IMR Press / RCM / Volume 23 / Issue 8 / DOI: 10.31083/j.rcm2308255
Open Access Review
Olive Oil Phenolics and Platelets—From Molecular Mechanisms to Human Studies
Show Less
1 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Sciences and Education, Harokopio University, 176 76 Athens, Greece
*Correspondence: (Tzortzis Nomikos)
Academic Editor: Gary David Lopaschuk
Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2022, 23(8), 255;
Submitted: 30 April 2022 | Revised: 8 June 2022 | Accepted: 10 June 2022 | Published: 19 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet, nutrients and cardiovascular disease prevention)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Chronically activated, dysfunctional platelets mediate the progression of the majority of non-communicable diseases in a pleiotropic fashion. Antiplatelet therapy remains an attractive therapeutic means which however hasn’t reached the expected targets according to the promising preclinical studies. It is therefore obvious that the consumption of foods demonstrating antiplatelet activity may be a less drastic but on the other hand a more sustainable way of achieving daily antiplatelet therapy, either alone or in combination with antiplatelet drugs. Olive oil is probably the main cardioprotective component of the Mediterranean Diet according to the results of observational and dietary intervention studies. Among all phytochemicals of olive oil, its unique phenolics seems to be responsible for the majority of its cardioprotective properties. This review article aims to highlight the platelet modulating roles of olive oil polyphenols, trying to critically assess whether those properties could partially explain the cardioprotective role of olive oil. The cellular and animal studies clearly show that extra virging olive oil (EVOO) phenolics, mainly hydroxytyrosol, are able to inhibit the activation of platelets induced by several endogenous agonists and pathologies. However, the outcomes of the pre-clinical studies are difficult to be translated to humans mainly because the dosages and the chemical forms of the phenolics used to these studies are much higher and different to that found in human circulation. Despite the heterogeneity of the few human trials on the field so far, the results are promising showing that EVOO can exert antiplatelet actions in real, acute or long-term, trials and at least part of this antiplatelet action can be attributed to the phenolic content of EVOOs. Although we clearly need better, well-powered studies to give certain answers on this field the antiplatelet properties of olive oil phenolics is a promising, emerging mechanism which may explain some of the health properties of EVOO and the Mediterranean Diet.

Mediterranean Diet
olive oil
cardiovascular diseases
dietary intervention study
animal models
Back to top