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). The 4 main tyrosol esters are:
They can only be sourced from olives, olive leaves and olive oil. Although the tyrosol esters are not classed as essential nutrients, they have numerous health benefits in the human body and are believed to be 1 of the main reasons behind the health benefits of the “Mediterranean diet”. In this article I will be focussing on this topic and discussing 16 of the incredible tyrosol ester health benefits:
1) ACTING AS ANTIBACTERIALS:- Bacteria are a group of single cell microorganisms. The vast majority of bacteria do not cause any harm to humans but a small proportion are dangerous and lead to infectious diseases. The good news is that hydroxytyrosol is a powerful antibacterial (a substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria) that can protect you against the harmful effects of dangerous bacteria. Early evidence suggests that oleuropein and tyrosol may also be effective antibacterials but more research is required before this can be confirmed.
2) ACTING AS ANTIFUNGALS:- Fungal infections are a type of infection caused by fungi (spore producing microorganisms such as mould, mushrooms and yeast). Most fungal infections are caused by coming into contact with fungal spores and normally develop in the lungs or on the skin. Some common types of fungal infection include athlete’s foot, nail infections, ringworm and yeast infections. Fortunately, provisional research indicates that oleuropein may be able to keep you safe from these nasty infections by acting as an antifungal (a substance that treats fungal infections). However, more evidence is required before these effects can be confirmed.
3) ACTING AS ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES:- Inflammation is a natural process where your body responds to infection, injury, irritation or stress. The symptoms of inflammation include heat, pain, redness and swelling. In most cases inflammation is a good thing as it shows your body is dealing with a threat. However, sometimes inflammation is unnecessary and damages your body’s cells when there is no threat. The good news is that oleocanthal is a potent anti-inflammatory (a substance that prevents unnecessary inflammation in the body). Early studies suggest that oleuropein may also act as an anti-inflammatory but more research is needed before this can be confirmed.
4) ACTING AS ANTIOXIDANTS:- Antioxidants are substances that keep your body’s cells safe from free radicals. Free radicals are harmful substances that enter the cells during oxygen based reactions. They have been linked with cancer, diabetes, a weak immune system and premature ageing. Fortunately, all the tyrosol esters are powerful antixodiants that can help you avoid these nasty effects.
5) ACTING AS ANTIMICROBIALS:- If you want to maximise your chances of avoiding disease then you may want to start eating more tyrosol. Early evidence suggests that this nutrient may be an antimicrobial (a substance that prevents the growth of disease causing microorganisms) but more studies are needed before these effects can be confirmed.
6) ACTING AS ANTIVIRALS:- Viral infections are a type of infection caused by viruses. They can range from the relatively mild common cold to the much more dangerous human immunodeficiency virus (a virus that is often abbreviated to HIV and causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) which ultimately destroys the immune system). It is very hard to treat viral infections because they host themselves inside your body’s cells and are constantly mutating into new versions of the virus. The good news is that early studies indicate that oleuropoein may be an effective antiviral (a substance that slows down the growth of viral infections). However, more evidence is required before this can be confirmed.
7) BOOSTING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH:- As you get older you become more susceptible to mental diseases. Fortunately, the tyrosol esters may act in a protective capacity against them and boost your mental health. Early studies suggest that tyrosol, oleocanthal and hydroxytyrosol can all prevent Alzheimer’s disease (a mental disorder that leads to memory loss, impaired thought and impaired speech). Additionally, hydroxytyrosol may prevent Parkinson’s disease (a mental disorder which leads to the loss of mobility and speech). However, additional studies are needed before this can be confirmed.
8) HEALTHY BLOOD:- Your blood has a number of crucial roles in the human body. It carries oxygen to the areas of the body that need it, helps the body fight disease and infection (in the form of white blood cells) and much more. The good news is that provisional studies suggest that the tyrosol esters may have a key role to play in keeping your blood healthy. For starters, oleocanthal, oleuropein and tyrosol have all been linked with reducing blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a type of cholesterol that blocks your artery walls and increases your heart disease risk). In addition to this, oleuropein may reduce high blood pressure. However, further research is required before these effects can be confirmed.
9) HEALTHY BONES:- Your bones provides support and protection for your entire body. Fortunately, tyrosol may help keep them healthy by preventing bone loss. However, more studies are needed before this can be confirmed.
10) HEALTHY KIDNEYS:- Your kidneys are an essential organ that help to remove waste materials from the body. The good news is that tyrosol may give your kidneys a significant health boost by preventing kidney disease. However, more evidence is required before these effects can be validated.
11) PREVENTING CANCER:- Cancer is a dangerous disease where the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in your body’s cells gets disrupted. This leads to rapid, uncontrollable cellular growth which ultimately forms into a tumour. If this tumour becomes cancerous it can then spread to other areas of the body and damage the cells around it. Fortunately, provisional evidence indicates that the tyrosol esters have some serious cancer fighting properties with oleocanthal, oleuropein and tyrosol all linked with cancer prevention. However, more studies are needed before this can be confirmed.
12) PREVENTING DIABETES:- Diabetes is a nasty disease that leads to your blood glucose levels becoming extremely high. It is normally caused by your body’s cells failing to respond to insulin (a hormone that allows your cells to take glucose from the blood) or your pancreas failing to produce enough insulin. If left untreated, diabetes can seriously damage your body’s cells and vital organs. The good news is that oleuropein may be able to protect you from this unpleasant disease. However, more evidence is required before these effects can be confirmed.
13) PREVENTING HEART DISEASE:- Heart disease is 1 of the largest reasons for premature deaths in the UK. Fortunately, early evidence indicates that both oleocanthal and oleuropein can help you avoid heart disease and keep your heart healthy. However, more research is needed before this can be confirmed.
14) PROTECTING AGAINST ULTRAVIOLET (UV) LIGHT:- UV rays are invisible rays of energy that come from the sun. Long term exposure to these harmful rays can burn your skin and lead to skin cancer. The good news is that oleuropein may be able to keep you safe from these dangerous UV rays. However, additional studies are required before these effects can be confirmed.
15) RELIEVING PAIN:- If you are suffering from pain you may want to put down the ibuprofen and give oleocanthal a try instead. Studies have shown that this powerful nutrient acts in a similar way to ibuprofen and can relieve the pain associated with inflammation.
16) STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM:- The immune system is a set of biological structures and processes that keeps your body safe from disease and infection. A strong immune system can help you stay safe from disease all year round. Fortunately, studies have shown that hydroxytyrosol can do exactly that and strengthen your immune system. Early evidence suggests that oleuropein may also keep your immune system strong but more evidence is required before this can be confirmed.
TYROSOL ESTER BENEFITS SUMMARY
There is still a lot more to learn about the tyrosol esters. However, the available evidence suggests that they have a lot of potential when it comes to human health. Olives and olive oils (particularly extra virgin olive oils) are widely recognised as some of the healthiest foods around and can be easily added to many meals. So make sure you start including them in your diet so you can unlock all these tyrosol ester benefits.