by John Phillip
July 24, 2012
John Phillip is a
Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the
cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and
targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the
quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your
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Followers of the popular
Mediterranean diet have known for years
that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and plenty of
extra virgin olive oil is beneficial to health.
Recent studies have continued to bolster
this eating pattern, with much less emphasis on overcooked meats,
hydrogenated fats and fried foods. They may not realize that many of
the benefits come from the monounsaturated fats provided by the
liberal use of fresh-pressed olive oil.
Reporting in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers
from Spain found that the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil
work synergistically with essential fatty acids such as the omega-3
fat, DHA to enhance their incorporation into cell membranes. The
scientists found an association between greater olive oil intake and
a lower risk of dying over an average of 13.4 years of follow-up.
The researchers analyzed data garnered from dietary questionnaires
provided from a cohort of 40,622 men and women residing in Spain,
aged 29 to 69 years who were recruited from the European Prospective
Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
The questions specifically detailed
caloric intake and consumption of olive oil in their diet.
During the follow-up period, there were
416 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 956 cancer deaths and 417
deaths from other causes.
shields against inflammation
...and prevents blood sugar spikes to thwart
Study participants whose olive oil intake ranked in the top quarter
had a 26 percent lower risk of dying of any cause and a 44 percent
lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who did not
consume olive oil.
The risk of mortality from causes other
than cancer or heart disease was reduced by 38 percent for those
whose olive oil intake was greatest. The authors noted that there is
evidence that olive oil may be protective against specific types of
cancer, particularly breast cancer.
The scientists conducting the study determined that protective
monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and phenolic compounds in olive oil
provide a synergistic effect to shield against heart disease. In
prior research, olive oil has been shown to improve systemic
inflammation and glycemic control in randomized clinical trials.
The authors concluded,
"To our knowledge, this is the first
prospective study to show that olive oil consumption reduces the
risk of mortality... our findings provide further evidence on
the effects that one of the key components of the Mediterranean
diet has on mortality and support the need to preserve the
habitual use of olive oil within this healthy dietary pattern."
Nutrition experts recommend adding one
to two tablespoons of fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil
(post-cooking to prevent degradation of the oil) to your meals each
day to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Note: Read also "The
Great Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hoax".