In a remarkable analysis of the impact of olive oil consumption on cardiovascular risk, 61,181 women and 31,797 men were analyzed by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This was a subsample of the “Nurses’ Health Study” and the “Health Professional’s Follow-up Study”. Their results revealed that the substitution of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with olive oil reduced the risk of primary cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, olive oil reduced inflammatory biomarkers despite a lower consumption among the US study sample compared to other Mediterranean groups. The authors attribute these observations to the polyphenol and monounsaturated fat content, among other properties, and speculate that a higher consumption of virgin olive oil may have even greater beneficial effects.
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