In Mediterranean countries, people are healthier, much fewer suffer from Atherosclerosis and have fewer heart attacks than in the northern latitudes. Even the mortality rate due to colon cancer in the Mediterranean is significantly lower. Scientific research into the protective factors in these populations was soon on the trail of a central component of the healthy Mediterranean diet: Olive oil.
One of these health-promoting substances is the phenol oleuropein, which has strong anti-oxidant properties. Oleuropein phenol compounds in olive oil have a high antioxidant effect and protect from heart attacks. One kilogramme of extra virgin olive oil contains anywhere from 50 to 800 milligrammes of phenolic substances, in part synergic and mutually sustaining in their virtues. Oleuropein and other accompanying substances are nevertheless found only in virgin olive oil, not in refined products.
The largest study in the field of olive oil relating to heart and circulatory health has been taking place at the hands of a Spanish research team. They have researched the usefulness of the Mediterranean diet for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, through prospective randomised study (PREDIMED), in a total of 7447 people with risk factors such as diabetes or hypertonia. The result clearly shows that the relative risk of cardiovascular incidents fell around 30%.
Anyone interested in scientific research regarding olive oil, should, in any case, read what the Institute for Atherosclerosis Research at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany, has reported. This institution researches the effect of a healthy diet with olive oil on the heart’s health. What is especially interesting is that with some changes to their diet and replacement of conventional plant oils with beneficial olive oil, high-blood-pressure patients can feel a great difference to their wellbeing. As a result, vegetarians and people with more Mediterranean cuisine and olive oil in their daily life exhibit better blood values and fewer issues with high blood-pressure and heart illnesses. This is surely a good reason to give the coupling of olive oil with a healthy lifestyle and diet, a second chance.