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What is Polyphenol, The Importance of Its Presence and Amount in Olive Oil

Poly means a lot. Polyphenols are formed by a very large number of basic phenol rings. There are more than 8.000 polyphenols identified in plants. They are classified according to their molecular structure and divided into four classes: phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes and lignans.

There are many hypotheses about the effects of polyphenols on health. One of the most important proved ones is that they are antioxidants which protect against the destruction of reactive oxygen species. The majority of the polyphenols are antioxidants and neutralize the highly active free radicals and reduce their damage to the body cells and tissues. Several clinical studies and research have been conducted on this subject. Since the samples used in the clinical study were rich polyphenol foods, not isolated polyphenols, the source of the effect could not be determined. The European Food Safety Agency rejected other claims made other than the olive oil. The agency accepted the statement as for olive oil that “Olive oil polyphenols contribute to the protection of blood fats from oxidative stress” (at least 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol in olive oil and polyphenols containing derivatives thereof). For this purpose, the beneficial effect in olive oil can only be obtained by consuming 20 g of olive oil per day by consuming high polyphenol olive oil.

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