Vuk Nikolić

Adding just two tablespoons of olive oil each day can improve blood vessel function.

The addition of a small amount of olive oil to the diet appears to improve endothelial function according to a new study by U.S. and Italian researchers

The endothelium is a group of cells that line the interior of blood vessels. When these cells are not functioning properly, it may lead to atherosclerosis-hardening of the arteries.

Researchers from the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases of Mayo Clinic and College of Medicine and the Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche of Florence examined whether the addition of olive oil to the diet would affect the function of the endothelium. For the study, 88 patients with early atherosclerosis (endothelial dysfunction was present) were recruited. Fifty two completed the 4 month double-blind, randomized trial.

The original aim of the study was to compare the effect of a daily intake of 30 ml of simple olive oil, with 30 ml of EGCG (a type of antioxidant) supplemented olive oil, on endothelial function.

After 4 months, both groups had improved endothelial function, but there were no differences between the 2 groups. In other words, the plain olive oil was as effective as the EGCG supplemented olive oil.

The researchers noted that supplementation with olive oil seems reasonably easy and relatively cheap dietary measure to improve endothelial function and perhaps alter the progression of atherosclerotic disease.

Well not only easy and cheap, but also a good-tasting one.

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