Olive oiland especially extra virgin olive oil has an abundance in poly-phenols. The poly-phenols are responsible for its cardiovascular benefits. Of course its monounsaturated fats help too.
Extra virgin olive oil’s supply of poly-phenols which contain anti-inflammatory ingredients and antioxidants show evidence of protective effects, to colon cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis, bone loss and other diseases.
A research at the Reina Sophia University Hospital in Cordoba, Spain, conducted by Dr. Juan Ruano and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed the effects of the extra virgin olive oil on volunteers with high cholesterol levels.
The one-cell thick layer of flat cells, that lines the inside walls of the blood vessels, called endothelium, plays a major roll in cardiovascular health. The endothelium controls the blood flow and regulates the formation of blood clots. Also regulates the attachment of the immune cells to the wall of the vessels, that starts the plaque formation.
After a meal, usually the endothelium function slows down, blood vessels lose elasticity, and blood levels of free radicals that harm cholesterol, rise.
When these volunteers in this study ate breakfast containing extra virgin olive oil, which is high in phenolic content, the endothelium function improved. That is because the endothelium produced a blood vessel relaxing compound with very few radicals present. Usually after a meal the free radicals are high.
This study proved the importance of selecting an olive oil with high content in poly-phenols. That olive oil, is the extra virgin olive oil. The same study also proved, that extra virgin olive oil helps prevent blood clots, something that occurs after eating, especially in people with high cholesterol.
When atherosclerosis starts appearing, the factors between blood clot formation and dissolving, favors the blood clot formation, and it is dangerous after a meal when high levels of fat appear in the blood.
Research also proves, that people with high cholesterol, eating meals with high phenols olive oil, the blood clot promotion is very low, compare to the people who are eating meals with low phenols olive oil.
Make sure that you learn how to select and store your olive oil. Read previous posts. Learn about that “liquid gold.
More about olive oil and heart health next post.