02 Feb 11 New report questions health benefits of olive oil
EVOO — extra virgin olive oil. Everywhere we turn it is recommended that it be added to almost everything we eat in order to reap the health benefits of this numero uno oil. But I hate to burst the bubble: new reports are emerging that indicate it’s not so great after all.
In the most remarkable recent discovery about olive oil, Dr. Robert Vogel at the University of Maryland reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that olive oil was found to reduce blood flow in arteries by 31% after consumption. This is significant in relation to blood clots and heart attacks, as well as angina. It’s suggested that people be aware of any relationship between consuming olive oil and an angina attack. Also, it was found that olive oil “causes significant damage” to the endothelial cells that line the inside of arteries. This damage causes inflammation which leads to atherosclerosis.
Dr. Dean Ornish reported these findings in an article written for Reader’s Digest, and now recommends canola oil as the best alternative in cooking, since it contains much higher levels of omega 3, whereas olive oil has almost none. Studies in the past have suggested that olive oil lowered cholesterol when it replaced oils higher in saturated fat. Dr. Ornish points out that it’s not that olive oil is better for you, it’s that olive oil is better than the higher saturated fat oils. That’s because it didn’t raise cholesterol as much.
The Pritikin Longevity Center agrees that olive oil “is not heart-healthy;” many other plant foods are more heart-healthy than olive oil. Dr. Vogel also reveals in his book, “The Pritikin Edge,” that olive oil inhibits the release of nitric oxide into the body, but canola oil does not. Nitric oxide is the natural nitroglycerin of the body, expanding blood vessels and decreasing inflammation. The lack of nitric oxide also is correlated with a lack of penile erection.