Olive from Olea europaea is native to the Mediterranean region and, both the oil and the fruit are some of the main components of the Mediterranean diet. The main active constituents of olive oil include oleic acid, phenolic constituents, and squalene. The main phenolic compounds, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, give extra-virgin olive oil its bitter, pungent taste. The present review focuses on recent works that have analyzed the relationship between the major phenolic compound oleuropein and its pharmacological activities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-cancer activities, antimicrobial activity, antiviral activity, hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic effect.
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Oleuropein; Olive; Phenolic compound.