Skip to main content

Olive Oil

Scientific Name(s): Olea europaea L.
Common Name(s): Olive oil, Sweet oil

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 22, 2022.

Clinical Overview


Olive oil is a nutrient widely used as a salad oil and in cooking. It has also been used as a vehicle for oily suspensions for injections, topically as a demulcent and emollient, and as an enema. Historically, it has been used as a laxative. Olive oil is an element of the Mediterranean diet and is promoted as a beneficial source of dietary fat to improve the lipid profile and reduce cardiovascular morbidity. Clinical trials are limited and generally have been conducted as part of epidemiological studies to validate observed cardiovascular effects and glycemic response.


Trials investigating the effects of olive oil have been as low as 4 mL/day but typically used daily doses ranging from 25 to 40 mL and 8 to 70 g without reported adverse effects. It has been used topically to soften ear wax, incorporated into creams for topical application, and administered as an enema for constipation.


Contraindications have not been identified.


Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when used as food. Avoid dosages above those found in food because safety and efficacy are unproven.


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Ingestion of excessive amounts of olive oil has caused temporary mild diarrhea. Allergic reactions from topical use have been rare.


No toxicology has been reported.

Scientific Family

  • Oleaceae


The olive tree is an evergreen, growing to approximately 10 m in height. Native to Mediterranean regions, olive trees also are cultivated in similar climates in the Americas. The small, leathery leaves are gray-green on top with fine, white, scale-like hairs on the undersides. The ellipsoid olive drupe (fruit) measures 2 to 3 cm in length.1


Records of the olive tree date back to the 17th century BC. It appears to be native to historical Palestine. Ramses II, Egyptian ruler from 1304 and 1237 BC, is said to have used olive oil for every ailment.2, 3, 4


Olive oil is a fixed oil, expressed from ripe olive fruits. It is pale yellow and may have a greenish tint, depending on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotene. Olive oil is composed largely of esters of oleic acid (an n-9 mono-unsaturated fatty acid), forming approximately 80% of the total fatty acid content. Linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fatty acid) and saturated palmitic acid form the balance of the fatty acid content.

In addition, approximately 200 other chemical compounds have been identified in the oil including tocopherols, beta-carotene, phytosterols, pigments, terpenic acids, flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin, squalene), and phenolic compounds (eg, oleuropein, tyrosol).

Composition of the oil depends on the cultivar, stage of drupe maturity, climate, and other factors. Olive oil is offered in several grades of purity, including virgin oil (initial unrefined oil from first fruit pressing) or pure (lower quality from subsequent pressings). Chemically, the difference between extra virgin and virgin oils pertains to the amount of free oleic acid permitted (4% free oleic acid in virgin; 1% in extra virgin).

Thin-layer chromatography and gas chromatography analyses are used to detect adulteration of the oil with foreign oils (eg, cottonseed, peanut, sesame). Limits are set for the amounts of saturated fatty acid chain lengths and number of sterols.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Uses and Pharmacology

Olive oil is a nutrient widely used as a salad oil and in cooking, and is a common element in the Mediterranean diet.(4, 9, 10) Studies have sought to establish outcomes related to differing phenolic (and other) content of the oil(11) and the detrimental effect of heating.(12, 13, 14) Most, but not all, studies have shown a concentration-dependent effect of phenolic content on activity of the oil; higher phenolic content is equated with greater benefit.


The plaque-inhibitory action of an olive oil dentifrice has been demonstrated. Adhesion and growth of bacteria were inhibited with olive oil in comparison with conventional fluoride wash.(67) In other experiments, olive oil exhibited in vitro antimicrobial properties against gram-negative bacteria, fungi, and enterotoxin B production by Staphylococcus aureus.(68, 69) Modest efficacy of olive oil for eradication of Helicobacter pylori was demonstrated in one small study.(79)

Compared with standard treatment with phenytoin cream, topical application of an aloe vera:olive oil (3:2) cream for 30 days was found to improve wound healing and pain severity significantly better in Iranian adults (N = 60) with pressure ulcers, diabetic wounds, and venous ulcers who were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, comparator-controlled trial. No adverse events were reported by participants.(87) Similarly, no risk differences for pressure ulcers incidence were found between topical application of extra-virgin olive oil (97% olive oil) or standard therapy (hyperoxygenated fatty acids) after 16 weeks in a noninferiority, triple-blind, parallel, multicenter, randomized trial (N = 831).(88) A randomized controlled trial in 104 Iranian adults with deep second degree burn wounds covering 10% to 20% total body surface area evaluated the effects of oral olive oil on daily occurrence of wound infection, sepsis, healing of grafted skin, duration of wound healing, and duration of hospital stay compared to control (sunflower oil). The olive oil dose was given as 20% of the total daily energy requirement. A statistically significant reduction in mean duration of wound healing was found in those receiving olive oil versus control (7.2 vs 8.7 days, respectively; P = 0.04) with a mean reduction in duration of hospitalization of 7.4 versus 8.9 days, respectively (P = 0.05).(89)

Cardiovascular conditions

Animal data

The relative safety of olive oil and the availability of randomized clinical trials in humans render data from animal trials mostly irrelevant.

Clinical data

Interest in the potential of olive oil to reduce cardiovascular disease has derived from epidemiological studies correlating consumption of Mediterranean diets rich in olive oil with positive health outcomes, as well as the PREDIMED 5-year Mediterranean diet intervention study.(6, 15) Few clinical studies exist with sound methodology using nonsurrogate markers of cardiovascular outcomes; additionally, olive oil has been used as placebo in trials of omega-3 supplementation after coronary surgery.(16, 17) In 2014, a review found 9 case-control and cohort studies for inclusion in a meta-analysis to estimate the effects of olive oil consumption on risk of stroke and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Participants had no history of CVD at baseline. All 3 studies (n = 38,673) with data on stroke consistently reported a significant inverse relationship between olive oil consumption (25 g/day) and risk of stroke (combined relative risk [RR], 0.76; P < 0.001) with no substantial heterogeneity; this included data from the PREDIMED study. No significant association was found for risk of coronary heart disease (n = 101,460). When data for coronary heart disease and stroke was used, the combined RR of CVD was 0.82 (P = 0.01); however, significant heterogeneity was observed.(83) An observational prospective cohort study conducted from within the PREDIMED study assigned 7,447 participants at high cardiovascular risk to a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), MedDiet with nuts, or advice on a low-fat reference diet. Participants were followed for a median of 4.8 years to evaluate the benefit of olive oil consumption on the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Baseline EVOO was inversely associated with major cardiovascular events (P for trend < 0.01); for each 10 g/day increase in EVOO consumption, cardiovascular disease and mortality risk decreased 10% and 7%, respectively. Additionally, risk reduction in major cardiovascular events according to tertiles of baseline olive oil consumption was 57% for MedDiet with EVOO and 55% for MedDiet with nuts (P for trend < 0.01 for each) compared with a 9% increase in risk in the control group.(84) Another trial comparing an olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet against a low-fat diet is underway in coronary patients to evaluate dietary pattern on secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.(90)

Mechanisms proposed for olive oil's activity include its influence on the lipid profile(13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22); markers of endothelial function, inflammation, and coagulation;(10, 11, 23) nitric oxide production; low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation; plasma antioxidant capacity(12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26); and serum insulin/glucose response.(21, 22, 27)

In normotensive and hypertensive elderly patients, consumption of olive oil reduced systolic blood pressure but not necessarily diastolic pressure.(28, 29, 30) Olive oil consumption lowered systolic blood pressure in patients with stable coronary heart disease(31) but not in patients with chronic heart failure.(32) A small (n = 24), randomized, single-blind, crossover study in women with stage 1 hypertension found significant reductions in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure with polyphenol-rich olive oil compared with polyphenol-free olive oil.(78) Similar results were found by a meta-analysis of high (ie, virgin or extra virgin) versus low (refined) polyphenol olive oil supplementation; 8 randomized clinical trials (N = 355) were included in the analysis with daily intake of phenols ranging from 0 to 31 mg for durations ranging from 3 weeks to 3 months (median, 3 weeks). Statistically significant beneficial effects were seen for high polyphenol olive oil on systolic blood pressure (P < 0.01) and oxidized LDL (P = 0.05) but not on other cholesterol parameters or malondialdehyde.(85)

Markers of atherosclerosis have been studied in healthy volunteers, in hyperlipidemic and stable coronary heart disease patients, and in elderly patients, including subpopulations of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EUROLIVE) and Three-City study.(33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39) In most analyses, decreased inflammatory status was associated with the intake of phenolic-rich olive oil; however, some studies found only marginal benefits.(34, 35, 40, 41, 77)

Studies in healthy volunteers and in hyperlipidemic adults and children have generally shown improved lipid profile with consumption of virgin olive oil.(19, 22, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45) Increases in phenolic and oleic acid content of the LDL were measured in EUROLIVE study participants and probably contributed to decreased LDL-oxidation.(26, 43, 46, 47)

In the PREDIMED clinical trial, high adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with decreases in the occurrence of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.(15, 48, 49) In patients with metabolic syndrome, consumption of olive oil 8 g/day over a 2-year period reduced insulin resistance, mean body weight, and cardiovascular risk.(50) Assessment of data from 6,705 participants without baseline atrial fibrillation in the PREDIMED trial also revealed a significant relevant reduction in risk of atrial fibrillation (38%) with the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extravirgin olive oil (EVOO; ≥ 50 g/day). Higher consumption of EVOO (≥ 15% of total energy intake) yielded the strongest reductions in atrial fibrillation incidence.(82)


Animal data

Olive oil and cancer prevention have been inversely correlated in experimental models with animals. In rats, olive oil had no colon tumor-enhancing effects compared with other fatty-type diets.(51) Olive oil may influence carcinogenic processes via signaling pathways, reduced oxidative stress (due to antioxidant oleic acid, vitamin E, and polyphenol content), and reduced DNA damage. Oleic acid may also regulate receptors, such as human epidermal growth factor 2.(23, 52)

Clinical data

Despite concerns that monounsaturated oils, such as olive oil, are weak promoters of certain cancers (eg, breast, colon) compared with n-6 polyunsaturated oils(53) reviews of epidemiological case-control datasets have found olive oil to be potentially protective against upper GI tract cancers (oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, and larynx) but equivocal regarding colorectal cancers.(52, 54) For high levels of olive oil consumption, a meta-analysis of the available data for breast and gynecological cancers is supportive of a risk reduction of 0.62 (95% confidence interval, 0.44 to 0.88).(52) Heterocyclic amines released during cooking have been shown to be mutagenic in bacterial and animal studies. A large, multicenter, case-control study evaluated the potential effect of fried foods on colorectal cancers (1,394 colon cancer, 886 rectal cancer, 4,765 controls). Use of olive oil in frying demonstrated a positive effect in colon cancer risk reduction but not in rectal cancer.(55)

Clinical nutrition

Animal data

The relative safety of olive oil and the availability of randomized clinical trials in humans render data from animal trials mostly irrelevant.

Clinical data

The use of olive oil as a nutritional source in intensive care and high-risk surgery patients and in neonates has been studied. Olive oil is well tolerated, and decreases in intensive care unit stay and infection rates have been demonstrated in surgical patients.(56, 57, 58) In preterm infants, olive oil has been compared with soybean oil or usual parenteral nutrition. Trials are generally small; however, olive oil supplementation appears to be safe and well tolerated and achieves the targeted essential fatty acid and lipid profiles. However, effects on LDL oxidation and immune status are equivocal.(59, 60, 61, 62, 63)


Applied topically, olive oil acts as a demulcent and emollient. It is used in massage and to soften the skin in eczema and psoriasis, as well as to prevent stretch marks. Olive oil is used in the preparation of soaps, ointments, and liniments.(3) A clinical study of virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil found both oils to be effective in reducing dermatitis symptoms.(70) In preterm infants, 4 weeks of daily olive oil-based cream was more effective than an emollient with regard to dermatitis.(71)


Because fat has been shown to effect postprandial glycemic response, a randomized crossover interventional study was conducted in 13 patients with type 1 diabetes to determine if the type and amount of dietary fat as well as the glycemic index of a meal may affect postprandial glucose. Each intervention comprised 3 high-glycemic test meals over a 7-day period and then crossed over to 3 low-glycemic test meals. Data from the 12 patients who completed the study revealed that the glycemic index of meals significantly delayed the time to peak glucose; 156 min vs 253 min (P=0.003) for low- and high-glycemic index meals, respectively, but did not significantly affect peak glucose levels. In this context, a highly significant effect on glycemic response was seen with the type of fats given with high-glycemic index meals but not low (P<0.0001). Mean postprandial blood glucose levels within the first 3 hours after the test meals were statistically and clinically significantly lower (P<0.05) with fat provided by 37 g extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO; 198 mmol/L) than with 43 g butter (398 mmol/L) or by the low-fat meal (416 mmol/L). Additionally, the minimum time to peak glucose levels was significantly delayed in high-glycemic meals after EVOO compared to butter or the low-fat meal (P=0.035). With high-glycemic meals, the mean times to peak blood glucose for types of fats were EVOO 190 minutes, low-fat meal 146 minutes and butter 133 minutes compared to a range of 234 to 265 minutes seen when these fats were given with low-glycemic meals (P=0.003). These data suggest that the type of fat has a more significant effect on glycemic response in patients with type 1 diabetes than the amount of fat.(91)

As a component of medical nutrition therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association Standards of Care (2014) recommend higher quality dietary fat intake, as an alternative to decreased fat intake, by replacing saturated and/or trans fats with mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids in the diet. This Mediterranean-style approach to eating may improve glycemic control and cardiovascular disease risk factors (moderate-quality evidence).(81)


Clinical data

Olive oil is a mild laxative and has been used as an intestinal lubricant.(64, 72) There are claims that it is useful for gall bladder problems, including cholecystitis and cholelithiasis; however, the effectiveness of olive oil for such conditions is not well documented.(73) Olive oil retention enema has been used to relieve constipation.(80) Effects of olive oil and flaxseed oil, compared with mineral oil, were evaluated in 50 adult hemodialysis patients with constipation. Initial doses of oils were 4 mL/day and adjusted as needed over the 4-week study period; 82% of patients on flaxseed oil required adjustments compared with 69% for olive oil (average final dose, 5.7 ± 2.5 mL/day) and 53% for mineral oils. Rome III scores improved significantly with each of the 3 oil treatments (P < 0.01 for each). Flaxseed oil yielded improvements only in the frequency and consistency of stools, whereas mineral and olive oils improved scores in 5 of the 6 total constipation symptoms. Diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive nephrosclerosis, glomerulonephritis, and polycystic kidney disease were the main etiologies that led to chronic kidney disease.(86)

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (N=40) conducted in 1 to 4 year olds with functional constipation demonstrated that topical application of 85% w/w olive oil ointment massaged on the abdomen twice daily for 4 days significantly improved daily bowel movement frequency compared to placebo (P<0.001). Significant improvement was noted as early as day 1 and continued through day 4. No adverse events were reported.(92)


The American College of Rheumatology guidelines on the management of gout (2012) voted that the use of various oral complementary agents, including olive oil, was inappropriate for the treatment of an acute attack of gout. The new guideline (2020) based on additional evidence regarding the management of gout no longer included a statement regarding the use of olive oil.(76, 93)

Rheumatoid arthritis

Olive oil has been used as a placebo in many trials studying oils. In a placebo-controlled trial of fish oils in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, improvement in the disease process was noted in both groups, despite methodological limitations of the study.(74)

Other uses

It is used as a vehicle for oily suspensions for injection and is a drug solvent; it has also been used to soften ear wax.(3, 64) In elderly patients, it has been used in cognitive function clinical trials, as well as in studies of rheumatoid arthritis as the comparator (placebo) oil.(65, 66)


Trials investigating the effects of olive oil have typically used daily doses ranging from 2518 to 40 mL25 and 850 to 70 g24 without reported adverse reactions. It has also been used topically to soften ear wax and incorporated into creams for topical application.71, 73 When administered as a retention enema for constipation, a volume of 100 to 250 mL has been used.80

Pregnancy / Lactation

GRAS status when used as food. Avoid dosages above those found in food because safety and efficacy are unproven. A clinical study used daily olive oil (4 g) as a comparator oil in pregnant women at 30 weeks gestation and followed them through to delivery. Olive oil was assumed to be inert and no adverse events were reported at this dose.75


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Ingestion of excessive amounts of olive oil has resulted in temporary mild diarrhea.4 In rare cases, topical use of olive oil has caused allergic reactions.73 Use as a retention enema may cause fecal incontinence, or mechanical trauma.80


Information is lacking.



This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. This product has not been reviewed by the FDA to determine whether it is safe or effective and is not subject to the quality standards and safety information collection standards that are applicable to most prescription drugs. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. This information does not endorse this product as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this product. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this product. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

1. Olea europaea L. USDA, NRCS. 2007. The PLANTS Database (, 13 February 2007). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
2. Robbers JE, Speedie MK, Tyler VE, eds. Pharmacognosy and Pharmacobiotechnology. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1996:70-71.
3. Evans WC. Trease and Evans' Pharmacognosy. 14th ed. London: WB Saunders; 1996:185-186.
4. Carper J. The Food Pharmacy. New York, NY: Bantam Books; 1989:242-245.
5. Reynolds JE, ed. The Extra Pharmacopoeia: Martindale. 31st ed. London: Royal Pharmaceutical Society; 1996:1734.
6. Visioli F, Poli A, Gall C. Antioxidant and other biological activities of phenols from olives and olive oil. Med Res Rev. 2002;22(1):65-75.11746176
7. de la Lastra Romero CA. An up-date of olive oil and bioactive constituents in health: molecular mechanisms and clinical implications. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(8):752-753.21443480
8. Bermudez B, Lopez S, Ortega A, et al. Oleic acid in olive oil: from a metabolic framework toward a clinical perspective. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(8):831-843.21443481
9. Haber B. The Mediterranean diet: a view from history. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;66(4 suppl):1053S-1057S.9322586
10. Lucas L, Russell A, Keast R. Molecular mechanisms of inflammation. Anti-inflammatory benefits of virgin olive oil and the phenolic compound oleocanthal. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(8):754-768.21443487
11. Delgado-Lista J, Garcia-Rios A, Perez-Martinez P, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F. Olive oil and haemostasis: platelet function, thrombogenesis and fibrinolysis. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(8):778-785.21443486
12. Sutherland WH, de Jong SA, Walker RJ, et al. Effect of meals rich in heated olive and safflower oils on oxidation of postprandial serum in healthy men. Atherosclerosis. 2002;160(1):195-203.11755938
13. St-Onge MP, Lamarche B, Mauger JF, Jones PJ. Consumption of a functional oil rich in phytosterols and medium-chain triglyceride oil improves plasma lipid profiles in men. J Nutr. 2003;133(6):1815-1820.12771322
14. Rueda-Clausen CF, Silva FA, Lindarte MA, et al. Olive, soybean and palm oils intake have a similar acute detrimental effect over the endothelial function in healthy young subjects. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2007;17(1):50-57.17174226
15. Babio N, Bulló M, Basora J, et al.; Nureta-PREDIMED Investigators. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and risk of metabolic syndrome and its components. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009;19(8):563-570.19176282
16. Saravanan P, Bridgewater B, West AL, O'Neill SC, Calder PC, Davidson NC. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation does not reduce risk of atrial fibrillation after coronary artery bypass surgery: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2010;3(1):46-53.20042769
17. Heidarsdottir R, Arnar DO, Skuladottir GV, et al Does treatment with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent atrial fibrillation after open heart surgery? Europace. 2010;12(3):356-363.20061328
18. Weinbrenner T, Fitó M, Farré Albaladejo M, et al. Bioavailability of phenolic compounds from olive oil and oxidative/antioxidant status at postprandial state in healthy humans. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2004;30(5-6):207-212.15700748
19. Marrugat J, Covas MI, Fitó M, et al. Effects of differing phenolic content in dietary olive oils on lipids and LDL oxidationa randomized controlled trial. Eur J Nutr. 2004;43(3):140-147.15168036
20. Nielsen NS, Pedersen A, Sandström B, Marckmann P, H⊘y CE. Different effects of diets rich in olive oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower-seed oil on postprandial lipid and lipoprotein concentrations and on lipoprotein oxidation susceptibility. Br J Nutr. 2002;87(5):489-499.12010587
21. Thomsen C, Storm H, Holst JJ, Hermansen K. Differential effects of saturated and monounsaturated fats on postprandial lipemia and glucagon-like peptide 1 responses in patients with type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77(3):605-611.12600850
22. Mekki N, Charbonnier M, Borel P, et al. Butter differs from olive oil and sunflower oil in its effects on postprandial lipemia and triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins after single mixed meals in healthy young men. J Nutr. 2002;132(12):3642-3649.12468601
23. Visioli F, Bernardini E. Extra virgin olive oil's polyphenols: biological activities. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(8):786-804.21443485
24. Moschandreas J, Vissers MN, Wiseman S, van Putte KP, Kafatos A. Extra virgin olive oil phenols and markers of oxidation in Greek smokers: a randomized cross-over study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002;56(10):1024-1029.12373624
25. Covas MI, de la Torre K, Farré-Albaladejo M, et al. Postprandial LDL phenolic content and LDL oxidation are modulated by olive oil phenolic compounds in humans. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006;40(4):608-616.16458191
26. Aguilera CM, Mesa MD, Ramirez-Tortosa MC, Nestares MT, Ros E, Gil A. Sunflower oil does not protect against LDL oxidation as virgin olive oil does in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Clin Nutr. 2004;23(4):673-681.15297105
27. Wallace AJ, Sutherland WH, Mann JI, Williams SM. The effect of meals rich in thermally stressed olive and safflower oils on postprandial serum paraoxonase activity in patients with diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001;55(11):951-958.11641743
28. Psaltopoulou T, Naska A, Orfanos P, Trichopoulos D, Mountokalakis T, Trichopoulou A. Olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and arterial blood pressure: the Greek European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(4):1012-1018.15447913
29. Perona JS, Cañizares J, Montero E, Sánchez-Domínguez JM, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V. Plasma lipid modifications in elderly people after administration of two virgin olive oils of the same variety (Olea europaea var. hojiblanca) with different triacylglycerol composition. Br J Nutr. 2003;89(6):819-826.12828801
30. Perona JS, Cañizares J, Montero E, Sánchez-Domínguez JM, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V. Virgin olive oil reduces blood pressure in hypertensive elderly subjects. Clin Nutr. 2004;23(5):1113-1121.15380903
31. Fitó 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(1):149-158.15939067
32. Morgan DR, Dixon LJ, Hanratty CG, et al. Effects of dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on endothelium-dependent vasodilation in patients with chronic heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 2006;97(4):547-551.16461054
33. Konstantinidou V, Covas MI, Muñoz-Aguayo D, et al. In vivo nutrigenomic effects of virgin olive oil polyphenols within the frame of the Mediterranean diet: a randomized controlled trial. FASEB J. 2010;24(7):2546-2557.20179144
34. Papageorgiou N, Tousoulis D, Psaltopoulou T, et al. Divergent anti-inflammatory effects of different oil acute consumption on healthy individuals. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011;65(4):514-519.21326271
35. Fitó M, Cladellas M, de la Torre R, et al for SOLOS Investigators. Anti-inflammatory effect of virgin olive oil in stable coronary disease patients: a randomized, crossover, controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008;62(4):570-574.17375118
36. Bogani P, Galli C, Villa M, Visioli F. Postprandial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of extra virgin olive oil. Atherosclerosis. 2007;190(1):181-186.16488419
37. Ruano J, López-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(2):341-346.17684203
38. Camargo A, Ruano J, Fernandez JM, et al. Gene expression changes in mononuclear cells in patients with metabolic syndrome after acute intake of phenol-rich virgin olive oil. BMC Genomics. 2010;11:253.20406432
39. Samieri C, Féart C, Proust-Lima C, et al. Olive oil consumption, plasma oleic acid, and stroke incidence: the Three-City Study. Neurology. 2011;77(5):418-25.21676914
40. Machowetz A, Gruendel S, Garcia AL, et al. Effect of olive oil consumption on serum resistin concentrations in healthy men. Horm Metab Res. 2008;40(10):697-701.18622895
41. Damasceno NR, Pérez-Heras A, Serra M, et al. Crossover study of diets enriched with virgin olive oil, walnuts or almonds. Effects on lipids and other cardiovascular risk markers. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(suppl 1):S14-S20.21421296
42. Estévez-González MD, Saavedra-Santana P, López-Ríos L, et al. HDL cholesterol levels in children with mild hypercholesterolemia: effect of consuming skim milk enriched with olive oil and modulation by the TAQ 1B polymorphism in the CETP gene. Ann Nutr Metab. 2010;56(4):288-293.20413969
43. de la Torre-Carbot K, Chávez-Servín JL, Jaúregui O, et al. Elevated circulating LDL phenol levels in men who consumed virgin rather than refined olive oil are associated with less oxidation of plasma LDL. J Nutr. 2010;140(3):501-508.20089783
44. Razquin C, Martinez JA, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Mitjavila MT, Estruch R, Marti A. A 3 years follow-up of a Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil is associated with high plasma antioxidant capacity and reduced body weight gain. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009;63(12):1387-1393.19707219
45. Visioli F, Caruso D, Grande S, et al. Virgin Olive Oil Study (VOLOS): vasoprotective potential of extra virgin olive oil in mildly dyslipidemic patients. Eur J Nutr. 2005;44(2):121-127.15309433
46. Cicero AF, Nascetti S, López-Sabater MC, et al for EUROLIVE Study Group. Changes in LDL fatty acid composition as a response to olive oil treatment are inversely related to lipid oxidative damage: The EUROLIVE study. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008;27(2):314-320.18689564
47. Gimeno E, de la Torre-Carbot K, Lamuela-Raventós RM, et al. Changes in the phenolic content of low density lipoprotein after olive oil consumption in men. A randomized crossover controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2007;98(6):1243-1250.17617938
48. Salas-Salvadó J, Bulló M, Babio N, et al for PREDIMED Study Investigators. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with the Mediterranean diet: results of the PREDIMED-Reus nutrition intervention randomized trial. Diabetes Care. 2011;34(1):14-19.20929998
49. Pérez-Martínez P, García-Ríos A, Delgado-Lista J, Pérez-Jiménez F, López-Miranda J. Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(8):769-777.21443484
50. Esposito K, Marfella R, Ciotola M, et al. Effect of a mediterranean-style diet on endothelial dysfunction and markers of vascular inflammation in the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2004;292(12):1440-1446.15383514
51. Reddy BS. Dietary fat and colon cancer: animal model studies. Lipids. 1992;27(10):807-813.1435100
52. Pelucchi C, Bosetti C, Negri E, Lipworth L, La Vecchi C. Olive oil and cancer risk: an update of epidemiological findings through 2010. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(8):805-812.21443483
53. Weisburger JH. Dietary fat and risk of chronic disease: mechanistic insights from experimental studies. J Am Diet Assoc. 1997;97(7 suppl):S16-S23.9216563
54. Gallus S, Bosetti C, Franceschi S, Levi F, Negri E, La Vecchia C. Laryngeal cancer in women: tobacco, alcohol, nutritional, and hormonal factors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003;12(6):514-517.12814996
55. Galeone C, Talamini R, Levi F, et al. Fried foods, olive oil and colorectal cancer. Ann Oncol. 2007;18(1):36-39.17018706
56. Huschak G, Zur Nieden K, Hoell T, Riemann D, Mast H, Stuttmann R. Olive oil based nutrition in multiple trauma patients: a pilot study. Intensive Care Med. 2005;31(9):1202-1208.16132897
57. Badía-Tahull MB, Llop-Talaverón JM, Leiva-Badosa E, et al. A randomised study on the clinical progress of high-risk elective major gastrointestinal surgery patients treated with olive oil-based parenteral nutrition with or without a fish oil supplement. Br J Nutr. 2010;104(5):737-741.20350344
58. Onar P, Yildiz BD, Yildiz EA, Besler T, Abbasoglu O. Olive oil-based fat emulsion versus soy oil-based fat emulsion in abdominal oncologic surgery. Nutr Clin Pract. 2011;26(1):61-65.21266699
59. Göbel Y, Koletzko B, Böhles HJ, et al. Parenteral fat emulsions based on olive and soybean oils: a randomized clinical trial in preterm infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2003;37(2):161-167.12883303
60. Deshpande GC, Simmer K, Mori T, Croft K. Parenteral lipid emulsions based on olive oil compared with soybean oil in preterm (<28 weeks' gestation) neonates: a randomised controlled trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009;49(5):619-625.19644398
61. Webb AN, Hardy P, Peterkin M, et al. Tolerability and safety of olive oil-based lipid emulsion in critically ill neonates: a blinded randomized trial. Nutrition. 2008;24(11-12):1057-1064.18619813
62. Gawecka A, Michalkiewicz J, Kornacka MK, L. Immunologic properties differ in preterm infants fed olive oil vs soy-based lipid emulsions during parenteral nutrition. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2008;32(4):448-453.18596318
63. Hartman C, Ben-Artzi E, Berkowitz D, et al. Olive oil-based intravenous lipid emulsion in pediatric patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation: a short-term prospective controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2009;28(6):631-635.19497646
64. Bruneton J. Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants. Paris, France: Lavoisier; 1995:127-129.
65. Dangour AD, Allen E, Elbourne D, et al. Effect of 2-y n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on cognitive function in older people; a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(6):1725-1732.20410089
66. Chiu CC, Su KP, Cheng TC, et al. The effects of omega-3 fatty acids monotherapy in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment: a preliminary randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008;32(6):1538-1544.18573585
67. Pretty IA, Gallagher MJ, Martin MV, Edgar WM, Higham SM. A study to assess the effects of a new detergent-free, olive oil formulation dentifrice in vitro and in vivo. J Dent. 2003;31(5):327-332.12799117
68. Tranter HS, Tassou SC, Nychas GJ. The effect of the olive phenolic compound, oleuropein, on growth and enterotoxin B production by Staphylococcus aureus. J Appl Bacteriol. 1993;74(3):253-259.8468258
69. Fleming HP, Walter WM Jr, Etchells JL. Antimicrobial properties of oleuropein and products of its hydrolysis from green olives. Appl Microbiol. 1973;26(5):777-782.4762397
70. Verallo-Rowell VM, Dillague KM, Syah-Tjundawan BS. Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2008;19(6):308-315.19134433
71. Kiechl-Kohlendorfer U, Berger C, Inzinger R. The effect of daily treatment with an olive oil/lanolin emollient on skin integrity in preterm infants: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatr Dermatol. 2008;25(2):174-178.18429773
72. Abut E, Guveli H, Yasar B, et al. Administration of olive oil followed by a low volume of polyethylene glycol-electrolyte lavage solution improves patient satisfaction with right-side colonic cleansing over administration of the conventional volume of polyethylene glycol-electrolyte lavage solution for colonoscopy preparation. Gastrointest Endosc. 2009;70(3):515-521.19555936
73. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 1998.
74. Berbert AA, Kondo CR, Almendra CL, Matsuo T, Dichi I. Supplementation of fish oil and olive oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition. 2005;21(2):131-136.15723739
75. Olsen SF, Østerdal ML, Salvig JD, et al. Fish oil intake compared with olive oil intake in late pregnancy and asthma in the offspring: 16 y of registry-based follow-up from a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88(1):167-175.18614738
76. Khanna D, Khanna PP, Fitzgerald JD, et al; American College of Rheumatology. 2012 American College of Rheumatology guidelines for management of gout. Part 2: therapy and anti-inflammatory prophylaxis of acute gouty arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012;64(10):1447-1461.23024029
77. Widmer RJ, Freund MA, Flammer AJ, et al. Beneficial effects of polyphenol-rich olive oil in patients with early atherosclerosis. Eur J Nutr. 2013;52(3):1223-1231.22872323
78. Moreno-Luna R, Muñoz-Hernandez R, Miranda ML, et al. Olive oil polyphenols decrease blood pressure and improve endothelial function in young women with mild hypertension. Am J Hypertens. 2012;25(12):1299-1304.22914255
79. Castro M, Romero C, de Castro A, et al. Assessment of Helicobacter pylori eradication by virgin olive oil. Helicobacter. 2012;17(4):305-311.22759331
80. The Merck Manual For Healthcare Professionals online. Gastrointestinal Disorders: Symptoms of GI Disorders:Constipation. Last full review/revision November 2013 by Norton J. Greenberger, MD. Content last modified November 2013. Accessed July 2, 2014.
81. American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes--2014. Diabetes Care. 2014;37(suppl 1):S14-S80.24357209
82. Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Toledo E, Aros F, et al. Extravirgin olive oil consumption reduces risk of atrial fibrillation-the PREDIMED (prevencion con dieta mediterranea) trial. Circulation. 2014;130:18-26.24787471
83. Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Dominguez LJ, Delgado-Rodriguez M. Olive oil consumption and risk of CHD and/or stroke: a meta-analysis of case-control, cohort and intervention studies. Br J Nutr. 2014;112:248-259.24775425
84. Guasch-Ferre M, hu FB, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, et al. Olive oil intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in the PREDIMED study. BMC Med. 2014;12:78.24886626
85. Hohmann CD, Cramer H, Michalsen A, et al. Effects of high phenolic olive oil on cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine. 2015;22(6):631-640.26055128
86. Ramos CI, Andrade de Lima AF, Grilli DG, Cuppari L. The short-term effects of olive oil and flaxseed oil for the treatment of constipation in hemodialysis patients. J Renal Nutr. 2015;25(1):50-56.25238699
87. Panahi Y, Izadi M, Sayyadi N, et al. Comparative trial of aloe vera/olive oil combination cream versus phenytoin cream in the treatment of chronic wounds. J Wound Care. 2015;24(10):459-465.26488737
88. Lupianez-Perez I, Uttumchandani SK, Morilla-Herrera JC, et al. Topical olive oil is not inferior to hyperoxygenated fatty acids to prevent pressure ulcers in high-risk immobilised patients in home care. Results of a multicentre randomised triple-blind controlled non-inferiority trial. PLoS ONE. 10(4):e0122238.25886152
89. Najmi M, Shariatpanahi ZV, Tolouei M, Amiri Z. Effect of oral olive oil on healing of 10-20% total body surface area burn wounds in hospitalized patients. Burns. 2015;41(3):493-496.25306088
90. Delgado-Lista J, Perez-Martinez P, Garcia-Rios A, et al. CORonary diet intervention with olive oil and cardiovascular PREVention study (the CORDIOPREV study): rationale, methods, and baseline characteristics: a clinical trial comparing the efficacy of a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil versus a low-fat diet on cardiovascular disease in coronary patients. Am Heart J. 2016;177:42-50.27297848
91. Bozzetto L, Alderisio A, Giorgini M, et al. Extra-virgin olive oil reduces glycemic response to a high-glycemic index meal in patients with type 1 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2016;39(4):518-524.26861923
92. Arman-Asl H, Mohammadpour AH, Hamedi A, et al. Evaluation of the anti-constipation effects of abdominal application of olive oil ointment in children 1-4 years old: A pilot placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021;1328:411-419. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-73234-9_2734981493
93. FitzGerald JD, Dalbeth N, Mikuls T, et al. 2020 American College of Rheumatology guideline for the management of gout [published correction appears in Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020;72(8):1187] [published correction appears in Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021;73(3):458]. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020;72(6):744-760. doi:10.1002/acr.2418032391934

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.