The Effects of Virgin Olive Oil on Heart Disease

Olive OIlThis is a great study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, September 5, 2006, Volume 145 Issue5, Pages 333-341.  It’s about olive oil and how it’s a healthy fat that has many health benefits.

Key Points From The Editors:

  1.  Olive oil, the main fat in the Mediterranean diet, contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and may affect serum lipid levels.
  2. The authors studied virgin olive oil (high in polyphenols), refined olive oil (low in polyphenols), and a mixture of the 2 oils in equal parts.
  3. 200 healthy young men consumed 25 mL [about 2 tablespoons] of olive oil daily for 3 weeks followed by the other olive oils in randomly assigned sequence.
  4. Olive oils with greater polyphenol content increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and decreased serum markers of oxidation.
  5. Virgin olive oil has greater health benefits than refined olive oil.

Point of Interest

  1.  “Polyphenol intake has been associated with low cancer and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality rates.”
  2. “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and improvements in endothelial dysfunction and the lipid profile have been reported for dietary polyphenols.”
  3. Olive oil is the main fat in the Mediterranean diet.  It contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties.
  4. Virgin olive oils are richer in phenolic content than refined olive oil.
  5. This study showed that virgin olive oil with its higher phenolic content is superior to other grades of olive oil at:
    • Increasing high-density lipoprotein [good] cholesterol levels.
    • Decreasing bad cholesterol levels.
    • Reducing oxidative stress markers [a measure of free radical damage, which means the phenols in virgin olive oil are powerful antioxidants].
  6.  Olive oil is more than a monounsaturated fat.  Its phenolic content can also provide benefits for plasma lipid levels and oxidative damage.
  7. The phenolic compounds in olive oil have strong antioxidant properties.
  8. “Olive oil contributes to improving the endogenous antioxidant status.”
  9. “Daily consumption of olive oil decreased oxidative damage on lipids.”
  10. Virgin olive oil has greater health benefits than refined olive oil.
  11. “All olive oils improved the balance between reduced and oxidized glutathione.  Reduced glutathione is a major mechanism for cellular protection against oxidative stress.  Depletion of reduced glutathione precedes lipid oxidation and atherogenesis in vivo.”
  12. “Our study provides evidence to recommend the use of polyphenol-rich olive oil, that is, virgin olive oil, as a source of fat to achieve additional benefits against cardiovascular risk factor”.

Remember that olive oil is allowed in small quantities while on the Liquid Amino Diet. If you have any questions, call the health coaches at 1-800-980-7208.

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