The CDC says that the COVID virus in America has infected over 43 million people and stolen the lives from over 700,000 Americans. It is also pretty well accepted after the last 18 months of experience, that the most “at risk” population for contracting COVID-19 are the elderly, those that are immune-suppressed or compromised, as well as people with cardiovascular, metabolic or respiratory preconditions.  So what does the research say about olive oil and COVID-19?

Olive Oil and COVID-19 Research

When Professor Ahmad Alkhatib from the School of Health and Life Sciences at the Teesside University in the U.K. published a well-researched article on the possibility that the polyphenols in olive oil and exercise could possibly prevent people, particularly those at greater risk from contracting the corona virus : COVID-19 –  I contacted Professor Alkhatib directly.  I asked him if his paper had become very controversial?  He admitted that he had lots of input from academics on both sides of his claim.  And probably now, with the advent of the more aggressive COVID mutations and variants (Delta variant, Mu variant, etc.) the ability for the body’s immune system to completely block or prevent infection from the COVID virus is limited.

But his initial premise was science based.  The polyphenols in olives and the other anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in the Mediterranean Diet are well documented for reducing inflammation, and oxidation of proteins and lipids in the body – which are part of the corona virus’ attack on the body.*

What is the Relationship Between COVID and Inflammation?

COVID-19 virus has a protective layer and spike proteins (thus the representation picture above of it) that can attach the virus to certain human cells. Inside the cells, the virus releases viral RNA (ribonucleic acid) that instructs the body to produce proteins which allows the virus to replicate and infect more cells – especially in the lungs.  The inflammatory proteins induced by the viral RNA cause a “cytokine storm”, triggering the immune system to flood the bloodstream with these inflammatory proteins.  Eventually, they kill tissue and damage the heart, lung and other organ tissues.

Principle #1 :Thus, the anti-inflammatory properties of the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil and in certain olive polyphenol supplements could benefit the body’s defense against the virus.*  Olive polyphenols have some proven anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties and play a key role in cellular protection against oxidative stress and inflammation.

Principle #2 : Other studies have shown that oleuropeins and natural hydroxytyrosol found in olive polyphenols were effective in inhibiting the HIV-1 virus formation and transmission from cell to cell and some researchers believe this could be true for the corona virus as well.*

Principle #3: Again using their anti-inflammatory effects, new research shows that the phenols in olive oil may be able to prevent cytokine secretion particularly in the PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cells which are key to the immune system defense.*

For more on hydroxytyrosol benefits click here, and on olive polyphenols and inflammation click here.*

CardiOLive 25x for Immune Support

Next Steps

First, we recommend that people should follow the basic guidelines from the CDC on the corona booster, hand-washing, social distancing and masks as appropriate.  But then what?  We can all benefit from the power of functional foods such as olive polyphenols, particularly if in high polyphenol concentrations like those found in CardiOlive® 25x or OliPura® Advanced.  Both of these meet the guidance issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that minimum of 5mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives from extra virgin olive oil should be consumed daily by individuals looking to improve their heart condition – or their immune system.

We can provide support for your immune system deliciously with CardiOlive® 25x, or conveniently with OliPura® Advanced olive polyphenol supplements.*


“Antiviral Functional Foods and Exercise Lifestyle Prevention of Coronavirus” article

Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: What Polyphenols Can Do for Us?” 

EFSA Guidance on hydroxytyrosol.

* Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.