Publications by Dr. María-Isabel Covas

Inflammopharmacology, October 2008, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 216-218


Bioactive effects of olive oil phenolic compounds in humans: reduction of heart disease factors and oxidative damage


M.-I. Covas


Abstract: Oxidative stress is defined as an imbalance between the oxidant and antioxidant systems of the body, in favour of the oxidants. Oxidative stress produced by free radicals has been linked to the development of several diseases such as cardiovascular, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Olive oil is the main source of fat of the Mediterranean diet which has been shown to be effective against oxidative stress associated diseases and also with the ageing. Besides its richness in monounsaturated fatty acid, the oleic acid, olive oil contains minor components with antioxidant properties. Here, we update the state of the art, and degree of evidence, of the body of knowledge concerning the protective role on lipids and lipid oxidative damage in humans of the olive oil phenolic compounds.




Nutrition Reviews; Volume 64, Issue Supplement s4, pages S20–S30, October 2006


Minor Components of Olive Oil: Evidence to Date of Health Benefits in Humans


María-Isabel Covas DPharm, PhD1,*, Valentina Ruiz-Gutiérrez PhD2, Rafael de la Torre DPharm, PhD3, Anthony Kafatos MD, PhD4, Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventós DPharm, PhD5, Jesus Osada DPharm, PhD6, Robert W. Owen BSc, PhD7 and Francesco Visioli PhD8


Abstract: Olive oil is a functional food, which in addition to a high level of monounsaturated fatty acids also contains multiple minor components with biological properties. A large number of studies, mainly experimental, have been carried out on some of these components. However, the precepts of evidence-based medicine require adequate scientific evidence (level I or II) to be provided before nutritional recommendations for the general public can be formulated. In this review, we summarize the state of the art of the body of knowledge and discuss the extent to which there exists evidence for the health benefits of the minor components of olive oil




Ann Ist Super Sanità 2007 | Vol. 43, No. 4: 375-381


Bioavailability and antioxidant effects of olive oil phenolic compounds in humans: a review


Montserrat Fitó, Rafael de la Torre, Magí Farré-Albaladejo, Olha Khymenetz, Jaime Marrugat, María-Isabel Covas


Summary. Olive oil, the main source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, is a functional food which besides having a high level of monounsaturated fatty acid contains several minor components with biological properties. For some olive oil minor components, such as the antioxidant phenolic compounds, a large body of studies, mainly experimental or in animal models, have been performed. Randomized, controlled, clinical trials in humans are required to provide evidence that olive phenolic compounds contribute significantly to health benefits in order to give recommendations at population level. Here, we summarize the state of the art of the body of knowledge, and to which extent we have evidence, of the bioavailability and of the antioxidant benefits of olive oil phenolic compounds in humans.