The more I learn about the science behind extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) the more amazed I am about this superfood that we often take for granted. In this second post of our series on the extraordinary health benefits of EVOO, we explore how it can aid in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
As our last post explained, the primary health-promoting components of EVOO are found in its polyphenols, which are key micronutrients found in plants. EVOO is one of the most potent sources of polyphenols available. It is also the foundation of the renowned Mediterranean Diet, which has been proven to support the prevention, management, and treatment of chronic diseases.
With cardiovascular disease, studies show that a particular polyphenol in EVOO known as OLE can be effective at reducing atherosclerosis (a disease characterized by fatty deposits on the inner walls of arteries) by regulating cholesterol in the body. It does this by enhancing the expression of genes that increase HDL, or “good cholesterol”. OLE and other polyphenols in EVOO also act as antioxidants which are beneficial for supporting healthy cardiovascular tissue.
Several impressive epidemiological studies have pointed to the benefits of consuming EVOO in the fight against cardiovascular disease. Two studies conducted in Europe showed that consuming greater amounts of EVOO was linked with a lower incidence of stroke. Additional studies showed that consuming EVOO reduced levels of triglycerides, glucose and nitrous oxide and also reduced blood pressure. [Interestingly, the beneficial effects of EVOO were noted particularly in the presence of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
While the science can sound complicated, adding more extra virgin olive oil to your diet is a simple (and delicious) step in supporting your heart health. Look for high-quality extra virgin oils rich in polyphenols. Polyphenol concentrations vary depending on the type of olive, extraction methods, the timing of the olive harvest, among other factors. We source the highest quality single origin estate bottled oils from small growers in Greece’s top olive oil regions.
Stay tuned for our next post in this series when we’ll look at EVOO’s impact on diabetes.
For more details on the research and findings discussed in this post, please refer to the link below.
From the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. May 31, 2016. Published online by the US National Library of Medicine. Nutraceutical Properties of Olive Oil Polyphenols. An Itinerary from Cultured Cells through Animal Models to Humans
**Disclaimer: This content does not constitute personalized medical or nutritional advice. Any blog readers should seek their own medical advice before making any decisions related to their nutrition and health.