UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS
The early harvest EVOO is mostly made up of (98%) lipids, most of which are monounsaturated fatty acids. Fatty acids are very popular for their beneficial effects on our health, but their main representative is oleic acid (omega – 9) which has been shown that protects against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and boost good cholesterol.
The early harvest EVOO also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids such as (ALA) α-linolenic acid (omega – 3) fatty acid and (LA) linoleic acid (omega – 6), which must be taken daily with food as they are essential fatty acids for the normal functioning of the body (essential fatty acids, EFAs).
In the past, these two polyunsaturated fatty acids (together) were called vitamin F.
- (Dimopoulos&, Antonopoulou: Athens 2000, “Basic Biochemistry”)
Omega – 9
Oleic acid is the key representative of the fatty acid’s class. It exists in very high concentrated in early harvest EVOO and also it has the highest concentration compared to other fatty acids. It has been found that has an important antioxidant role as it increases the resistance of cells to oxidation.
Omega – 6
Omega-6 fatty acids are extremely important for the proper functioning of our body. One of the most important is linoleic acid (LA), which is essential for the body, because its lack in large quantities would cause the death of our cells. Most of the researches shows that Omega-6 fatty acids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making them important factors in protection against chronic diseases such as malignant neoplasms, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.
- (Curr. Pharm. Biotechnolo. 7:531-534, 2006 PubMed).
- (Patterson, E., Wall, R., Fitzgerald, G. F., Ross, R. P., & Stanton, C. (2012). Health implications of high dietary omega-6 polyunsaturated Fatty acids. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2012, 539426. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/539426)
Omega – 3
Omega-3 fatty acids help preventing blood clots and arteriosclerosis. One of the main omega-3 fatty acids is α-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a structural component of our cell membranes. It helps in the process of energy production in the cells, protecting the body from oxidative stress, neutralizes free radicals and gives very good results to the skin, as it helps to slow down the aging process (oxidative stress of skin cells).
In addition, it protects brain cells from the action of harmful substances and may have positive effects on Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments.
- (Brain Res, 2000;855:292-297)
- (Free Radic Biol Med, 1995, 19, 227-250)
- (Danielle Swanson, Robert Block, Shaker A. Mousa, Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA: Health Benefits Throughout Life, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 1–7, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.111.000893)
- (Nichols, P. D., McManus, A., Krail, K., Sinclair, A. J., & Miller, M. (2014). Recent advances in omega- 3: Health Benefits, Sources, Products and Bioavailability. Nutrients, 6(9), 3727–3733. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6093727)
Many studies have shown that it helps preventing cataracts and protects the eyes from ultraviolet radiation, as it acts in addition to vitamins C and E, enhancing their action.
- (Free Radic Res, 1996, 25, 337-346)
- (Free Rad Biol Med, 1995,18, 823-829).
In addition, in patients with glaucoma, their vision improved significantly
- (Vestn Oftalmol, 1995, 111, 6—06).