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Wellness is guaranteed by extra virgin olive oil

According to professor Caramia this “fat liquor” is the most meaningful example of a product which is food and medicine at the same time. New scientific evidences support the use of extra virgin oil for its manifold manifold healthy aspects

At the turn of the third millennium, the extra virgin olive oil is still a sacred and mystic element tied to the territory. It is a fundamental product of Mediterranean agriculture, food culture, and diet, thanks to its organoleptic properties and its undoubted nutritional value and, according to the most recent research, manifold healthy aspects.

The beneficial action on health, due to its components that act on several biological factors and functions, are explicated by its contribution to the prevention of several degenerative and carcinogen pathologies.

The particular fat content and the presence of “minor compounds” are important since the earliest stage of life. The affinity in terms of percentage content between the fat content of extra virgin olive oil and breast milk are very important during the weaning, when the saturated fatty acids begin to prevail in the diet together with the unsaturated n-6, with total absence of n-3. These last fats are present in olive oil, while absent in cow milk.

If we consider the importance and the right balance of these two types of fat acids, that are essential in: the cells structure and membrane, in the brain functionality, in the development of neuro-psycho-motor skills, in the retina structure, in the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, it is understandable that the introduction of extra virgin olive oil in the children diet, until they do not eat fish, is the only source of n-3 for an organism which is in rapid evolution.

An extra virgin olive oil spoon (about 13 ml) can contain up to 1000 mg of n-6 and 70 mg of n-3, with 110 Kcal, while 200 ml of breast milk bring 1000 mg of n-6 and 100 mg of n-3, with 130 Kcal.
Oil could avoid the total lack of omega-3. Barker shed light with a retrospective investigation dating back to 1992 that nutrition conditions, even intrauterine, that can hinder the development, inducing a precocious degradations and a more frequent chronic degenerative pathology. Lucas hypothesized through experimental studies that a stimulus or nutritional damage in a specific period of the development could affect the potentiality and metabolism of the adult and bring to negative effects on the structures or functions years later.

The nutrients “program the organism to prevent or favor metabolisms or pathologies (atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc) conditioning the neuro-psychic and biologic fate of the patient”. This calls to mind in part the phenomenon emphasized by Konrad Lorenz, the 1973 medicine and physiology Nobel prize, about the animal behavior and called “imprinting”, which includes the possibility that stimuli received in sensitive age affect the behavior in adult age.

This better supports the importance of a healthy diet, starting with breast milk and then extra virgin olive oil, fruit, fish, grocery, considering also the opportunity of eggs, milk, meat, etc, especially if enriched with naturally produced omega-3. Ippocrate (460-377BC) stated that “health requires the knowledge of the power of natural food and elaborated food”, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) that “man’s life is made of what he eats” and the notorious friar Ludvig Feuerbach (1804-1872) that “man is what he eats”.
Without any false excess in our bias, thanks to wisdom and thousand year knowledge, I think that there are reasons to propose and recommend the use of extra virgin olive oil in the daily diet for its manifold healthy aspects.

by Giuseppe Caramia
01 march 2010, Food & Fun > Health