Olive oil could help lower risks of heart disease, stroke

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Scientists from Karolinska Institutet and elsewhere found that olive oil intake in daily diet may help lower risks of heart disease, and stroke.

The specific association of olive oil consumption with coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke has been unclear.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine whether olive oil intake is linked to subclinical atherosclerosis, the risk of total cardiovascular disease (CVD), CHD, and stroke.

Atherosclerosis is the thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery.

Risk factors may include high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, and eating saturated fats.

The team used data from three research datasets: AWHS (2318 men), SUN Project (18,266 men and women), and EPIC-Spain (39,393 men and women).

Olive oil intake was measured at the beginning with food questionnaires.

The researchers found in the AWHS, 747 people had a positive coronary artery calcium score, and people with high virgin olive oil consumption ≥30 g/day had a lower risk of the health condition.

In the SUN Project (follow-up about 11 years) there were 261 total heart disease cases, and olive oil consumption ≥30 g/day was linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

In the EPIC-Spain (follow-up 22.8 years) there were 1300 heart disease cases and 938 stroke cases. A higher intake of olive oil was linked to a lower risk of stroke.

A weaker association was found for heart disease. The team also found the association was stronger among those consuming virgin olive oil, instead of common (refined).

Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that olive oil is linked to lower risks of heart disease and stroke. The maximum benefit could be obtained with an intake between 20 and 30 g/day.

The association could be stronger for virgin olive oil and might operate from the early stages of the disease.

The research was published in Clinical Nutrition and conducted by Carolina Donat-Vargas et al.

If you care about heart health, please read studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and Yogurt may help lower the death risks of heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that Vitamin D deficiency can increase heart disease risk, and results showing Vitamin K2 could help reduce heart disease risk.

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