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Olive oil may help maintain normal blood viscosity

This is the first study to assess the effects of olive oil specifically on platelet function
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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

March 11 2019. A presentation at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2019 revealed an association between regular consumption of olive oil and a reduction in blood platelet activity in a study of healthy, obese adults, who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Increased blood platelet activation increases blood clot formation, which can impair blood flow.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the effects of dietary composition, olive oil specifically, on platelet function in obese patients,” announced researcher Ruina Zhang, BS, who is a medical student at New York University (NYU).

The current study involved 63 nondiabetic subjects with no known cardiovascular disease who were part of a larger prospective study of platelet function in obesity. Dietary questionnaire responses provided information concerning the frequency of olive oil intake. Platelet activate was assessed via flow cytometry.

Among subjects whose intake of olive oil occurred once or less per week, platelet activation was significantly higher than the level of activation associated with consuming olive oil one to three times per week. Olive oil consumption four or more times per week was associated with an even greater benefit.

“People who are obese are at increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event, even if they don’t have diabetes or other obesity-associated conditions,” noted lead study author Sean P. Heffron, MD, MS, MSc, who is an assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine and the NYU Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. “Our study suggests that choosing to eat olive oil may have the potential to help modify that risk, potentially lowering an obese person’s threat of having a heart attack or stroke.”

—D Dye

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