Olive oil contains almost no omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but this is its advantage. This opinion was expressed by a biogerontologist, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor Alexei Moskalev, comparing the benefits of eating olive and sunflower oil.
“Olive oil is based on so-called monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily oleic acid. They have sufficient fluidity to ensure plasticity of cell membranes. But at the same time they are less oxidized during cooking and storage than polyunsaturated fatty acids of sunflower oil, ”the specialist explained in an interview with the website aif.ru.
According to Moskalev, this is due to double bonds in the fat molecule. It is through them that the oxidation of fats occurs, as a result of which toxic substances are formed. In monounsaturated fats there is one double bond, in polyunsaturated fats there are two, and therefore they oxidize more easily and produce more toxic substances, the expert said.
He also recalled a study that examined the effects of various oils on the aging of the liver of animals. So, it turned out that sunflower oil causes fibrosis in the liver – inflammation and replacement of healthy connective tissue, as well as ultrastructural changes and oxidative processes.
The consumption of extra virgin olive oil results in the lowest oxidative and ultrastructural changes in the liver. In the course of the study, experts concluded that such olive oil can be considered a source of dietary fat that is best preserved by the liver during the aging process.
As Moskalev added, among other things, extra virgin olive oil has antidepressant and tranquilizing properties. In mice, it improved cognitive function and interfered with the development of neurodegeneration. The product is also known to be anti-mutagenic.