What Is Tyrosol?

Dan Harkins

Antioxidants like the phenolic compound tyrosol promote cellular health and corral free radicals in the blood stream that could lead to disease. Though widely available in various fruits, vegetables and grains, many seek to bolster their tyrosol intake through foods known to contain copious amounts of this compound, most notably olive oil. Medical research has proven that populations with diets richest in this compound, like the Mediterranean, suffer the least cases of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Olive oil contains tyrosol.
Olive oil contains tyrosol.

Several ancient civilizations believed in the healing power of a diet rich in tyrosol-bearing ingredients like olive oil, wine and green tea — from the Greek Mediterranean to China. Those beliefs have been solidified by scientific research that has proven this compound's worth in helping to prevent cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer's and blemished skin. Aside from working this compound into the diet with plant-based and some meat-based foods, many also seek store-bought tyrosol supplements to bolster intake. No side effects have been noted at any dosage as of 2011.

Tyrosol is one of the many antioxidants that medical professisonals recommend to boost overall health and longevity.
Tyrosol is one of the many antioxidants that medical professisonals recommend to boost overall health and longevity.

In 2011, the record for the longest life still goes to Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment. Before she died in 1997, at the age of 122, Calment credited her longevity to a relaxed bearing, an affinity for wine in moderation, and the excessive use of olive oil in both her diet and as a topical elixir. She also reportedly smoked for several of the decades she was alive and ate about 2 lbs. (about 907 g) of chocolate every week.

A focal point for research into tyrosol's effectiveness has been the Mediterranean diet, which revolves around copious amounts of olive oil and wine. According to a study of tyrosol by Spanish researchers, published in 2003 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists noted how the Mediterranean diet is consumed by a population with less incidences of certain cancers and heart disease. Credit for this goes to the phenolic compound tyrosol, with a proven ability to remove disease-causing and cell-damaging free radicals from the bloodstream.

Tyrosol is not the only antioxidant recommended by established medical institutions for optimum health and longevity. Perhaps the most common among these are vitamins A, C and E. Others include lycopene, selenium, beta-carotene and lutein. Each is responsible for protecting the body's cellular structures against the onslaught of free radicals. These potentially toxic compounds are loaded into the environment as hydroxyl radicals and superoxides that, in concentrated form, can wreak havoc on the body's cellular integrity.

Tyrosol may be useful in helping to prevent heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Tyrosol may be useful in helping to prevent heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

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