`Olive Oil Seen as a Treatment for Heart Failure

Health

Olive Oil Seen as a Treatment for Heart Failure

Sep. 30, 2014
Elena Paravantes

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While diet and nutri­tion are often dis­cussed in rela­tion to pre­ven­tion of chronic dis­ease, occa­sion­ally cer­tain foods are seen as a treat­ment as well. A new study by researchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois at Chicago Col­lege of Med­i­cine are find­ing that a cer­tain fat found in olive oil may be ben­e­fi­cial in indi­vid­u­als with heart fail­ure.

Heart fail­ure is a con­di­tion that devel­ops over time where the heart becomes weaker and can­not pump enough blood, or with enough force, to the rest of the body. Treat­ment usu­ally means con­trol­ling and stop­ping the con­di­tion from get­ting worse.

Accord­ing to this study, a weak­ened heart is unable to store and process fats to use for fuel, leav­ing it with less energy. This may result in pro­duc­tion of toxic inter­me­di­ary byprod­ucts that fur­ther con­tribute to heart dis­ease.
See more: The Health Ben­e­fits of Olive oil
E. Dou­glas Lewandowski, direc­tor of the UIC Cen­ter for Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Research, and his team wanted to exam­ine how healthy and dis­eased hearts reacted to oleate (a fat in olive oil ) and palmi­tate (a fat found in palm oil used in many processed foods as well as cheeses and meats).

The researchers looked at how the hearts of rats were beat­ing when they were given the two dif­fer­ent types of fat and found that with oleate there was an imme­di­ate improve­ment in how the hearts con­tracted and pumped blood, as opposed to palmi­tate where fat metab­o­lism was imbal­anced, cells strug­gled to access fuel and there was also a rise in toxic fatty byprod­ucts.

In addi­tion, it was observed that oleate also increased the acti­va­tion of sev­eral genes for enzymes that metab­o­lize fat. Lewandowski said it was an excit­ing find­ing that ben­e­fi­cial gene expres­sion can be restored, with a more bal­anced fat metab­o­lism and a reduc­tion of toxic fat metabo­lites, just by sup­ply­ing hearts with oleate.

It is well estab­lished that olive oil has a pro­tec­tive effect. The dis­cov­ery that it may be able to influ­ence the heart pos­i­tively, even after the appear­ance of dis­ease, makes it impor­tant not only to pre­ven­tion but a promis­ing con­trib­u­tor to a treat­ment reg­i­men too.


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