Extra virgin olive oil phenolics: absorption, metabolism, and biological activities in the GI tract

Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 May-Jun;25(4-5):285-93. doi: 10.1177/0748233709102951.


Olive oil, a typical ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, possesses many beneficial health effects. The biological activities ascribed to olive oil consumption are associated in part to its phenolics constituents, and mainly linked to the direct or indirect antioxidant activity of olive oil phenolics and their metabolites, which are exerted more efficiently in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where dietary phenolics are more concentrated when compared to other organs. In this regard, we present a brief overview of the metabolism, biological activities, and anticancer properties of olive oil phenolics in the GI tract.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Flavonoids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Olive Oil
  • Phenols / pharmacokinetics*
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacokinetics*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Polyphenols


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Olive Oil
  • Phenols
  • Plant Oils
  • Polyphenols