Pomace olive oil could help lower blood cholesterol

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Scientists from Spanish National Research Council found extra virgin olive oil in the diet may help lower blood cholesterol.

Almost 2 in 5 adults in the United States have high cholesterol (total blood cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dL).

Too much cholesterol puts people at risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States.

Blood cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by your liver. Blood cholesterol is essential for good health.

Your body needs it to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and digesting fatty foods.

Your body makes all the blood cholesterol it needs, which is why experts recommend that people eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible while on a healthy eating plan.

Dietary cholesterol is found in animal foods, including meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Having high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and result in heart disease or stroke.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because high levels of it can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the effect of olive pomace oil intake on blood cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors (blood pressure, inflammation, and endothelial function).

Pomace olive oil is a derivative of extra virgin olive oil. It is used for cooking, but also has uses in beauty and certain technical fields.

It is also rich in antioxidants that promote heart health and prevent many lifestyle diseases, making it a healthy cooking oil choice.

With today’s advanced techniques, olive pomace oil brings the additional benefit of vitamin E for better immunity and tissue repair with vitamin K for better bone density and health.

The team tested healthy people and people with high blood cholesterol. Participants consumed daily 45 g of pomace olive oil or high-oleic acid sunflower oil as control oil for 4 weeks.

The team found that pomace olive oil strongly reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level and LDL/HDL ratio in healthy and at-risk people.

These effects were not found with high-oleic acid sunflower oil. Blood pressure, peripheral artery function, endothelial function, and inflammation were not affected by the oil type.

Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that regular intake of pomace olive oil in the diet could help reduce blood cholesterol in people at heart disease risk as well as in healthy people, contributing to heart disease prevention.

The research was published in The European Journal of Nutrition and conducted by Susana González-Rámila et al.

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