`Exclusive Olive Oil Consumption Protects Against Coronary Artery Disease

Health

Exclusive Olive Oil Consumption Protects Against Coronary Artery Disease

Feb. 16, 2016
Jedha Dening

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Coro­nary artery dis­ease (CAD) is the nar­row­ing of the coro­nary arter­ies and fre­quently leads to angina, myocar­dial infarc­tion, and heart fail­ure.

The Mediter­ranean diet and olive oil con­sump­tion of an aver­age two table­spoons per day have been attrib­uted in stud­ies as hav­ing ben­e­fi­cial effects for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Now more specif­i­cally, stud­ies are show­ing some promis­ing results for a pro­tec­tive effect against CAD.

A study pub­lished in Pub­lic Health Nutri­tion revealed that even after tak­ing into account adher­ence to the Mediter­ranean diet, exclu­sive olive oil con­sump­tion was asso­ci­ated with 37 per­cent lower like­li­hood of devel­op­ing coro­nary artery dis­ease.”

A case-con­trolled study con­ducted between 2006 – 2010, The Hel­lenic study of Inter­ac­tions between Sin­gle Nucleotide Poly­mor­phisms and Eat­ing in Ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis Sus­cep­ti­bil­ity (THISEAS), enrolled 1,221 par­tic­i­pants with coro­nary artery dis­ease and 1,344 con­trols.

The Amer­i­can Botan­i­cal Coun­cil reported on the THISEAS study, say­ing that, The case patients had acute coro­nary syn­drome or CAD with > 50% steno­sis in at least 1 of the main coro­nary blood ves­sels.” The Med­Diet score was used to assess adher­ence to the Mediter­ranean diet and olive oil con­sump­tion, with addi­tional ques­tion­naires report­ing on fat con­sump­tion.

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The 37 per­cent lower like­li­hood of devel­op­ing CAD with exclu­sive olive oil con­sump­tion was thought to be medi­ated through changes in oxida­tive stress, inflam­ma­tion, lipid per­ox­i­da­tion, and lipid pro­file,’ the Coun­cil said.

Another study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Human Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics, the GREECS obser­va­tional study, sup­ported the results of the THISEAS study, show­ing that exclu­sive use of olive oil, used as either a salad dress­ing or in cook­ing, helps reduce inci­dence of acute coro­nary syn­drome (ACS) and recur­rent car­diac episodes in car­diac patients.

The study ini­tially recruited 2,172 par­tic­i­pants with ACS, acute myocar­dial infarc­tion or unsta­ble angina, and later per­formed a 10-year fol­low-up in 1,918 patients. Dietary com­po­nents were recorded, includ­ing added fat intake of olive oil, but­ter, mar­garine and seed oils. The use of fats in daily cook­ing and food prepa­ra­tion was also recorded. Sev­enty-six per­cent of the group exclu­sively con­sumed olive oil, while the remain­ing 24 per­cent con­sumed other added fats.

Accord­ing to the authors of the study, The end­points stud­ied in the 10-year fol­low-up were recur­rent fatal or non­fa­tal ACS events.”

Those con­sum­ing other added fats had a 40 per­cent higher risk of recur­rent ACS events dur­ing the fol­low-up period. And, even though the Med­Diet score was the same for both groups, those hav­ing acute myocar­dial infarc­tion was only 58 per­cent in the exclu­sive olive oil group com­pared to 71 per­cent in the other added fats group.

How­ever, this result only remained sig­nif­i­cant in obese patients. The authors sug­gest­ing that olive oil may reduce the low-grade inflam­ma­tion that is well known to be asso­ci­ated with obe­sity. Whereas the other added fats acti­vate the mech­a­nisms involved in the occur­rence of throm­bo­sis, inflam­ma­tion and oxi­da­tion.”

Like most stud­ies, there were some lim­i­ta­tions, includ­ing reliance on a hypoth­e­sis of the mech­a­nisms by which the pos­i­tive effects are exerted, lack of mea­sur­ing the level of myocar­dial dam­age, the exact amount of fat intake not being recorded, and the fact that dietary intake was only taken at base­line so poten­tial dietary changes over time were not taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

More research is still needed in this area but the results of both stud­ies com­bined are promis­ing, show­ing that the con­sump­tion of olive oil on a reg­u­lar basis has a pro­tec­tive effect against coro­nary artery dis­ease.


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