Can Olive Oil Reverse Predisposition to Heart Disease?

by Colin Carmichael

Do you have a predisposition for having heart disease?

Olive Oil

Olive oil may have more heart benefits that we thought...

It’s a scary scenario.

To think that the odds are stacked against you from Day One. That you’re more susceptible to a heart attack simply because it’s in your genes.

But what if a “switch” in those heart attack genes could be turned to the OFF position and reverse that predisposition?

And how surprised would you be to learn that it’s not a drug that can flip the switch, but your diet?

Researchers in Barcelona, Spain have shown that consuming virgin olive oil as part of a Mediterranean diet can temper the effects of these genes that play a role in heart disease.

This randomized controlled study looked at subjects from three groups.

One group maintained a regular Mediterranean diet, supplemented with virgin olive oil rich in polyphenols.

A second followed the same diet regimen, but was given an olive oil of lesser quality which had fewer polyphenols.

The control group simply followed a traditional Mediterranean diet.

The first group that consumed the virgin olive oil showed a positive improvement in atherosclerosis-related genes. And while the study lasted a full year, improvement was observed after the first 3-month intervention.

The changes in the genes were also associated with decreased damage from lipid oxidation and fewer inflammation markers.

This is significant because it's the oxidation of cholesterol along with artery inflammation that are the two of the most dangerous warnings of pending heart disease.

Earlier research, also showed that the polyphenols in olive oil inhibit several pro-inflammatory genes.

Want more good news about olive oil?

This study only looked at virgin olive oil and a lesser quality olive oil with fewer polyphenols.

What you need to know when you go shopping is that it's extra virgin olive oil that has even higher levels of these same polyphenols, which is the nutrient that triggers the artery-protecting properties from olive oil.

If you haven't already done so, you want to replace vegetable oils in your diet (like corn oil or sunflower oil) with heart-friendly olive oil.

And if you want all the atherosclerosis-preventing phenols you can get, don't skimp on the quality of your olive oil.

At a minimum you want virgin olive oil vs. pure or extra light.

Your best bet though is to get extra virgin olive oil … preferably organic and cold-pressed … for best atherosclerosis prevention.

> July 2010 The FASEB Journal vol. 24 no. 7 2546-2557
> BMC Genomics. 2010 Apr 20;11:253.

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