Adding olive oil to your diet - virgin or not - can improve your biomarkers for coronary artery disease. This is according to new research by the University of Glasgow.
The research team developed a new way of measuring subtle changes in heart health over just a few weeks by practising proteomics, a method that involves studying protein patterns in urine. Read on for the full story.
New research shows a link between olive oil consumption and lower risk of coronary artery disease
For their double-blind study, the team chose 63 healthy volunteers from Glasgow between the ages of 18 and 75 who didn’t consume olive oil regularly. The team analysed urinary biomarkers, which are useful for detecting diseases before damage starts appearing, using a scoring system.
They randomly divided the people into two groups: One group whom they gave extra virgin olive oil with high phenols and another whom they gave conventional olive oil with lower phenols. Both olive oils were from Portugal.
For over 20 years, the health profession has been flat out wrong!
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The French are renowned for their high fat diet.
From buttery croissants and double-thick cream to duck fat, liver paté, decadent sauces and soft, oozy Camembert. Not a meal goes by where they don’t indulge foods rich in heart-clogging fat.
But here’s the surprising thing:
Their hearts are amazingly healthy!
In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, the average South African is three times more likely to suffer from heart problems than the French.
Even more surprising, their heart health stats are the third lowest in the world – just behind Korea and Japan.
How do they do it?
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Each person consumed 20 ml of olive oil as a daily supplement. In neither group was the oil heated or used in cooking. Furthermore, there were no dietary restrictions – the people consumed the oil at any time during the day at a single intake.
After three weeks, the team analysed each person’s urine samples and gave them a score for its protein characteristic followed by a calculation of the average heart disease
score. The results revealed that the average risk of coronary artery disease for both groups of people decreased.
Researchers conclude that there’s no significant contribution attributed to olive oil phenols
The team concluded that although olive oil consumption improved scores for coronary artery disease, there was no significant contribution attributed to olive oil phenols.
Their findings suggested that any olive oil, it seemed – with high or low phenolic content – was beneficial. The team concluded that the fatty acids were probably the main contributors to the observed effect on coronary artery disease risk.
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