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Polyphenols In Virgin Olive Oil Modify Atherosclerosis Gene Expression

July 1, 2010: 10:12 AM EST
Clinical evidence has accumulated for years that the Mediterranean diet, with its use of olive oil as the main fat ingredient in meals, has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. New Spanish research has found out why: polyphenols in virgin olive oil modify the expression of atherosclerosis-related genes. Three groups of healthy volunteers ate three types of meals: a traditional Mediterranean diet with virgin olive oil rich in polyphenols, one with low-polyphenol olive oil, and a habitual diet that of their own choosing. After three months, the function of the atherosclerosis genes in the blood cells of those who ate the high-polyphenol olive oil had been significantly moderated. Researchers said the high-polyphenol olive oil can also positively affect lipid and DNA oxidation, insulin resistance, inflammation, carcinogenesis and tumor suppression.
Valentini Konstantinidou, Maria-Isabel Covas, et al., " In vivo nutrigenomic effects of virgin olive oil polyphenols within the frame of the Mediterranean diet: a randomized controlled trial", FASEB Journal, July 01, 2010, © Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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