Virgin Olive Oil Could Raise HDL Levels

By Rodney Rafols , Feb 15, 2017 02:21 AM EST

Olive oil has been noted to have good effects on the heart. A study now finds a new benefit for virgin olive oil. A study shows virgin olive oil could raise HDL levels.

High levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) as well as triglycerides are known to be the cause for hypertension as well as heart disease. A higher level of HDL though would be more beneficial, as HDL helps in reducing cholesterol levels. HDL should also work well though for it to be beneficial for people.

Senior author Montserrat Fito, M.D., Ph.D. from the Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Barcelona has said that HDL isn't working well for people who are at high risk for heart disease and stroke. Antioxidant food such as olive oil could improve HDL. Other antioxidant foods include tomatoes and berries.

296 people have been selected for the study. The participants joined the PREDIMED (PREvencion con Dieta MEDiterranea) study. The participants were assigned one of three diets that would be taken in a year. The diets of choice are a traditional Mediterranean diet with olive oil, a traditional Mediterranean diet with nuts or a healthy control diet.

All of the diets focused more on vegetables, legumes and whole grains. The Mediterranean diets also added moderate amounts of fish and poultry, according to the American Heart Association's site. The results were surprising for the researchers.

The results showed that total LDL and cholesterol levels were reduced by taking the healthy control diet. HDL levels were not raised significantly by any of the diets. Mediterranean diets were able to improve HDL function though, as Science Daily reports. HDL function improvement was most noted in those that took it with virgin olive oil.

The Mediterranean diet with olive oil also provided antioxidant protection. It also removed cholesterol plaques that have built up inside the arteries. Those on the control diet though also had reduced anti-inflammatory effect. The reduction of this effect can lead to possible heart diseases.

The study has noted that adding virgin olive oil into Mediterranean diets can have a positive effect. Virgin olive oil could raise HDL levels. A study has noted that fish oil can be good for asthma.


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