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Molecules. 2017 Nov 16;22(11). pii: E1986. doi: 10.3390/molecules22111986.

Critical Review on the Significance of Olive Phytochemicals in Plant Physiology and Human Health.

Author information

1
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal. igouvinhas@utad.pt.
2
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal. nmachado@utad.pt.
3
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal. csobreira@utad.pt.
4
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal. rdperles@utad.pt.
5
University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal. sgomes@utad.pt.
6
BioISI-Biosystems & Integrative Sciences Institute, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisboa, Campo Grande, Lisboa, Portugal. sgomes@utad.pt.
7
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal. erosa@utad.pt.
8
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal. abarros@utad.pt.

Abstract

Olive oil displays remarkable organoleptic and nutritional features, which turn it into a foodstuff appreciated by consumers, and a basic component of the Mediterranean diet. Indeed, the noticed benefits of including olive oil in the diet have been assigned to the presence of diverse bioactive compounds with different molecular structures. These compounds confer a wide range of biological properties to this food matrix, including the prevention of distinct human diseases as well as the modulation of their severity. The most relevant bioactive compounds present in olive oil correspond to benzoic and cinnamic acids, phenolic alcohols and secoiridoids, and also flavonoids. Over the last decades, several studies, devoted to gaining a further insight into the relative contribution of the separate groups and individual compounds for their biological activities, have been conducted, providing relevant information on structure-activity relationships. Therefore, this paper critically reviews the health benefits evidenced by distinct phenolic compounds found in olive oils, thus contributing to clarify the relationship between their chemical structures and biological functions, further supporting their interest as essential ingredients of wholesome foods.

KEYWORDS:

Olea europaea L.; biological activity; mediterranean diet; molecular structure; phenolic compounds

PMID:
29144445
PMCID:
PMC6150410
DOI:
10.3390/molecules22111986
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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