Health Benefits of Olive Oil – Video Transcript

We open at the Olive Oil Lovers studio with Joanne Lacina behind a wooden bar.

Joanne Lacina: Which oil do you most prefer to use for marinating, dressing, cooking and baking?

Four photos pop into each corner of the screen: garlic and herbs in olive oil; oil pouring onto a greek salad; grilled green beans with onions; slivered almonds atop muffin batter in a paper baking cup.

(Joanne Lacina, Olive Oil Expert)

Joanne: If you’re looking for the healthiest option, the evidence is clear: extra virgin olive oil is by far the best choice.

Extra virgin olive oil vs. other oils

Joanne: The olive is a fruit, and extra virgin olive oil is quite simply the fruit juice of the olive.

Video of olives in an olive tree, hands inspecting the olives, a slow-motion shot of a hand squeezing a ripe olive as olive juice sprays out, olive paste in a malaxer; fresh olive oil pours into a filter as oil droplets jitter on the surface, two streams of fresh oil flow together.

Joanne: With the water and solids removed by centrifuge, it is a totally unrefined, all-natural product produced without the use of high heat or chemicals in any step of the process. On the other hand, vegetable and seed oils – including corn oil, peanut oil, and canola oil

Text pops onto the screen: Corn Oil, Peanut Oil, Canola Oil. Each text label gets hit with a red stamp in all caps: Chemically Processed. A photo of a factory also gets the Chemically Processed stamp.

Joanne: All are obtained through chemical processing. Extracting oil from seeds requires the use high heat and industrial solvents…

The video glitches into footage of the interior of a factory where a brown substance is being processed by heavy machinery.

(“How It’s Made – Canola Oil”, Discovery Channel,

Narrator: The canola cake moves on to a second extraction, this one a seventy-minute wash with a solvent.

Inside a large tank a washing process takes place behind a a round cloudy window. Video shows exterior of a factory with large vats and interior shots with several rounded green pressure tanks. Steam rises from the tanks.

Narrator: The extracted oil now enters the refining phase. They wash the oil for 20 minutes with sodium hydroxide.

Video shows a set of six erlenmeyer flasks with oils progressing from almost clear to bright yellow in color. Another shot shows large stainless steel tanks labeled Aceite Vegetal.

Narrator: After washing and filtering the oil, they bleach it to lighten the color. Then use a steam-injection heating process to remove the canola odor.

The video glitches back to Joanne in the studio.

Joanne: Research shows that replacing any of these processed, polyunsaturated fats in your diet with the monounsaturated fats found in extra virgin olive oil can not only aid in weight loss, but improve overall health.

(Switching to extra virgin olive oil: aids weight loss, improves overall health)

Joanne: Many of the additional proven health benefits of extra virgin olive oil come directly from the oil’s high content of micronutrients found in plant-based foods known as polyphenols.

Inset images of coffee, tea and wine are displayed. They fade out revealing a photo of olive oil.

(Polyphenols: Micronutrients found in plant-based foods)

Joanne: Such a high level of valuable antioxidants cannot be found in any other edible oil.

A Proven Medicine

Joanne: Here’s a rundown of science-supported reasons for regularly consuming extra virgin olive oil.

(1. Reduces inflammation)

Joanne: Extra virgin olive oil can decrease systemic inflammation. For example, one study of arthritis patients showed significant improvements in pain and mobility when their diets were supplemented with extra virgin olive oil.

Overlay of 2 animated charts showing extra virgin olive oil consumption over time with header: Arthritis Patients. The first chart tracks Pain, with a descending line animating from red to green over time. The second chart tracks Mobility, with an ascending line animating from red to green over time.

(2. Kills Cancer Cells)

Joanne: The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil can reduce the proliferation and outright kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, and can be particularly effective against breast cancer cells.

(2. Breast Cancer)

An animated line crosses out the text.

(3. Combats Alzheimer’s Disease)

Behind the text is an image of elderly couple at an outdoor table eating a meal with olive oil.

Joanne: Research suggests plant phenols can be a potent weapon against neurodegeneration, aging and age-related diseases.

(4. Improves Heart Health)

Joanne: Many studies have found extra virgin olive oil to be very beneficial for cardiovascular health. The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil lower the risk of heart disease, lower bad cholesterol levels, and help prevent the formation of plaque in arteries.

(4. Risk of Heart Disease)

(4. Bad cholesterol levels)

(4. Plaque in arteries)

An arrow pointing downward bounces beside the text.

(5. Helps manage Diabetes symptoms)

Behind the text is an image of a diabetes kit.

Joanne: Diabetes patients show improved fat metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and more balanced blood sugar levels when regularly consuming extra virgin olive oil.

(6. Antibacterial Power)

Joanne: In a controlled test extra virgin olive oil showcased its antibacterial properties by eradicating all strains of a bacteria associated with ulcers and stomach cancer, including those strains with antibiotic resistance.

(6. Antibiotic resistant strains)

An animated line crosses out the text.

Scientists continue to discover how a diet rich in antioxidant polyphenols can help prevent diseases like cancer, while also counteracting faulty biological processes, and even aging itself.

Polyphenols – Nature’s powerful antioxidants

Joanne: The phenolic concentration in olive oil depends on several variables. First you have the olive variety itself. Some olive varieties known for their high polyphenols include: Coratina and Moraiolo from Italy, Koroneiki from Greece, and Picual from Spain.

(High Polyphenol Olive Varieties: Coratina, Moraiolo, Koroneiki, Picual)

Joanne: The ripeness of the olive when it is harvested is also of critical importance, as the amount of polyphenols decreases as olives ripen.

Overlay of an animated chart showing ripeness at harvest over time. The chart tracks Polyphenols, with a descending line animating from green to purple over time.

Joanne: Other polyphenol factors include farming and production practices, like the terroir, extraction methods, storage conditions, and the time since the oil was harvested.

Photos pop into the screen in a grid of 4: A desert olive grove, a modern olive oil mill, rows of stainless steel storage tanks, a man harvesting olives into a net using a pneumatic comb.

Joanne: Generally speaking, fresh oil from green olives picked early in the harvest season and processed in a modern mill that minimizes oxidation will provide the highest phenolic content.

(High Polyphenol production: Green olives picked early in harvest season; Modern mills that minimize oxidation)

Behind the text is an image of hands holding green olives, and a photo of Joanne with Giorgio Franci looking at a Pieralisi digital display that controls Frantoio Franci’s mill equipment.

Joanne: But remember, the olive oil must be extra virgin for there to be any significant polyphenol content. If you need help finding a quality extra virgin olive oil, check out our video, “5 Tips for Buying Olive Oil,” or simply visit, where every olive oil is guaranteed to be extra virgin.

(Need Help? Watch more OOL Videos! Or visit

Joanne: There are 3 principal polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil: oleuropein, oleacein, and oleocanthal.

(EVOO’s polyphenols: oleuropein, oleacein, and oleocanthal.

Joanne: Responsible for the bitterness in olive oil, oleuropein is known to promote the human body’s process of eliminating damaged cells and generating new, healthy cells. This makes extra virgin olive oil a powerful weapon against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers.

(oleuropein: Responsible for bitter taste, promotes improved cell health, helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases)

Behind the text is an image of oleuropein’s chemical structure.

Joanne: Many studies have found the polyphenol oleacein to be beneficial for combatting cardiovascular disease, as well as having anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects.

(oleacein: fights heart disease, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial)

Behind the text is an image of oleacein’s chemical structure.

Joanne: Oleocanthal is responsible for olive oil’s pungency. That’s the tingling sensation you get in the back of your throat from high quality extra virgin olive oils. This compound is known to be a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, similar to ibuprofen. And a study released in the summer of 2019 proved oleocanthal to even be fatal to cancer cells.

(oleocanthal: responsible for tingling sensation, has properties similar to NSAIDs like ibuprofen, fatal to cancer cells)

Behind the text is an image of oleocanthal’s chemical structure.

High Polyphenol Content Matters

Joanne: The science surrounding polyphenols and their combative effect on cancer is astounding. A study released this summer in 2019 found that extra virgin olive oils with even small to moderate polyphenols caused some damage to cancer cells.

(Cancer vs. Low Polyphenol EVOO)

Bubbles labeled Low Polyphenol EVOO zoom onto the screen and smash into the word Cancer. As each bubble hits the word, the Cancer text degrades.

Joanne: However, quality olive oils with a high polyphenol content – as much as 5 times higher than the lower quality oils – completely evicerated the cancer cells.

(Cancer vs. High Polyphenol EVOO)

Bubbles labeled High Polyphenol EVOO zoom onto the screen and smash into the word Cancer. As each bubble hits the word, the Cancer text cracks and is eventually smashed into pieces.

Joanne: Be aware that the quantity of polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil does naturally diminish over time, so oils with higher levels of polyphenols will also have a longer shelf life.

An overlay of an animated chart displays showing shelf life over time. The chart tracks Polyphenols, with 2 descending lines, 1 labeled high quality evoo, the other labeled basic evoo. The high quality evoo line descends slowly, with it’s green line looking very dark and only becoming slightly lighter over time. The basic evoo line begins at a lower lever than where the high polyphenol line ends. The basic evoo line also begins with a lighter shade of green than the other line, and eventually drops off the chart while the high polyphenol line continues moving over time.

Joanne: High polyphenol extra virgin olive oils are more resistant to oxidation too, giving them a higher smoke point than lesser quality olive oils.

(High polyphenol EVOO: longer shelf life, resists oxidation, higher smoke point)

Cooking with EVOO

Joanne: You should definitely be cooking with extra virgin olive oil. Typically both deep frying and pan frying are performed at heats well below the average smoke point for extra virgin olive oil, around 370°F.

(Deep Frying: 350°F, Pan Frying: 325°F, EVOO Smoke Point: 370°F-405°F)

Behind the text is one image of a food in batter cooking in deep oil, and another of a restaurant kitchen with a hand holding a pan and tossing vegetables into the air.

Joanne: And quality extra virgin olive oils with higher polyphenol content can actually have smoke points above 400°F. In fact, even when heated to high temperatures, olive oil still maintains most of its nutritional properties. Incredibly, scientists in Spain have proven that sauteeing vegetables with extra virgin olive oil makes the plant phenols of the cooked vegetables more bioavailable to the human body.

(2019 Study: Cooking sofrito in Spain. Cooking vegatables with EVOO improves the body’s absorption of plant phenols.)

Behind the text is a close-up image of sofrito in a pan.

Joanne: It should come as no surprise that extra virgin olive oil is the primary cooking oil used across the Mediterranean. Created from one of the first plants domesticated by humans, this completely natural product is proven to be one of the healthiest, most beneficial foods on our planet. And we think it tastes pretty good too!

Joanne winks, accompanied by a charming ding sound.

(To learn more about extra virgin olive oil visit

Joanne: Subscribe to our Youtube channel and Follow us on Facebook to keep learning about olive oil, why quality olive oil matters, who makes your olive oil, how to shop for olive oil, and more.