Extra virgin olive oil and its beneficial effects has been the center of many studies for a few years. The focus of researchers has been on the increased HDL cholesterol and the effect of the antioxidants in the length and quality of the human life, due to its content in poly-phenols.
Poly-phenols have an effect on glycaemia levels and on insulin sensitivity. Olive oil consumption shows reduction of oxidative damage and cardiovascular risk in many European populations.
A study was conducted by Maria-Jesus Oliveras-Lopez, aiming in the verification of the glycaemia levels of 20 young and healthy volunteers. The volunteers who participated in the study were also between 20 and 30 years of age, non smokers and free of chronic diseases. They did not use any supplements or medication.
In this study the goal was to observe the results of the daily consumption of extra virgin olive oil, rich in phenolic compounds, used as the only fat. The young people who participated, continued their normal daily physical activities, with only replacing their usual fat ingestion with olive oil.
The volunteers were instructed to consume 50 ml of raw olive oil daily, distributed equally between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instructions were given for the consumption of olive oil, used for cooking.
The study’s focus was to see the effects of replacing fat intake with extra virgin olive oil, rich in poly-phenols and mainly in secoiridoidic derivatives, in fresh extra virgin olive oil. After 30 days the volunteers were asked to fast for 12 hours, before blood samples were drawn for the blood analysis. The replacement of fats with extra virgin olive oil, plays a preventative role.
During the trial period, there were no changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight. The changes took place during the intervention period with a significant lowering of glyceamia and increase of HDL cholesterol levels.
In 2002 the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine reports that people who are on high blood pressure medication, may be able to reduce the dosage of the medicine they are taking, by replacing the fat intake in their diet, with extra virgin olive oil.
Associate professor of internal medicine at the Frederico University in Naples, Italy, who also was the study’s leader, says that the most significant revelation in this study is that the daily consumption of 40 grams of raw extra virgin olive oil, reduces the dosage of the blood pressure medication by half.
The poly-phenols in extra virgin olive oil are responsible for the lowering of the blood pressure.