10 Facts on Hydroxytyrosol

Hydroxytyrosol is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in olive oil that has been garnering attention due to its potential health benefits. It is a phenolic compound that can be extracted from olive leaves and oil and is believed to have a wide range of properties. As a key ingredient in Sterify’s innovative antimicrobial and regenerative products, hydroxytyrosol is being used as an antioxidant agent to provide protection against oxidative damage and decrease inflammation.

With its ability to penetrate tissues and its versatility in being soluble in both lipids and water, hydroxytyrosol has become a topic of interest in the health and wellness industry. In this article, we’ll delve into 10 facts about hydroxytyrosol that you should know, exploring its potential health benefits.

    Hydroxytyrosol has been shown to have a higher antioxidant activity compared to other commonly known antioxidant agents such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. This means that it is more effective in fighting against harmful free radicals and protecting cells from oxidative damage. Moreover, a landmark study has shown that Hydroxytyrosol recharges vitamin C (Lopez-Huertas et al., 2017). As a comparison, Resveratrol, another famous antioxidant active found in grapes, is unable to do it.
    Hydroxytyrosol has been the subject of increasing scientific interest, as evidenced by the growing number of published papers. From just 30 papers in 1991 to 118 papers in 2001, the number of articles on hydroxytyrosol has been on the rise, with over 334 papers published in 2021. This highlights the increasing interest in hydroxytyrosol as a bioactive compound with potential health benefits, and its growing importance in the scientific community (Gallardo-Fernández et al., 2022).
    The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which consists of a high intake of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, have been widely recognized for their association with a lower risk of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. Hydroxytyrosol, a potent antioxidant found in olives, olive oil, and wine, is believed to play a crucial role in these health benefits and is a key bioactive component of the Mediterranean diet. Several studies have shown that hydroxytyrosol possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties, which are believed to contribute to its health benefits (some of which will be delved in the next facts).
  4. ANTI-AGING EFFECTHydroxytyrosol may play a role in improving longevity and fighting age-related health problems. The aging process in cells and molecules is crucial to maintain health as we get older. Scientists are looking for ways to keep this process under control by developing medicines that target aging-related issues such as decreased metabolism and worn-out cells. Hydroxytyrosol may help with this process by controlling the pathways in our cells that are responsible for cell survival and energy metabolism, such as AMPK and SIRT1. It may also help to reduce the activity of other pathways, such as mTOR and IGF, that contribute to aging (De Pablos et al., 2019).
  5. CARDIOPROTECTIVE EFFECTHydroxytyrosol has been found to have a positive effect on heart health by preventing lipid peroxidation and protecting low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from oxidation. Additionally, it increases the function of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and enhances the expression of genes related to cholesterol removal from the body. Studies have also shown that hydroxytyrosol has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it can reduce the expression of proteins that cause early hardening of the arteries and improve the blood lipid profile by preventing platelet aggregation (Karkovic Markovic et al., 2019).
    Studies have shown that hydroxytyrosol can have an effect on different types of cancer, including colorectal, breast, bladder, blood, gastric, hepatic, skin, prostate, cervical, brain, lung and thyroid cancer. Hydroxytyrosol has been found to have an antiproliferative effect, which means it can stop the growth of cancer cells, and it also triggers apoptosis, a process that leads to the death of cancer cells. This effect is due to the increase in oxidative stress, which leads to the activation of certain pathways in the cancer cells and a decrease in their antioxidant defense. The impact of hydroxytyrosol on different types of cancer cells varies, with some being more resistant to its effects than others. For example, studies have found that the antiproliferative effect of hydroxytyrosol was stronger in breast and colon cancer cells than in prostate cancer cells (Karkovic Markovic et al., 2019).
    Hydroxytyrosol has been found to have a neuroprotective effect through various studies both in the lab and in real-life conditions. It has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the brain, protect brain cells from harmful substances, and prevent damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, Hydroxytyrosol has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function, and provide protection against stress caused by alcohol (Carmen Crespo et al., 2017).
    Hydroxytyrosol is a compound that demonstrates antidiabetic, lipid-regulating, and antiobesity effects. It has hypoglycemic activity and prevents diabetic neuropathy in animal models, improves insulin sensitivity and restores insulin signaling. Hydroxytyrosol also protects the liver and improves metabolic impairments caused by a high-fat diet. It inhibits lipogenesis, improves hyperlipidemia, and has beneficial effects on obesity by suppressing intracellular triglycerides accumulation and promoting lipolysis. Hydroxytyrosol acts as a caloric restriction (CR) mimicker by inducing CR-like effects through the activation of sirtuins (Valenzuela et al., 2017).
    Hydroxytyrosol has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties against a variety of infectious agents including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In vitro studies have demonstrated its efficacy against respiratory and gastrointestinal tract pathogens such as Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella typhi, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as foodborne pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica (Bisignano et al., 1999). Hydroxytyrosol has also been found to be effective against certain types of mycoplasma and to inhibit hemolytic activity produced by Streptococcus pyogenes (Furneri et al., 2004). Additionally, hydroxytyrosol has been identified as a unique class of HIV-1 inhibitors (Bedoya et al., 2016), and has demonstrated inactivity against influenza A viruses (Yamada et al., 2009).
    The growing interest in the use of hydroxytyrosol as a food supplement and ingredient in medicinal products has been well documented in various scientific studies and research articles. Additionally, market reports and industry publications have also highlighted the increase in the usage of hydroxytyrosol, as consumers are demanding more natural and healthy products. The trend towards increased use of hydroxytyrosol has been seen in the food industry as a natural preservative and flavor enhancer, as well as in cosmetics and personal care products for its antioxidant properties. The rise in usage of hydroxytyrosol has also been observed in the field of functional foods and dietary supplements, and as an ingredient in nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals for the treatment of various diseases and health conditions.