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Two recent studies from Spain and Italy explain how olive oil helps to prevent heart attacks. The Italian authors showed that olive oil contains phenolic compounds that lower fibrinogen that causes clots, that damage arteries to cause heart attacks. The Spanish report shows that olive oil is loaded with caffeic acid and oleuropein: potent antioxidants at very low concentrations.

These reports should not encourage you to go out and add olive oil to everything that you eat. All fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent heart attacks. You should interpret these studies to encourage you to eat large amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts, so that you will benefit from the many different antioxidants, and anti-clotting factors and cholesterol- lowering factors that are found in all plants. If you can afford added calories, olive oil is a healthful choice for salad dressings and cooking.

1) Effect of extra virgin olive oil on experimental thrombosis and primary hemostasis in rats. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 2002, Vol 12, Iss 6, pp 337-342. S Brzosko, A DeCurtis, S Murzilli, G deGaetano, MB Donati, L Iacoviello. Iacoviello L, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Angela Valenti Lab Genet & Environm Risk Factors, Chieti, ITALY.

2) Effect of phenolic compounds of virgin olive oil on LDL oxidation resistance. Medicina Clinica, 2003, Vol 120, Iss 4, pp 128-131. JA Moreno, J LopezMiranda, P Gomez, F Benkhalti, E ElBoustani, F PerezJimenez. Perez-Jimenez F, Hosp Univ Reina Sofia, Unidad Lipidos & Arteriosclerosis, Avda Menendez Pidal, S-N, Cordoba 14004, SPAIN

Checked 5/3/07

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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