Olive Oil is considered a superfood source.
It is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. The key fatty acid in olive oil is oleic acid. This fatty acid has been found to be responsible for lowering inflammation.
Research also suggests that oleic acid can reduce levels of important inflammatory markers like high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and Interleukin-6.
Reduced Stroke Events Associated with Consumption of Olive Oil
Thirty-two cohort studies (42 reports) including 841,211 subjects found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke.
Olive oil intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure. In one study, olive oil reduced the need for blood pressure medication by 48%.
Study found that a single dose of high polyphenol olive oil increased endothelial function (cells lining the interior of blood vessels), decreased "bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidation and moderated blood glucose.
Several studies have found that olive oil, combined with a Mediterranean diet, can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity.
Olive Oil and Helicobacter pylori
A study in humans suggested that 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil, taken daily, can eliminate Helicobacter pylori infection in 10–40% of people in as little as two weeks.
The results of lab studies showed olive oil's phenolic compounds were effective against eight strains of H. pylori, including three that are resistant to some antibiotics.
Choose Your Olive Oil Wisely
Turns out many companies that make extra virgin olive oil dilute their product with cheaper, lower grade oils like canola, safflower or sunflower oils.
Brands that passed the University of California test were: Bariani, California Olive Oil, Kirkland Organic, Lucero, Lucini, McEvoy Ranch Organic, Olea Estates Ottavio. Look for the approval of the California Olive Oil Council (COOC Certified Extra Virgin).
If in doubt you can test for fake olive oils yourself. Simply refrigerate the oil. It should become more solid as it gets colder. If your oil doesn't become thick and cloudy in the refrigerator you know it's probably fake or lower grade oil.
In addition you can look for the seal denoting approval by the California Olive Oil Council, labeled as "COOC Certified Extra Virgin"
Seals of approval from the Italian Olive Grower' Association, the Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA) and UNAPROL also signal a good pure product.
My advice: stick with high quality brands that passed the University of California test or that have earned a seal of approval from one of the organizations I just mentioned.
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