Many beneficial properties have been attributed to the Mediterranean diet. Over the years, researchers have attempted to learn which foods and which food components are responsible for good health. One of these components is hydroxytyrosol, an important phenolic compound present in olive oil.
Hydroxytyrosol is a molecule of high interest to the pharmaceutical industry due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities its role against cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome and for its neuroprotection, antitumour, and chemo modulation effects. The interest in this molecule has led to wide research on its biological activities, its beneficial effects in humans and how to synthetize new molecules from hydroxytyrosol.
This review describes the vast range of information about hydroxytyrosol, focusing on its involvement in biological mechanisms and modulation effects on different pathologies. This review also serves to highlight the role of hydroxytyrosol as a nutraceutical and as a potential therapeutic agent.