Olive Polyphenols may help prevent a stroke or heart attack

August 24, 2007

Researchers from various institutions in Spain have come up with important and potentially lifesaving dietary information; olive oil if rich in polyphenols may ward off harmful blood clots in people with high cholesterol. The researchers had 21 people with high cholesterol eat two different breakfasts in a crossover design. For one week group A had white bread for breakfast along with virgin olive oil that was high in polyphenols, and the other group had the same breakfast but their olive oil lacked the polyphenols. After the first week the two groups switched to the others breakfast. Blood levels of two factors that can trigger a blood clot in an artery dropped on the polyphenols compared to the other group. The factors that were lower were factor VII antigen - this is related to the development of ischemic heart disease and blood clotting risk. The other lowered factor was plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 - this factor inhibits the break down of blood clots so that lowering it helps prevent a stroke or heart attack. The study strongly supports the heart healthy benefits of olive oil and olive polyphenols. The study is published in the August 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.