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Here are two articles on Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Dr. Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. She teaches nutrition at Brown University and lectures on nutrition in the medical school. She answers the question "How solid is the science surrounding olive oil?" She promotes a plant based diet by the way and has found her patients consume far more vegetables when using EVOO for the reasons described:

 

The science of cooking with olive oil

http://www.truthinoliveoil.com/2013/10/science-cooking-olive-oil

 

The Truth on Olive Oil Health

http://www.truthinoliveoil.com/2013/04/truth-on-olive-oil-health

 

Footnotes

 

1. Covas MI, Nyyssonen K, Poulsen HE, et al. The effect of polyphenols in olive oil on heart disease risk factors: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2006;145:333-41.
2. Salvini S, Sera F, Caruso D, et al. Daily consumption of a high-phenol extra-virgin olive oil reduces oxidative DNA damage in postmenopausal women. Br J Nutr 2006;95:742-51.
3. Madigan C, Ryan M, Owens D, Collins P, Tomkin GH. Dietary unsaturated fatty acids in type 2 diabetes: higher levels of postprandial lipoprotein on a linoleic acid-rich sunflower oil diet compared with an oleic acid-rich olive oil diet. Diabetes Care 2000;23:1472-7.
4. Ferrara LA, Raimondi AS, d'Episcopo L, Guida L, Dello Russo A, Marotta T. Olive oil and reduced need for antihypertensive medications. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:837-42.
5. Fito M, Cladellas M, de la Torre R, et al. Antioxidant effect of virgin olive oil in patients with stable coronary heart disease: a randomized, crossover, controlled, clinical trial. Atherosclerosis 2005;181:149-58.
6. Ruano J, Lopez-Miranda J, de la Torre R, et al. Intake of phenol-rich virgin olive oil improves the postprandial prothrombotic profile in hypercholesterolemic patients. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86:341-6.
7. Beauchamp GK, Keast RS, Morel D, et al. Phytochemistry: ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil. Nature 2005;437:45-6.
8. Kim MK, Park JH. Conference on "Multidisciplinary approaches to nutritional problems". Symposium on "Nutrition and health". Cruciferous vegetable intake and the risk of human cancer: epidemiological evidence. Proc Nutr Soc 2009;68:103-10.
9. Fowke JH, Longcope C, Hebert JR. Brassica vegetable consumption shifts estrogen metabolism in healthy postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2000;9:773-9.
10. Flynn MM, Schiff AR. A Six-week Cooking Program of Plant-based Recipes Improves Food Security, Body Weight, and Food Purchases for Food Pantry Clients. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 2013;1.
11. Flynn MM, Reinert SE. Comparing an olive oil-enriched diet to a standard lower-fat diet for weight loss in breast cancer survivors: a pilot study. J Womens Health (Larchmt);19:1155-61.
12. Rickman JC BC, Barrett DM. Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables II. Vitamin A and carotenoids, vitamin C, minerals and fiber. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2007;87:1185-1196.
13. Rickman JC BD, Bruhn CM. Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.  Part 1. Vitamins C and B and phenolic compounds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2007;87:930-944.
14. Burdge GC, Jones AE, Wootton SA. Eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids are the principal products of alpha-linolenic acid metabolism in young men*. Br J Nutr 2002;88:355-63.
15. Burdge GC, Wootton SA. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. Br J Nutr 2002;88:411-20.
16. Bastida SS-M, FJ. Thermal oxidation of olive oil, sunflower oil and a mix of both oils during forty continuous domestic fryings of different foods. Food Sci Tech Int 2001;7:15-21.
17. Gennaro L, Piccioli Bocca, A, Modesti, D, Masella, R, Coni, E. Effect of biophenols on olive oil stability evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 1998;46:4465-4469.
18. Allouche Y, Jimenez A, Gaforio JJ, Uceda M, Beltran G. How heating affects extra virgin olive oil quality indexes and chemical composition. J Agric Food Chem 2007;55:9646-54.
19. Cicerale S, Conlan XA, Barnett NW, Sinclair AJ, Keast RS. Influence of heat on biological activity and concentration of oleocanthal--a natural anti-inflammatory agent in virgin olive oil. J Agric Food Chem 2009;57:1326-30.
20. Garcia JM, Yousfi K, Mateos R, Olmo M, Cert A. Reduction of oil bitterness by heating of olive (Olea europaea) fruits. J Agric Food Chem 2001;49:4231-5.
21. Brenes M, Garcia A, Dobarganes MC, Velasco J, Romero C. Influence of thermal treatments simulating cooking processes on the polyphenol content in virgin olive oil. J Agric Food Chem 2002;50:5962-7.

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I find that what Mary Flinn says is perfectly coherent with my experience and observations. Olive oil makes vegetables taste better, hence it makes you eat more of'em and less of protein and carbs. Also, it fills you up hence decreases hunger and makes you eat less of other things. This by eating a compound which is by itself a natural medicine. We couldn't probably ask more of a food. 

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I found more interesting info here:

 

A recent paper* published by Dr. Chopra's research group at the Northern Ireland Center for Diet and Health, University of Ulster, had some interesting conclusions.

 

Health benefits from lycopene in tomato products have been suggested to be related to its antioxidant activity. Dietary fat may influence the absorption and hence the antioxidant activity of lycopene. The study compared the effect of consumption of tomato products with extra-virgin olive oil versus sunflower oil. The different oils did not affect the absorption of the lycopene into the body, but the tomato/olive oil combination generated increased plasma antioxidant activity by around 20%. Therefore one conclusion drawn from the research was that it would seem that consumption of tomato products with olive oil, but not with sunflower oil, improves the antioxidant activity of the plasma.

 

Researchers are faced with the question of whether the combination of tomato and olive oil does something synergistically, or whether the beneficial antioxidant effects are caused by olive oil alone. Extra virgin olive oil is particularly rich in the phenolic antioxidants as well as squalene and oleic acid, and high consumption of the foregoing in the diet provides considerable protection against colon, breast and skin cancer, coronary heart disease and aging by inhibiting oxidative stress. Research has shown that scavenging of the hydroxyl radical was significantly higher among extracts of olive oil. This effect was only minimal in seed oils. In addition to their direct antioxidant capacity, extracts of olive oil are also potent inhibitors of xanthine oxidase activity. A constant high olive oil intake in the diet, especially extra virgin olive oil, provides a constant supply of antioxidants. This may reduce oxidative stress through inhibition of lipid peroxidation, a factor that is currently linked to a host of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

 

There is a low incidence of skin cancer among Mediterranean populations, and olive oil consumption could be a contributing factor to this low cancer rate. Olive oil contains significantly higher amounts of squalene than seed oils, and squalene is to a large extent transferred to the skin. German researchers believe that this transfer mechanism is probably accomplished by scavenging singlet oxygen generated by ultraviolet light. Japanese scientists also claim that virgin olive oil applied to the skin after sunbathing could protect against skin cancer by slowing tumor growth.

 

Researchers at the University Hospital "Germans Trias Pujol" in Barcelona, Spain, compared the benefits of olive oil with safflower and fish oil on rats to determine if the type, and not just the amount, of fat in the diet had an impact on cancer tumor growth. They found that the research subjects on the olive oil diet had less precancerous tissue and fewer tumors than the animals fed the other oils.

 

The researchers believe constituents of olive oil, such as flavonoids, squalene and polyphenols, may help to protect against cancer. Flavonoids and polyphenols are antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage from oxygen-containing chemicals called free radicals.

 

Another study by researchers at the University of Oxford adds to the growing body of evidence that shows olive oil is as effective as fresh fruit and vegetables in keeping colon cancer at bay.

 

Dr Michael Goldacre and a team of researchers at the Institute of Health Sciences compared cancer rates, diets and olive oil consumption in 28 countries including European countries, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Canada and China. Countries with a diet high in meat and low in vegetables had the highest rates of the disease and olive oil was associated with a decreased risk.

 

The researchers suspect olive oil protects against bowel cancer by influencing the metabolism of the gut. They think it cuts the amount of a substance called deoxycyclic acid and regulates the enzyme diamine oxidase which may be linked to cell division in the bowel.

 

A study in the March 27, 2000 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, which was produced by Dr. Ferrara's research team, shows that a diet high in MUFA from olive oil can also help reduce blood pressure levels.

 

Ferrara and his colleagues found that while consuming the extra-virgin olive oil diet, research subjects reduced the amount of antihypertensive medication necessary to control blood pressure levels by 48%, versus only a 4% reduction on the sunflower oil diet. In addition, eight subjects on the extra-virgin olive oil diet required no antihypertensive medications; all subjects on the sunflower oil diet required antihypertensive medication. The authors conclude that a diet lower in total fat and saturated fat and a diet that contains higher amounts of MUFA can lower blood pressure levels and reduce or eliminate the need for medications in people with hypertension.

 

So why does olive oil lower blood pressure? One possible reason is its polyphenol content. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants which help arteries dilate, thereby reducing blood pressure. Ten grams of extra-virgin olive oil contains five mg of polyphenols; sunflower oil has no polyphenols.

 

*Lee, A.; Thurnham, D.I.; Chopra, C. Consumption of Tomato Products with Olive Oil but not Sunflower Oil increases the Antioxidant Activity of Plasma. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 29:1051-1055; 2000 [Nov. 15th, 2000 issue]

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ConsumerLab published their test results of a number of popular olive oils earlier this month.

 

Does anyone have access to the full report?   https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Extra-Virgin-Olive-Oil-Review/evoo/

 

edit, found it elsewhere:
 

Results

All 10 brands claimed to be “extra virgin, but the taster downgraded 2 of them  to “virgin” (Newman’s Own and Bertolli), and one was rated unsatisfactory (Pompeian).  Both types come from the first pressing of the olives w/o using solvents, other chemicals, or heat, but genuine EVO has a better taste and chemical makeup.

 

1. Top 3 choices

  • Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oi l (Costco):  Highest in polyphenols (369), good quality and taste, and one of the lowest priced.  But the 2-liter  bottle (over 2 quarts) may not be used up before spoilage begins (see below).  Mild robustness.
  • Trader Joe’s Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Good quality and taste, relatively low cost. Polyphenol content  of 237 is still a good level). Medium robustness.
  • California Olive Ranch: Widely available (incl. Walmart).  Good quality & taste.  Three bottle sizes: 500 ml (16.9 oz.),  750 ml (25.4 oz.), 1.4 liters (47.3 oz.).  Good polyphenol content (260). Mild robustness.
  • Runner-up: 365 Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The lowest cost plus good taste and polyphenol content (216).  Medium robustness.

2. Also approved but more pricey

  • Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Spectrum Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3. Not approved

  • Newman’s Own Organics Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Taster-rated as “virgin” due to  moderate taste defects.  But good polyphenol content (330).  Mild robustness. Pricey. 
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil:  Passed lab tests, but rated as “virgin” (not extra virgin) on the taste test, so received an approval rating of “Uncertain”.  Likely a mixture of good and defective quality olive oils.  But good polyphenol content (318).  Mild
  • Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Taster-rated as “lampante” (unsatisfactory) despite being certified by the USDA and NAOOA (North. American Olive Oil Assoc.).  Polyphenol content (218) was good, and it showed little rancidity.   Mild robustness.
Edited by tea

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So I was reading this study, where they specifically compared high phenol EVOO to low phenol EVOO:

 

Olive Oil Polyphenols Decrease Blood Pressure and Improve Endothelial Function in Young Women with Mild Hypertension

They observed a significant improvement in endothelial function and drop in blood pressure only in the group with the phenol rich EVOO.  They also noted that "The polyphenol-rich olive oil diet also elicited an increase in plasma nitrites/nitrates".

 

I've been experimenting with 2-3 TBSP of very high phenol EVOO which I have been consuming with nitrate rich plant based meals, in particular red beets, for a few weeks now.  This of course is totally unscientific and I have no control or baseline, haha, but despite having an extremely stressful work environment right now, and in fact having worked until 1AM the night before, this morning my blood pressure was 89/55:

bp20170201.jpg

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Before eating olive oil, my BP was also around 90-55. My diet was mostly starch base: oatmeals and fruits for breakfast, colorful potatoes and ww bread for lunch, pasta or rice&beans with the addition of green leafy vegs for dinner without any added oil but handful of nuts. I had to add olive oils because I was losing weight even though I stuff myself with food. I think in my case adding the olive oil would not decrease my BP and probably increase if I gain too much weight:)

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Before eating olive oil, my BP was also around 90-55. My diet was mostly starch base: oatmeals and fruits for breakfast, colorful potatoes and ww bread for lunch, pasta or rice&beans with the addition of green leafy vegs for dinner without any added oil but handful of nuts. I had to add olive oils because I was losing weight even though I stuff myself with food. I think in my case adding the olive oil would not decrease my BP and probably increase if I gain too much weight:)

 

Burak, if you use cronometer or count calories and macros anyway, I'd be curious to know your daily calories and macros breakdown.

 

I'm closely monitoring myself and presently I need a pretty high calories number 2500+ to keep my present BMI of 23.3.  This forum maybe appears to belong to the low-absorbers.

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Its interesting, but in the few weeks that I've been consuming 2-3 TBSP of olive oil per day, I've actually lost 2-3 lbs of weight.  Because this was not intentional I am wondering if it's because the EVOO just produces more satiety, or if I've been subconsciously over-reducing calories as a way of compensating for the fact that I added the EVOO to my repertoire.  Then again it's also been colder and I've been doing a lot of CE so that might be it... 

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Skepticism is a necessary attitude in science but those guys go to extremes and forget everything about centuries of anecdotal experience and common sense.

 

Plus, Michael's observations on the dubious extrapolability of such findings to real life and on the lack of something so basic as the chemical characteristics of the oil tested. You want to tear down a myth, your data must be overwhelmingly good and irrefutable. The 'science' of nutrition is degenerating, maybe killed by the need to publish articles, no matter how trashy (the same trend unfortunately exists in other academical fields).

 

I pretty much wonder what's the purpose of such extremism. It is pretty evident that in America diets have risen to the rank of religions and, like religions, unfortunately tend to radicalize themselves. It's unfortunate that Dr. Greger took up the role of high priest of veganism.

Edited by mccoy

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Here is the documentation of my daily diet. It's pretty much the same everyday, except on weekend I don't eat potato lunch but I add some red wine and a little bit of regional cheese. I forgot to add 30g of mushrooms and dried onion family herbs to the list and it's purple potato instead of red and black rice instead of brown but it's not going to change the whole picture I guess.

 

To summarize, it's mostly starch based (McDougall + DerGreger's daily dozen + G-BOMBS + EVOO) because I want it to be simple and I'm a lazy guy and I don't like cooking:) Oatmeal is almost instant. I microwave potatoes on the evening for the other day and eat them cold. Dinner takes at most 30 minutes and I cook in batches so only 2 times a weak. 

 

At first glance, 2300 calories a day seems much but judging from my weight (BMI of 17) I don't absorb all of them. Excluding fiber, resistance starches and some nut calories I'm probably absorbing less than 2000 calories. It's also winter and my home and office is generally colder than average. In summer on the other hand, I have reduced appetite resulting in eating 200 less calories on average.

 

post-7385-0-46151900-1486297334_thumb.jpgpost-7385-0-46470400-1486297339_thumb.jpgpost-7385-0-51446900-1486297347_thumb.jpg

 

Since the topic is olive oil, I want to ask my interesting observation on eating them. In winter, my hands become very dry and I have to use hand cream after every time I wash them until this winter olive oil I eat turns to puree due to cold. After becoming normal and eating some, the other day suddenly the need for hand cream was no longer necessary. However, after buying another bottle, the dryness came back and then I thought maybe it's because I changed the brand, but no. Cooling olive oil worked again and dryness went away. What I want to ask is if there is any additional absorbing factor by the skin after olive oil become crystallized and then back to normal? Do you guys know something about this?

Edited by Burak

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All:

Skepticism is a necessary attitude in science but those guys go to extremes and forget everything about centuries of anecdotal experience and common sense.


I'm all for throwing out everything about centuries of anecdotal experience and common sense ;) . Centuries of anecdotal experience and common sense would have led you to think that smoking tobacco was a salubrious activity: look at all those healthy, strapping Native Americans!
 

Plus, Michael's observations on the dubious extrapolability of such findings to real life and on the lack of something so basic as the chemical characteristics of the oil tested. You want to tear down a myth, your data must be overwhelmingly good and irrefutable. The 'science' of nutrition is degenerating, maybe killed by the need to publish articles, no matter how trashy (the same trend unfortunately exists in other academical fields).
 
I pretty much wonder what's the purpose of such extremism. It is pretty evident that in America diets have risen to the rank of religions and, like religions, unfortunately tend to radicalize themselves. It's unfortunate that Dr. Greger took up the role of high priest of veganism.

 
I agree with you that Greger is a fanatic propagandist and not a reliable source of information (which is not to say that he never points in the right direction — and fortunately, he does usually cite his sources, even when he's rmisepresenting them). But to which post, comment, etc were you referring here?
 

Here is the documentation of my daily diet


I might suggest you put this in a thread of its own for comment and discussion (and to make it easier to find), and keep this thread to (EV)OO.

 

Since the topic is olive oil, I want to ask my interesting observation on eating them. In winter, my hands become very dry and I have to use hand cream after every time I wash them until this winter olive oil I eat turns to puree due to cold. After becoming normal and eating some, the other day suddenly the need for hand cream was no longer necessary. However, after buying another bottle, the dryness came back and then I thought maybe it's because I changed the brand, but no. Cooling olive oil worked again and dryness went away. What I want to ask is if there is any additional absorbing factor by the skin after olive oil become crystallized and then back to normal? Do you guys know something about this?

 

Letting your EVOO crystallize and then thaw out is actually rather bad for it, as explained here. I can't imagine how it's helping your hands. Are you sure you aren't maybe using more EVOO in the winter? Low-fat dieters often find that their skin becomes dry (and their hair of poor quality and their nails brittle), which is rapidly solved by taking in more fat.

 

Because Northern Harvest oils are coming onto the market now after spending a while being racked, it's also conceivable that if you bought a different bottle recently you got a different harvest, with a different percentage of linoleic acid vs. MUFA.

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Burak, thanks for your dietary breakdown, your BMI appears pretty low compared to your caloric intake (even if averaged throughout the year) and, since there are many people here who exhibit a low BMI with a not-so-low caloric intake, I'm wondering whether there is something in a wholesome diet which influences absorption, thought goes to fibers or phytates or other so called anti-nutrients. Cold exposure of course is a factor, exercise is another but it should be significant to influence in a not negligible way.

 

I've never heard about EVOO properties triggered by its previous freezing, but we all know that biochemistry is a complex science.

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I'm all for throwing out everything about centuries of anecdotal experience and common sense ;) . Centuries of anecdotal experience and common sense would have led you to think that smoking tobacco was a salubrious activity: look at all those healthy, strapping Native Americans!

 

 

Michael, of course I refer to the accumulated wisdom of holistic medicine, alternative medicine, healthy dietary methods which have been developed empirically thru the ages. Such methods are purely empirical but, since they use the accumulated observations of centuries, often they are able to predict correctly the benefits of a food or a regime. Why to throw the tradition away?

In my personal experience, for example, I've been exposed for decades to empirical suggestions (from various sources) like: fruit is good. Nuts are good. Vegetables are good. Whole-grain cereals are good. Meat is bad. Fried food is bad. Refined sugars and starches are very bad. And so on. Not only most of such suggestions have been successful in providing good health to me (and liberating me from some chronic ailments), but I also notice how many of them have been mechanistically validated today.

So, if someone comes out and says: 'olive oil is the vegan killer', he/she should explain to me why the killer failed to kill me in 50 years of constant assassination attempts (that's for how long I've been regularly eating EVOO).

Also, recently some guys are demonizing fruit. Alternative medicine affirms that fruit is the best food for health. As a consequence, I've eaten so much fruit during the past 40 years that, if those guys are right, I should be presently very close to my demise.

My final point is that, some affirmations which apparently want to refuse traditional empirical healthy practices which have been proven to work in real life, should be supported by overwhelming evidence.  

 

 

 

I agree with you that Greger is a fanatic propagandist and not a reliable source of information (which is not to say that he never points in the right direction — and fortunately, he does usually cite his sources, even when he's rmisepresenting them). But to which post, comment, etc were you referring here?

 

I was referring to a previous post of yours where you expose some of the weaknesses of the 'anti-oil' studies. I find your points pretty rational and convincing:

 

I apologize (sincerely) for not having the time to dissect those studies, but the bottom line is that they're bunk. First, the dosages used are absurd: 50-80 grams of olive oil (≈1/4-1/3 of a cup) taken with a slice of bread is the typical design, which (a) is not a sensible dose, (b) lets the fat get into your system very quickly (if it doesn't give you the runs ...), and © combines the incoming lipemia with a shot of high-glycemic carb. "Use as directed" as part of a Mediterranean diet.

 

Also, despite what he says, the "Methods" section of at least some of the cited studies just say they use "olive oil" — not EVOO. And, of course, if they just went to the store and bought "olive oil" (or even labeled "EVOO"), they could have wound up with either the old, peroxidized junk that passes for EVOO (70% of oils on the supermarket shelf in the UC Davis study), or (though I hasten to add that it's uncommon) with sunflower oil tarted up with chlorophyllin and beta-carotene.

 

Edited by mccoy

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Because Northern Harvest oils are coming onto the market now...

Giuliana is selling some Fall 2016 oils : https://www.goliveoil.com/de-carlo/

 

What's your opinion of this high wire act, would it make a nice Valentine's Day gift to my crazy mother?

 

"De Carlo Tenuta Torre di Mossa 2016: 500 ml - $21.24:

 

Polyphenol count: 885 ppm

Free Acidity:

Harvest and Crush Date: October 2016:

 

100% Coratina from the single site Tenuta Torre di Mossa. Age of trees is unknown, but ranges from 120 to over 200 years old. A singular oil that is one of the great jewels in Italian oil production. Deep gold green color, packed with aromas of olive, sage, artichoke and green almonds.

The taste is very strong, black pepper and spiciness are very high. Flavors of green lettuce, artichoke and black pepper. ONE OF ITALY’S GREATEST OLIVE OILS!"

 

Meat is bad.

Meat is Murder: https://youtu.be/eviyEJRZX30 : but in low doses properly prepared meat is probably pretty good for people (who have no morals).

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Shtira, I looked up the De Carlo Italian website but they don't sell Torre Di mossa directly although they have another farm with the same coratina production, I believe. Elsewhere we have the 2015 harvest at US$10. Last year has been very bad in Italy, so that's why the price is very high. 885 polyphenols is huge, although that's not too appreciated in Italy and probably that's the reason why they prefer to export.

I can testify that in Puglia (the Italian region where De Carlo is located) centenary olive trees are pretty common.

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Crazy world, McCoy, in that for you, an Italian living in Italia, you'd have to buy oil from your backyard groves in La Puglia from some Colorado company. I spent a month or so around Bari, and me and a girl from Napoli hung our hammock between old olive trees. She said they were hundreds of years old, and they looked hundreds of years old in the dry heat.

 

I'm wondering about the high polyphenol numbers quoted -- are they truthful, these chemistries, or do you think oil marketers have learned what we want to hear (i.e., Big Numbers for Big Americans?)

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Crazy world, McCoy, in that for you, an Italian living in Italia, you'd have to buy oil from your backyard groves in La Puglia from some Colorado company. I spent a month or so around Bari, and me and a girl from Napoli hung our hammock between old olive trees. She said they were hundreds of years old, and they looked hundreds of years old in the dry heat.

 

I'm wondering about the high polyphenol numbers quoted -- are they truthful, these chemistries, or do you think oil marketers have learned what we want to hear (i.e., Big Numbers for Big Americans?)

 

The 'dry heat' is just that, two words describing exactly Puglia during summertime. That region as you have seen has whole forrests of olive trees, everytime I drive thru I keep being amazed.

 

High polyphenols: yes, as you guess, that's a marketing strategy which might reflect the truth. In Italy, 'high polyphenols' means bitter and pungent taste, hence bad oil. Their marketing strategy here is opposite, never indicating polyphenols, rather underlining the 'fruity taste'.

As to the truthfulness, they should send on request a certificate of lab analyses. It does mean nothing, since, especially in that region, you can pay a lab and have them write 8 thousand or 80 thousand ppm of polyphenols in the oil, or whatever crazy value you wish. 

But the company appears to be serious and you can always crosscheck their results with an American lab. Since it is a niche market, they probably are very keen on their reputation so I'm inclined to guess that, within statistical variability, their values are correct. I still have to ask how much is it here for a polyphenols analysis. I might order that oil from De Carlo (thru the Colorado company, LOL)  and cross check the polyphenols myself, whereas  I'd really like to check the polyphenols in the 100 liters stash of EVOO I have.

Edited by mccoy

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I just Called De Carlo. Torre Di Mossa is available, they just didn't update their site. I must ask them price and characteristics by mail.

 

I also just asked the price to have total phenolic compounds analyzed in a local lab: 40-45 US$, not a negligible sum.

In the meanwhile I asked my supplier the analyses of the stock they sold in the USA (In Italy it's not required).

Finally, some good news: apparently 100% Italian EVOO from the supermarkets shelves has good phenolic content, median value is 300 ppm.

 

EVOOs in Italian retail markets.

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Finally, some good news: apparently 100% Italian EVOO from the supermarkets shelves has good phenolic content, median value is 300 ppm.

 

EVOOs in Italian retail markets.

 

From the abstract it looks like EVOO purchased at retail in Italy failed miserably: "Only 3 of the 32 samples had a phenolic content above 250 ppm"  (this compares to EVOO purchased in California where 50% of samples exceeded 250).

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As you can see, including EVOO to the diet is pain in the butt. For me at least, since the cold days will be over in 1 months, I will gradually decrease its consumption until the new and fresh ones coming to the market where incidentally is the beginning of the new cold season. Moreover, spring and summer is the season of all the colorful berry, fruit and vegetable season, so gobble on them and don't worry whether the companies give fake reports or not.

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My take from the story is European Union blends of olive oils have poor profiles while the single source Italian EVOOs are pretty good in Italian retail markets.  Unfortunately I don't think this applies in the US as there have been many reports of low quality/adulterated EVOO, especially imports from places of previously high reputation such as Italy.

 

 

 

Finally, some good news: apparently 100% Italian EVOO from the supermarkets shelves has good phenolic content, median value is 300 ppm.

 

EVOOs in Italian retail markets.

 

From the abstract it looks like EVOO purchased at retail in Italy failed miserably: "Only 3 of the 32 samples had a phenolic content above 250 ppm"  (this compares to EVOO purchased in California where 50% of samples exceeded 250).

 

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If anyone has access to the BBC series "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor", they may want to watch Series 4, episode 3:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ykj7l

 

I watched that episode last night, and it was pretty interesting. They have a Glasgow University researcher who - the claim is - helped develop proteomics that measure the protein profile in your urine, and based on that assess quite precisely various health conditions, including cardiac status - this he distinguishes from other biomarkers such as cholesterol, as cholesterol is not a direct measure of the heart health status, whereas the protein profile is (according to him).

 

In any case, in that episode they took 75 people and measured their urine/protein profile status. Then they divided them into 3 groups of 25 each and had them consume 20 mililters of: group 1 - olive oil, group 2 - sunflower oil, group 3 - rapeseed oil. This they did for 6 weeks. The oil was consumed raw, without being cooked or changed in any other way. After the six weeks, they had their urine profiled again. 

 

The results were: in the group consuming olive oil, the proteomic profile was dramatically improved for heart health (which they showed in the form of a graph); in the sunflower and the rapeseed groups, there was no change to the proteomic profile when it comes to heart health status. They were a bit surprised, because of the expectation that sunflower polyunsaturated FA should have shown some benefit to CV health, and rapeseed is rich in monounsaturated FA too, so you'd expect to see benefits there too. But only olive oil showed that benefit.

 

But there was another kicker - they also ran an experiment where they compared the effect of ordinarly OO and EVOO. In that experiment, there was NO difference in the proteomic profile - both showed equal benefits when it comes to heart health. Go figure!

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As you can see, including EVOO to the diet is pain in the butt. For me at least, since the cold days will be over in 1 months, I will gradually decrease its consumption until the new and fresh ones coming to the market where incidentally is the beginning of the new cold season. Moreover, spring and summer is the season of all the colorful berry, fruit and vegetable season, so gobble on them and don't worry whether the companies give fake reports or not.

Yeah I hear you, man. Human greed is incredibly frustrating: lying corporations have altered how I live, totally. Part of why I focus on whole plants is because who knows what companies say is true and what companies say is not. And if you've ever been behind the scenes of even the purest of small companies run by friends, good souls, even their products are not always what appear in their marketing lit.

 

But I think faith (and maybe I'm overstating my distrust of anything organized by humans) faith is required in the case of olive oil. The right oil, freshly harvested, mindfully produced, stored, packaged, maintained is probably good for you but is a pain in the aaa like you say. But with some work maybe we can find some oils are more honest than other oils. But it still makes me mad that liars and crooks spoil so much. For example, I won't buy avocado oil, pistachio oil, walnut oil, pecan oil anymore because, hey, if big ole olive oil corporations are lying then how many of the other less regulated commodity food oil producers are also lying? Angry!

 

Sticking to whole vegetables and fruits, "organic" if possible, is my method; but honestly as we watch careful food regulations slowly degrade under greedy-fuck policy, I think careful sourcing only matters so much. Do our best, then let go. Stay healthy until better medical biotech emerges -- but I'm not counting on raspberries, spinach, olive oil and broccoli sprouts to save my life.

Edited by Sthira

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Finally, some good news: apparently 100% Italian EVOO from the supermarkets shelves has good phenolic content, median value is 300 ppm.

 

EVOOs in Italian retail markets.

 

From the abstract it looks like EVOO purchased at retail in Italy failed miserably: "Only 3 of the 32 samples had a phenolic content above 250 ppm"  (this compares to EVOO purchased in California where 50% of samples exceeded 250).

 

Gordo, I retire what I wrote in a previous post.

However, after havind read your link, apparently in California all depends on the oleocanthal, which has been included among the total polyphenols in the study you cite. However, I don't know if it has been included in the Italian study, if not, of course the data are not comparable (only 1/5 of californian oils would surpass the European threshold). 

In the Italian study only 8 oils were 100% Italian and among these only 3 were of a protected trademark. Probably the latter were those which resulted in over 250 ppms. In the supermarkets you find everything, oil from spain, Morocco, Greece, olive which is actually olio lampante but has been spiked with a green juice from olive leaves, I think and sold as EVOO. There are people who do just that in southern Italy. I stopped buying EVOO from supermarkets years ago but with the present crisis some people are compelled to do that.

 

My friend just sent me an analysis of an EVOO stock he bought, olives coming north of Puglia. That's 100% Italian but not protected origin and has 295 ppm polyphenols.

 

Sooner or later I'm going to post the content of my stock.

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