Hydroxytyrosol has the potential to be developed as a novel drug for the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases.
In nature, hydroxytyrosol is found in the olive tree, concentrating mainly in the leaves, where it acts as an antibiotic and immunostimulant. In the same way, we can find it in extra virgin olive oil, both in its free form and in the form of oleuropein (responsible for its bitter taste), but not in the rest of the oils, since it is eliminated during refining. Mediterranean diet is characterized as consuming 25 to 50 g of extra virgin olive oil every day and several studies have revealed the healthy effects of this diet in preventing neurodegeneration.
Recently, Chen Chen and co-workers at the First Hospital of Lanzhou University in China, have redacted a review about the beneficial effects of hydroxytyrosol on neurological diseases. Several investigations included in the review have verified the protective effects of hydroxytyrosol on the central nervous system and its potential for prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, or for long life span and better life quality. Furthermore, their extraction, purification, and application methods from supplements and food have been patented.
All this makes hydroxytyrosol an excellent candidate used as a functional ingredient in the design of new foods, especially for people with neurological disorders. In addition, this molecule also has the potential to be developed into an anti-neurological drug, but further clinical trials are needed to supply broader insights on the prevention or the treatment prospect and select the biologically relevant concentrations of this natural compound.
Article: Potential role of hydroxytyrosol in neuroprotection. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2021.104506