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Olive Oil Improves Heart Health

Nov. 22, 2014
Isabel Putinja

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Regular con­sump­tion of olive oil can improve heart health even in those who don’t fol­low a Mediterranean diet, accord­ing to a new European study pub­lished in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Regular con­sump­tion of olive oil can improve heart health even in those who don’t fol­low a Mediterranean diet, accord­ing to a new European study pub­lished in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on November 19, 2014.

A pan-European team of researchers from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), University of Lisbon (Portugal), Instituto de Biologia Experimental Tecnologica, Oeiras (Portugal) and pri­vate firm Mosaiques Diagnostics (Germany) exam­ined the effects of phe­nols, which are nat­ural com­pounds pro­duced by plants and found in olives, on the heart health of 69 vol­un­teers as part of the study.
See Also:The Health Benefits of Olive Oil
The vol­un­teers, who were in good health and not reg­u­lar con­sumers of olive oil, were divided into two groups and given 20ml (0.67 US Oz) of olive oil either high, or low, in phe­nols every day for a period of six weeks.

<'DeqM7}7S ,ە+>FXp>Using a new diag­nos­tic tech­nol­ogy, the team exam­ined the impact of olive oil con­sump­tion on the vol­un­teers’ health by check­ing urine sam­ples for a range of pep­tides (nat­u­rally occur­ring bio­log­i­cal mol­e­cules which form chains of amino acids when pro­teins are bro­ken down) which are indi­ca­tors of var­i­ous dis­eases, like dia­betes, kid­ney dis­ease and coro­nary artery dis­ease (CAD).

Using a scor­ing sys­tem devel­oped by Mosaiques Diagnostics which mea­sures the propen­sity for coro­nary artery dis­ease (CAD) as a score of 1, to a score of ‑1 for a healthy artery, the results of the study revealed that both groups had marked improve­ments with drop­ping scores.

Commenting on the results of the study, one of the authors, Dr. Emilie Combet of the University of Glasgow, stated: What we found was that regard­less of the phe­no­lic con­tent of the oil, there was a pos­i­tive effect on CAD scores. In the pop­u­la­tion stud­ied, any olive oil, low or high in phe­no­lics, seems to be ben­e­fi­cial. The fatty acids are prob­a­bly the main con­trib­u­tors to the observed effect.”

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Another author of the study, Dr. Bill Mullen of the University of Glasgow, pointed to the advan­tages of the research tech­nique used: If we are able to iden­tify the early sig­na­tures of dis­eases before they have had a chance to take hold we can start to treat them before they become a prob­lem requir­ing costly med­ical inter­ven­tion.” Mullen added: It is the first time this tech­nique has been applied from a nutri­tional per­spec­tive to try to get to the bot­tom of which food or what ingre­di­ent is truly respon­si­ble for health ben­e­fits.”

The results of this study con­firm once again that phe­no­lic com­pounds found in plant foods, includ­ing olive oil, can pro­vide car­dio­vas­cu­lar health ben­e­fits and reduce the risk of heart dis­ease.


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