Olive oil's heart effect identified

November 27, 2005

Spanish scientists say they have located the micronutrients in olive oil that make it a good heart protector.

Mediterranean diets have long been hailed as cutting heart attack risk. A team of Spanish researchers believes this is partly because of compounds called phenols that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and clot-preventing powers.

Virgin or extra virgin olive oils are best because they have the highest phenol content, a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says.

In their study, Dr. Juan Ruano and colleagues compared the effect of consuming phenol-rich olive oil, against olive oil with most of its phenol content removed. They tested it on a group of 21 volunteers with high cholesterol, a known heart disease risk factor.

Blood vessel response and function was improved for the first few hours after the high-phenol olive oil meal.

This improvement was associated with increased levels of a molecule called nitric oxide.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart disease by changing how our genes function

Related Stories

Olive oil protects liver

October 29, 2010

Extra-virgin olive oil can protect the liver from oxidative stress. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition and Metabolism exposed rats to a moderately toxic herbicide known to deplete antioxidants ...

Source of major health benefits in olive oil revealed

April 2, 2009

Scientists have pinned down the constituent of olive oil that gives greatest protection from heart attack and stroke. In a study of the major antioxidants in olive oil, Portuguese researchers showed that one, DHPEA-EDA, protects ...

Recommended for you

Light-optics research could improve medical imaging

October 13, 2015

A team of researchers, including The University of Queensland's Dr Joel Carpenter, has developed echo-less lights that could improve medical imaging inside the body, leading to less-intrusive surgery.

Just a touch of skyrmions

October 13, 2015

Ancient memory devices such as handwriting were based on mechanical energy—but in the modern world they have given way to devices based generally on electrical manipulation.

Toyota promises better mileage and ride with Prius hybrid

October 13, 2015

Toyota Motor Corp. released details for its fourth-generation Prius on Tuesday, promising that improvements in the battery, engine, wind resistance and weight mean better mileage for the world's top-selling hybrid car.

What happens when your brain can't tell which way is up?

October 13, 2015

In space, there is no "up" or "down." That can mess with the human brain and affect the way people move and think in space. An investigation on the International Space Station seeks to understand how the brain changes in ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.