Olive oil intake in relation to cardiovascular diseases
Keywords:Olive oil, Monounsaturated fatty acids, Cardiovascular disease, Lipoproteins, LDL oxidation, Haemostasis, Mediterranean diet
Atherosclerosis is the principal contributor to the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Epidemiological, clinical and metabolic studies have reported protective associations between (extra virgin) olive oil consumption and CAD. As a key component of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is a rich source of oleic acid, making up about 29 % of the daily dietary caloric intake, and antioxidants (vitamin E and phenolic compounds). Olive oil has beneficial effects by reducing LDL plasma concentration, the LDL cholesterol:HDL cholesterol ratio, and protecting LDL against oxidation. The progress of atherosclerosis and the risk of thrombo-embolic episodes could also be decreased through the reduction in plasma clotting factors levels, including FVIIc, PAI-1, XIIc and XIIa. The findings reaffirm low-moderate fat policies for optimum health, within which olive oil appears to be an important component of the diet.
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