Health

The Right Olive Oil 'Dosage' for Those at High Risk of Cardio Diseases

May. 19, 2014
By Nadine Cresswell-Myatt

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The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) hosted the 2nd World Forum for Nutrition Research Conference on May 14 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Among the con­fer­ence speak­ers was Spanish dieti­cian Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferre who pro­vided new infor­ma­tion on the amount and ben­e­fits of olive oil con­sump­tion for people with a high risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferre

She said 50 grams, or 3.5 table­spoons, is the best dose for a person at high risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease with inci­dence of the dis­ease reduced by 10 per­cent for every two tea­spoons, accord­ing to her study, which was pub­lished on May 13 in the jour­nal BMC Medicine.

People in this high-risk cat­e­gory could be those with Type 2 dia­betes or with com­bined issues such high blood pres­sure, high cho­les­terol, smok­ing as well as those who are over­weight or obese or have a family his­tory of pre­ma­ture car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. However, every­one could ben­e­fit from a health-giving daily dose of olive oil which can easily be a part of any diet.

Guasch-Ferre also rein­forced that high-qual­ity extra virgin olive oil is far more likely to help with the pre­ven­tion of heart attacks and stroke than refined olive oils.

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“Different types of olive oil are asso­ci­ated with dif­fer­ent levels of risk reduc­tion,” said Ms Guasch-Ferre. “When olive oil is processed and refined it loses some of its ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties.”

Virgin olive oil con­tains mul­ti­ple bioac­tive and antiox­i­dant com­po­nents such as polyphe­nols, phy­tos­terols and vit­a­min E. Whereas common olive oil, which is a mix­ture refined oil with some virgin oil (to enhance the flavor) has fewer antiox­i­dant and anti-inflam­ma­tory com­pounds.

Dr. Guasch-Ferre was part of a group who ana­lyzed death, diet and dis­ease sta­tis­tics among 7,216 people with men aged 55 to 80 years and women aged 60 to 80 years as part of the well-known Mediterranean diet study known as PREDIMED.

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It fol­lowed the group over 4.8 years with yearly ques­tion­naires and med­ical exam­i­na­tions. The study demon­strated that adher­ence to the Mediterranean dietary pat­tern enriched with extra virgin olive oil and nuts reduced the inci­dence of major car­dio­vas­cu­lar events by 30 per­cent.

The find­ings under­scored olive oil con­sump­tion as one of the key com­po­nents of the Mediterranean diet for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease pre­ven­tion.

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