The Phenolic Benefits of Olive Oil

An interesting study goes far toward explaining the benefits of consuming a Mediterranean diet, thanks to the phenolic compounds found in olive oil.

Patients with high cholesterol levels were fed a breakfast -- 60 grams of white bread with 40 milliliters of virgin olive oil (of high and low phenolic content) -- twice, followed by a battery of blood tests over four hours.

Not surprisingly, scientists found olive oil with high amounts of phenols boosted the concentration of beneficial compounds, including nitric oxide, in the bloodstream and improved the functioning of the endothelium of small blood vessels in fingers.

The lead researcher concurred with my assessment of olive oil as superior to seed oils that require processing. That said, olive oil isn't the best oil to cook with, because it is highly susceptible to oxidative damage when heated.

Your best alternative is coconut oil, an abundantly nutritious and useful product that can help you fight and prevent disease.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol. 46, No. 10, November 15, 2005: 1864-1868

Science Blog November 8, 2005

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