Nutraceutics

The Cantajo Oil and the “Colletorto black olive monocultivar”, as any other excellent-quality extra virgin olive oil, are not just condiments, but Nutraceutical products par excellence.
The term “Nutraceutical” has been coined in 1989, by the Italian-origin American doctor Stephen De Felice, and it combines the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical”; it refers to the area of research which deals with the study of food beneficial to human health.

When reading this definition, extra virgin olive oil lovers will surely recognize their loved product in it. This is so true: recently, extra virgin olive oil has been recognized by many researchers as the first natural nutraceutical product in history. Thus, extra virgin olive oil is a Nutraceutical oil.

Nutraceutical food is also called functional food or pharma food.

Nutraceutical means a “functional food”, that is a healthy food combining selected nutritional components – such as high digestibility and hypoallergenic qualities – to proven therapeutic properties of plant-based natural active ingredients.

It is common knowledge that extra virgin olive oil has a high content of oleic acid, which has scientifically-proven benefits for the human body, such as:

  • gallbladder-kinetic effect of bile drainage, stimulating pancreatic secretion;
  • enterogastrone effect, inhibitor of gastric acid secretion;
  • elongation factor of the average blood clotting time without platelet antiplatelet action;
  • moderate preventive action on the onset of thrombosis;
  • due to the moderate presence of arachidonic acid, preventive action in the genesis of prostaglandins that determine high immunological and inflammatory reactivity. This balances the effects of dietary fatty acids on the body's defence mechanisms;
  • plastic compound, especially the maturation of new-born nerve fibres and in the growth of long bone;
  • for the modest content of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, olive oil limits the related damage, and cellular aging in particular;
  • ability to reduce the storage in LDL (low density lipoprotein commonly known as bad cholesterol) of linoleic acid, thus leading to a decrease of the proinflammatory lipid mediators.

Furthermore, there’s also a good level of digestibility and intestinal absorption of oleic acid compared to other very acids, present in vegetable oils used to prepare food products (such as palm oil, rich in palmitic acid and largely used in industrial frying processes and in the preparation of bakery products). The digestibility of fatty acids is influenced by their hydrophobicity and by the aqueous nature of the digestive environment.
Only short-chained fatty acids have sufficient hydrophilicity to be absorbed as water-soluble nutrients.