Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Diet including olive oil may reduce blood-clotting risk in healthy obese adults

Adapted from an article by the American Heart Association, March, 7, 2019

In a group of healthy obese adults, eating olive oil at least once a week was associated with less platelet activity in the blood, which may reduce the tendency of blood to clot and block blood flow. These findings are according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2019, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population-based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Platelets are blood cell fragments that stick together and form clumps and clots when they are activated. They contribute to the buildup of artery-clogging plaque, known as atherosclerosis, the condition that underlies most heart attacks and strokes, according to lead study author Sean P. Heffron, MD, MS, MSc, assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine and the NYU Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in New York, New York.

Using food frequency surveys, researchers determined how often 63 obese, nonsmoking, nondiabetic study participants ate olive oil. The participants’ average age was 32.2 years and their average body mass index (BMI) was 44.1. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI)—a ratio of body weight to height—over 30.

Researchers found that those who ate olive oil at least once a week had lower platelet activation than participants who ate olive oil less often, and that the lowest levels of platelet aggregation were observed among those who ate olive oil more frequently.

“People who are obese are at increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event, even if they don’t have diabetes or other obesity-associated conditions. Our study suggests that choosing to eat olive oil may have the potential to help modify that risk, potentially lowering an obese person’s threat of having a heart attack or stroke,” Heffron said. “To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the effects of dietary composition, olive oil specifically, on platelet function in obese patients,” said co-author Ruina Zhang, BS, an NYU medical student.

Some limitations of the study are that it relied on questionnaires completed by the participants; it measured how often they ate olive oil, but not how much olive oil they ate; and because it was observational, the study could not prove that eating olive oil will reduce platelet activation in obese adults.

Researchers Explore What’s Behind Mediterranean Diet and Lower Cardiovascular Risk

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, December 7, 2018 

A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers insights from a cohort study of women in the US who reported consuming a Mediterranean-type diet.

Researchers found a 25 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease among study participants who consumed a diet rich in plants and olive oil and low in meats and sweets. The team also explored why and how a Mediterranean diet might mitigate risk of heart disease and stroke by examining a panel of 40 biomarkers, representing new and established biological contributors to heart disease. The team’s results are published in JAMA Network Open.

“Our study has a strong public health message that modest changes in known cardiovascular disease risk factors, particularly those relating to inflammation, glucose metabolism, and insulin resistance, contribute to the long-term benefit of a Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular disease risk,” said lead author Shafqat Ahmad, PhD, a research fellow at the Brigham and at the Harvard Chan School.

The current research draws on data from more than 25,000 female health professionals who participated in the Women’s Health Study. Participants completed food intake questionnaires about diet, provided blood samples for measuring the biomarkers, and were followed for up to 12 years. The primary outcomes analyzed in the study were incidences of cardiovascular disease, defined as first events of heart attack, stroke, coronary arterial revascularization, and cardiovascular death.

The team categorized study participants as having a low, middle, or upper Mediterranean diet intake. They found that 428 (4.2 percent) of the women in the low group experienced a cardiovascular event, compared to 356 (3.8 percent) in the middle group, and 246 (3.8 percent) in the upper group, representing a relative risk reduction of 23 percent and 28 percent, respectively, a benefit that is similar in magnitude to statins or other preventive medications.

The team saw changes in signals of inflammation (accounting for 29 percent of the cardiovascular disease risk reduction), glucose metabolism and insulin resistance (27.9 percent), and body mass index (27.3 percent).

“While prior studies have shown benefit for the Mediterranean diet on reducing cardiovascular events and improving cardiovascular risk factors, it has been a ‘black box,’ regarding the extent to which improvements in known and novel risk factors contribute to these effects,” said corresponding author Samia Mora, MD, MHS, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at the Brigham and Harvard Medical School. “In this large study, we found that modest differences in biomarkers contributed in a multifactorial way to this cardiovascular benefit that was seen over the long term.”

Reference: Ahmad S, Moorthy MV, Demler OV, et al. Assessment of risk factors and biomarkers associated with risk of cardiovascular disease among women consuming a Mediterranean diet. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(8):e185708.

5 Health Benefits of Using Olive Oil

Reprinted from HealthNewsDigest.com

Anytime is a good time to consider heart health. After all, cardiovascular disease disease is the leading cause of death in America, killing over 600,000 people yea yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even making small changes in your lifestyle and diet can add up to big results over time. One such change that can give people a healthy benefit for the heart and beyond is to make the switch to olive oil.

“Olive oil not only tastes great, but increasingly we are learning about the healthy benefits it has for our bodies,” explains Chef Paul Anthony Fario, known as “Chefario,” the executive chef at Arlington-based Extra Virgin restaurant. “And it is quite versatile, making it easy to find ways to incorporate it into your diet.”

Here are 5 health benefits of using olive oil:

Anti-inflammation. Along with having healthy properties that help reduce inflammation in the body, it also has anti-clotting properties. This helps to make olive oil a choice that is better for the heart.

Antioxidants. Many health professionals have deemed olive oil to be heart-healthy because it contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. The polyphenols slow the progression of atherosclerosis.

DHPEA-EDA. This is one of the most important polyphenols found in olive oil, and researchers have found that it protects red blood cells from damage.

Monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to control a person’s LDL — or bad — cholesterol, while they also help to raise the body’s good, heart-healthy cholesterol.

Secoiridoids. This category of polyphenols found in olive oil is being researched for its anti-cancer properties. It is believed to provide the digestive tract with some protection.

Additional research suggests that olive oil has beneficial properties for bone health, cognitive function, and anti-cancer benefits. More research is being conducted to discover additional ways that olive oil can be beneficial to our health.

“Adding olive oil to your diet can be simple and tasty,” adds Chef Fario. “For the best results, buy a good-quality extra virgin olive oil and store it in a cool dark place so that it doesn’t go rancid or isn’t subjected to a lot of light exposure.”

New study reports that olive oil may lower mortality by a quarter and heart disease by nearly one-half

Followers of the popular Mediterranean diet have known for years that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and plenty of extra virgin olive oil is beneficial to health.

Recent studies have continued to bolster this eating pattern, with much less emphasis on overcooked meats, hydrogenated fats, and fried foods. They may not realize that many of the benefits come from the monounsaturated fats provided by the liberal use of fresh-pressed olive oil.

Reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Spain found that the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil work synergistically with essential fatty acids such as the omega-3 fat, DHA, to enhance their incorporation into cell membranes. The scientists found an association between greater olive oil intake and a lower risk of dying over an average of 13.4 years of follow-up.

The researchers analyzed data garnered from dietary questionnaires provided from a cohort of 40,622 men and women residing in Spain, aged 29 to 69 years, who were recruited from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The questions specifically detailed caloric intake and consumption of olive oil in their diet. During the follow-up period, there were 416 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 956 cancer deaths, and 417 deaths from other causes.

Olive oil shields against inflammation and prevents blood sugar spikes to thwart chronic disease

Study participants whose olive oil intake ranked in the top quarter had a 26 percent lower risk of dying of any cause and a 44 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who did not consume olive oil. The risk of mortality from causes other than cancer or heart disease was reduced by 38 percent for those whose olive oil intake was greatest.

The authors noted that there is evidence that olive oil may be protective against specific types of cancer, particularly breast cancer.

The scientists conducting the study determined that protective monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and phenolic compounds in olive oil provide a synergistic effect to shield against heart disease. In prior research, olive oil has been shown to improve systemic inflammation and glycemic control in randomized clinical trials.

The authors concluded, “To our knowledge, this is the first prospective study to show that olive oil consumption reduces the risk of mortality… Our findings provide further evidence on the effects that one of the key components of the Mediterranean diet has on mortality and support the need to preserve the habitual use of olive oil within this healthy dietary pattern.” Nutrition experts recommend adding one to two tablespoons of fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil (post-cooking to prevent degradation of the oil) to your meals each day to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sources: NaturalNews.com, based on a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Reprinted from NaturalNews.com, July 24, 2012