You are all familiar with the health benefits that olive oil has to offer. From lowering blood pressure, fighting wrinkles and reducing cancer risk. A recent study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives showed that it can also protect your body from the air pollution effects.
The researchers at the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency conducted a study on groups of middle-aged people to determine if eating different types of oil could help reduce the health risks linked to air pollution. This is a problem because of the health problems linked in breathing polluted air. These includes impair blood vessel function, increase blood pressure, can trigger heart attack and strokes in people with heart problems.
The first group, supplemented with 3 fish oil pills per day, for a month. The second group took 3 olive oil capsules or the equivalent of about 2/3 teaspoon daily for a month. While the third group did not take any oil supplement.
All the study participants spent several hours breathing both polluted and filtered air. Finally, researchers checked markers for heart health, such as artery function and blood pressure.
So What is Behind Olive Oil’s Benefits?
The research have proven that olive oil and not fish oil, help improved the body’s response to breathing polluted air. Olive oil not only improve the blood vessels’ ability to respond to pollution-triggered stress, but it also help increased the levels of a protein in the blood known as tPA, which dissolves clots. Clots are the known cause of stroke and heart attack . Therefore, an increase in tPA would presumably decrease the risk of having one.
Researchers believe that oleic acid, a component present in olive oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which could be responsible for that.
So this IS just another reason to put a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on your meal or salads.