A Spanish research report suggests that eating foods prepared with olive oil, which contains phenols, substances that are beneficial to the heart, may also help in warding off harmful blood clots, in people suffering with high cholesterol.

Dr. Francisco Perez Jimenez, Reina Sofia University Hospital, says that during the early stages of Atherosclerosis, the balance between clot-promotion and clot-dissolving factors in blood vessels, shifts in favor of clot-formation, and presence of high-levels of fat in blood can even worsen this imbalance.

The researchers have noted that Olive oil, contains phenols, which fight clotting and it has been evident in lab tests, but only a few such studies have been performed in humans.
To investigate this, researchers lined up 21 people with high-cholesterol levels, and gave them two different breakfasts. After a week, they consumed either white bread with virgin olive oil (containing 400 parts per million phenols) or white bread with olive oil (from which most of the phenols had already been extracted leaving it with 80 parts per million). Later on the study group switched on to the opposite meal.

After two hours, it was found that the high-phenol meal, consumed by study participants had lower concentrations of factor VII antigen, which promotes blood clotting, as against the low-phenol meal. The high-phenol group also experienced a greater drop in the activity of another clot-promoter, ˜Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1.

With this, the researchers concluded that the study supports the heart health benefits of virgin olive oil.

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