Written by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | 

Article Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Jul 09, 2018

Heart Health with Olive oil

The flavenoid polyphenols present in Olive oil are anti-oxidants that give Olive oil its bitter taste and astringency. These phenolic compounds have beneficial effects in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of coronary heart disease.

For example, a German study published in the journal The Lancet Oncology identified 3 classes of major phenolic compounds in Olive oil, namely, simple phenols (e.g. hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol), secoiridois (oleuropein) and the lignans. All of them have potent anti-oxidant properties. The researchers concluded that high consumption of extra-virgin Olive oils rich in these phenolic anti-oxidants may considerably protect against coronary heart disease as well as certain cancers and ageing.

A randomized crossover controlled clinical trial on 200 healthy male volunteers conducted by the EUROLIVE investigators also came to the same conclusion. The normal dietary fats of these volunteers were replaced by 25ml Olive oil containing low (2.7 mg/kg of Olive oil), medium (164 mg/kg), or high (366 mg/kg) phenolic content for 3 weeks. The results showed that HDL (good) cholesterol levels increased linearly and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels decreased linearly as the phenolic content of Olive oil is increased. According to them – ‘Olive oil is more than a monounsaturated fat. Its phenolic content can also provide benefits for plasma lipid levels and oxidative damage.’

Researchers have also found that consuming 25 ml (or 1.7 tablespoons) of Olive oil per day resulted in a 3 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure in men who did not typically eat a Mediterranean diet. However, consuming more than 2 tablespoons of Olive oil per day may increase free radical damage. The FDA too recommends consuming about 2 tablespoons per day of Olive oil to reduce the risk of heart disease.

A moderate consumption of extra-virgin Olive oil is good, but over-doing it may prove harmful! The best way to go about it is to substitute Olive oil for saturated fats in your diet.

References:

  1. Synthesis and Assignment of Absolute Configuration of Oleocanthal - (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ol052106a)
  2. Giacomo D et al. Influence of the olive variety and the zone of provenience on selenium content determined by cathodic stripping potentiometry (CSP) in virgin Olive oils. Food Chemistry Volume 88, Issue 1, November 2004, Pages 135-140
  3. Kim HS, Noh SU, Han YW, Kim KM, Kang H, Kim HO, Park YM. Therapeutic effects of topical application of ozone on acute cutaneous wound healing. J Korean Med Sci. 2009 Jun;24(3):368-74. Epub 2009 Jun 12.
  4. Owen RW, Giacosa A, Hull WE, Haubner R, Würtele G, Spiegelhalder B, Bartsch H. Olive-oil consumption and health: the possible role of antioxidants. Lancet Oncol. 2000 Oct;1:107-12.
  5. EUORLIVE study - (http://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/727945/effect-polyphenols-olive-oil-heart-disease-risk-factors-randomized-trial?volume=145&issue=5&page=333)
  6. Owen RW, Haubner R, Würtele G, Hull E, Spiegelhalder B, Bartsch H. Olives and Olive oil in cancer prevention. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2004 Aug;13(4):319-26.
  7. Stoneham M, Goldacre M, Seagroatt V, Gill L. Olive oil, diet and colorectal cancer: an ecological study and a hypothesis. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2000 Oct;54(10):756-60.
  8. Martin-Moreno JM, et al. Dietary fat, Olive oil intake and breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 1994 Sep 15;58(6):774-80.
  9. Romero C, Medina E, Vargas J, Brenes M, De Castro A. In vitro activity of Olive oil polyphenols against Helicobacter pylori. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 7;55(3):680-6.
  10. Piers LS, Walker KZ, Stoney RM, Soares MJ, O''Dea K. Substitution of saturated with monounsaturated fat in a 4-week diet affects body weight and composition of overweight and obese men. Br J Nutr. 2003 Sep;90(3):717-27.
  11. Soriguer F, et al. Incidence of obesity is lower in persons who consume Olive oil. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;63(11):1371-4. Epub 2009 Jul 22.
  12. Lozano A, et al. Body mass interacts with fat quality to determine the postprandial lipoprotein response in healthy young adults. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Nov 17.
  13. Puel C, Mardon J, Agalias A, Davicco MJ, Lebecque P, Mazur A, Horcajada MN, Skaltsounis AL, Coxam V. Major phenolic compounds in Olive oil modulate bone loss in an ovariectomy/inflammation experimental model. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 22;56(20):9417-22. Epub 2008 Sep 19.
  14. Santiago-Mora R, Casado-Díaz A, De Castro MD, Quesada-Gómez JM. Oleuropein enhances osteoblastogenesis and inhibits adipogenesis: the effect on differentiation in stem cells derived from bone marrow. Osteoporos Int. 2010 May 21.


Comments

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