The European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a scientific opinion on health claims in relation to dietary consumption of hydroxytyrosol and related polyphenol compounds from olive fruit and oil and protection of blood lipids from oxidative damage, which is known to adversely affect cardiovascular health.
Hydroxytyrosol is the active ingredient in Hytolive, a proprietary extract of olive fruit manufactured by Spain-based Genosa ID, S.A. On the basis of the data presented, EFSA concluded that a cause-and-effect relationship has been established between the consumption of hydroxytyrosol and related compounds from olives and olive oil and protection of blood lipids from oxidative damage.
In weighing the evidence, EFSA took into account that a well-designed-and-conducted study, and two smaller-scale studies, showed a dose dependent and significant effect of olive oil hydroxytyrosol and related compounds on lowering levels of oxidized low-density-lipoproteins (oxLDL) in blood when consumed for three weeks. These studies were supported by one short-term and one acute study showing resistance of LDL to oxidation upon consumption of hydroxytyrosol and related compounds.
EFSA determined that a minimum 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives in olive oil should be consumed daily to use a cardiovascular health claim. The EFSA document further comments that the concentrations in some olive oils may be too low to allow the consumption of the 5 mg amount of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives with a regular and balanced diet.