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Sunflower Oil Enriched With Biophenol From Olive Oil May Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

December 8, 2010: 10:11 AM EST

Researchers in Spain have determined that sunflower oil enriched with a biophenol found naturally in olive oil may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Numerous studies in animals and humans have shown that hydroxytyrosol acts as a potent antioxidant. Twenty-two healthy volunteers participated in the cross-over study involving two 3-week periods, separated by a 2-week washout period, in which volunteers consumed 10–15 g/d of either hydroxytyrosol-enriched sunflower oil (HSO) or non-enriched (control) sunflower oil. Researchers found that HSO acted as a functional food by increasing arylesterase activity and reducing oxidized LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1) levels. It did not reduce LDL or increase HDL levels, however. Nevertheless, the findings suggest the possibility that ”HSO may help prevent cardiovascular disease.”

Miguel Vazquez-Velasco, et al., "Effects of hydroxytyrosol-enriched sunflower oil consumption on CVD risk factors", British Journal of Nutrition, December 08, 2010, © The authors
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