Olive oil is a Mediterranean diet staple and has been long praised for it's health benefits, including those relating to cardiovascular health, reducing osteoporosis fracture risk, reducing depression and protecting the brain from dementia.
Olive oil has also been linked to weight loss but how it does this has been unclear. A new study however is claiming to have uncovered the compounds responsible for it's ability to help shed the pounds.
A natural compound called oleuropein helps the body produce more insulin
The study published in the journal Biochemistry, tested a natural compound from olive leaves called oleuropein and found it helps the body produce more insulin, which in turn helps regulate metabolism and allows cells to use sugar for energy, thus making you less likely to gain weight.
Oleuropein also fights type 2 diabetes
The researchers also discovered that the oleuropein helps reduce toxic levels of a hormone called amylin, which is found in people with type 2 diabetes.
Bin Xu, Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, and the study's lead author said:
“Our work provides new mechanistic insights into the long-standing question of why olive products can be anti-diabetic.
"We believe it will not only contribute to the biochemistry of the functions of the olive component oleuropein, but also have an impact on the general public to pay more attention to olive products in light of the current diabetes epidemic.”