Extra virgin olive oil is a good source of hydroxytyrosol

How to get more hydroxytyrosol into your diet

Hydroxytyrosol is a potent antioxidant naturally found in olives and olive oil. It's been getting a lot of attention lately because of its benefits to the health of the heart and the arteries. Hydroxytyrosol helps fight atherosclerosis, which is the build up of plaque in the arteries.

Hydroxytyrosol fights arterial plaque in 7 ways: 

Antioxidant Properties:

As one of the most naturally powerful antioxidants, hydroxytyrosol neutralizes harmful free radicals. By reducing oxidative stress, it helps to prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), a key step in the development of atherosclerotic plaques.

It also enhances the activity of other antioxidant enzymes, providing a comprehensive protective effect against oxidative damage.

Anti-inflammatory Effects:

Chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in atherosclerosis. Hydroxytyrosol fights inflammation by modulating inflammatory markers and cytokines.  This can help reduce the chronic inflammation associated with atherosclerosis.

Improving Endothelial Function:

The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels.  Its proper function is critical for cardiovascular health. Hydroxytyrosol can improve endothelial function.  This helps maintain arterial health and prevent atherosclerosis.

Hydroxytyrosol also promotes the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes blood vessels, improves blood flow, and lowers blood pressure.

Lipid Profile Modification:

Hydroxytyrosol may help in improving the lipid profile by reducing levels of bad cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and increasing levels of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, HDL-C).

Inhibition of Platelet Aggregation:

It fights platelet aggregation. That's a process that can lead to clot formation and further contribute to atherosclerosis.

Cell Adhesion Molecule Expression:

Hydroxytyrosol can also modulate the expression of cell adhesion molecules. These molecules play a role in the adhesion of immune cells to the endothelium, a key event in the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

Anti-atherogenic Properties:

Some studies suggest that hydroxytyrosol can prevent the formation of atherosclerotic lesions, further reinforcing its potential role in atherosclerosis prevention.

What to look for to maximize hydroxytyrosol

To maximize hydroxytyrosol in your diet, look for first cold press extra virgin olive oil. The less processed an olive oil is, the more hydroxytyrosol it will contain. First cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is produced by mechanically pressing the olives into oil without the use heat or chemicals and in addition to its healthfulness has superior taste and aroma as compared to other olive oils.

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