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The Worlds Healthiest Foods: Olive Oil

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mycatRa Views: 2,354
Published: 15 years ago
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The Worlds Healthiest Foods: Olive Oil

I've been using the website for sometime and it came to me today to see what it had to say about Olive Oil. I'm sure most of you know alot of this stuff already, but what a wealth of information! It's also a great site for finding out about other foods, grains and good for you stuff.

List of Healtiest Foods

Olive Oil Page

Topic points of Olive-Oil benifits in article:
Protection Against Chronic Degenerative Disease
Heart Health
Virgin Olive-Oil the Best Oil for Heart Health
Key to the Mediterranean Diet's Ability to Lower Blood Pressure
Polyphenols, not Fats, Responsible for Olive Oil's Benefits
Key to the Mediterranean Diet's Ability to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Better Blood Sugar Control
Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Olive-Oil Phenols' Help Prevent Bone Loss
Olive-Oil Phenols Protect DNA from Free Radical Damage
Potent Anti-Inflammatory Compound Discovered in Olive Oil
Supports Gastrointestinal Health
A Fat That Can Help You Lose Fat
How to Select and Store
Be Sure to Choose Extra-Virgin (or at least Virgin) Olive Oil
In-Depth Nutritional Profile (Olive oil, extra virgin)

Polyphenols, not Fats, Responsible for Olive Oil's Benefits

It's likely the abundance of polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil, rather than its monounsaturated fatty acids, are responsible for its well-known cardiovascular benefits.

And its rich supply of polyphenols, which are known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticoagulant actions, may also be central to emerging evidence that olive oil's protective effects extend to colon cancer and osteoporosis (see Protection against Colon Cancer, Olive Oil Polyphenols Prevent Bone Loss also in this section).

Research conducted by Dr. Juan Ruano and colleagues at the Reina Sofia University Hospital, Cordoba, Spain, and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, investigated the effects of virgin olive oil on endothelial function in 21 volunteers with high cholesterol levels.

The endothelium, although just a one-cell thick layer of flat cells that lines the inner wall of all blood vessels, may be the critical player in cardiovascular health. Among its many functions, the endothelium orchestrates the mechanics of blood flow, and regulates blood clot formation and the adhesion of immune cells to the blood vessel wall (one of the first steps in the formation of plaque).

Normally, after a meal, endothelial function is impaired for several hours. Blood vessels become less elastic, and blood levels of free radicals potentially harmful to cholesterol (lipoperoxides and 8-epi prostaglandin-F2) rise.

But when the subjects in this study ate a breakfast containing virgin olive oil with its normal high phenolic content (400 ppm), their endothelial function actually improved, blood levels of nitric oxide (a blood vessel-relaxing compound produced by the endothelium) increased significantly, and far fewer free radicals were present than would normally be seen after a meal.

When they ate the same breakfast containing the same type of virgin olive oil with its phenolic content reduced to 80 ppm, the beneficial effects were virtually absent, and concentrations of cholesterol-damaging free radicals increased. The results of this study underscore the importance of knowing how to select, store and serve your olive oil to maximize its polyphenol content. For all the information you need, see our How to Select and Store section below.

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