and can strengthen the immune system. Provisional studies suggest that hydroxytyrosol may also boost your blood health by preventing atherosclerosis (a condition where hard plaques form in your artery walls, restrict the flow of blood and increase your heart disease risk) and reducing blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a type of cholesterol that blocks your arteries and increases your heart disease risk). Additionally, it may support good mental health by preventing 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). Finally, it may boost your heart health, protect your body’s cells from cancer, protect your nervous system from damage and prevent the damage caused by smoking. However, more evidence is required before these provisional benefits can be confirmed.
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA):- There is currently no RDA for hydroxytyrosol.
Food Sources:- Olives, olive leaves and olive oil are the only natural food sources of hydroxytyrosol. It can also be found in certain herbal supplements.
Overdose Symptoms:- There are no reported overdose symptoms associated with hydroxytyrosol consumption.
Deficiency Symptoms:- Hydroxytyrosol is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms associated with its consumption.
History:- Oleocanthal was discovered by the biologist and geneticist Gary K.Beauchamp and his team of researchers in 2005. He began researching this tyrosol ester in 1999 after sampling extra virgin olive oil in Sicily and noticing that it tasted very similar to liquid ibuprofen.
Health Benefits:- Oleocanthal is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory (a substance that prevents unnecessary inflammation in the human body) which can provide effective pain relief. Early evidence suggests that it may also prevent Alzheimer’s disease, prevent cancer, prevent heart disease and reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol. However, further studies are needed before these potential benefits can be validated.
RDA:- There is currently no RDA for oleocanthal but some sources suggest consuming 9 milligrams (mg) of this nutrient each day will allow you to activate its health benefits.
Food Sources:- Oleocanthal can only be sourced from extra virgin olive oil with a 100 millilitre (ml) serving providing you with 18mg of this tyrosol ester.
Overdose Symptoms:- There are no reported overdose symptoms associated with oleocanthal consumption.
Deficiency Symptoms:- Oleocanthal is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms associated with its consumption.
History:- Both the ancient Egyptians and ancient Mediterranean’s were aware of oleuropein in olive leaf and used it for mummification, treating infections, treating fevers and treating pain. It was isolated in the late 1800s.
Health Benefits:- Oleuropein is a powerful antioxidant that may also have a wide range of further health benefits. For starters it may act as an antibacterial, antifungal (a substance which treats fungal infections), anti-inflammatory and antiviral (a substance that kills or slows down the growth of viruses). Oleuropein may also prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Finally, it may protect your body’s cells from ultraviolet (UV) damage, reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol, lower high blood pressure and strengthen the immune system. However, more research is needed before these provisional benefits can be confirmed.
RDA:- There is currently no RDA for oleuropein.
Food Sources:- Olives, olive leaves and olive oil are the only natural food sources of oleuropein. It can also be consumed in the form of an olive leaf extract supplement.
Overdose Symptoms:- There are no reported overdose symptoms associated with oleuropein consumption. However, due to its possible effects on the blood, people suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure should ask their doctor before taking any supplements containing this tyrosol ester. Pregnant women should also check with their doctor before consuming any supplements containing this phytonutrient.
Deficiency Symptoms:- Oleuropein is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms associated with its consumption.
Health Benefits:- Tyrosol is a potent antioxidant that could also have additional benefits in the human body. Provisional evidence indicates that this phytonutrient could act as an antibacterial and antimicrobial (a substance which kills or slows down the growth of microorganisms). In addition to this, it may prevent Alzheimer’s disease, bone loss, kidney disease and cancer. However, more research is required before these potential health benefits can be confirmed.
RDA:- There is currently no RDA for tyrosol but most sources recommend consuming 300mg of this phytonutrient per day to enjoy its health benefits.
Food Sources:- Green tea, olives, olive oil and white wine are the only natural food sources of oleuropein.
Overdose Symptoms:- There are no reported overdose symptoms associated with tyrosol consumption.
Deficiency Symptoms:- Tyrosol is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms associated with its consumption.
TYROSOL ESTERS SUMMARY
There is still a lot more research required before the very promising health benefits of tyrosol esters can be fully confirmed. However, with all this potential there is no reason to exclude olives or olive oil from your diet. Olives are a great snack that can complement salads whilst olive oil (particularly extra virgin olive oil) is also a fantastic source of tyrosol esters that can be drizzled on meats, vegetables, salads and more. So make sure your diet is rich in these foods and start enjoying these tyrosol ester benefits today.