In the last 10 years, there has been significant research examining the health claims around olive oil.  We will explain the heart healthy benefits of olive oil from the research, but also where to get the best olive oil for your heart and see that olive oil is heart healthy! At Oliventures, the science matters – so read on to learn the exciting evidence for olive oil’s amazing health properties.

Is Olive Oil Heart Healthy?

The simple is “Yes”.  The longer answer is – it depends a lot on which olive oil you use.  If you use extra virgin olive oil with high polyphenols – and specifically, high hydroxytyrosol levels,, then yes it is extremely heart healthy.    

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has determined that a minimum 5 mg of Hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives in olive oil should be consumed daily by individuals – or to be used by olive oil producers to use a cardiovascular health claim.  EFSA is similar to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) here in the U.S.  In fact EFSA went so far as to identify that the polyphenols in olive oil actually helped lower cholesterol levels in the body.

Animal fats (saturated fats) and oils like corn oil are not bad for us – but the problem is these fats break down and “oxidize” easily in the body and that is not typically good for us.  Olive oil – especially extra virgin olive oil – is a healthier alternative that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  And the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil are both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.  The original PREDIMED study was released in 2013.  This study was conducted in Spain over a period of five years. It examined over 7,000 people who were considered to be in the high cardiovascular risk category. The study found that people who supplemented their diet with extra virgin olive oil had a much lower incidence of major cardiovascular events than the people who ate a regular low-fat diet. The paper was later retracted and revised in 2018. But during the course of that time, many clinical papers and studies began to reveal what the researchers had found in the earlier PREDIMED study.  That the polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil were extremely effective in improving the cardiovascular health of the patients in the study.   

How Olive Oil Actually Protects the Heart

Polyphenols from olive oil or the olive fruit itself provide some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory properties especially when provided in high concentrations.  Chronic inflammation benefits the heart and cardiovascular system in several ways.  Lowering inflammation also lowers the risk of plaque build up in the arteries and therefore increased blood pressure.  This inflammation can cause hypertension, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy.  For example, chronic inflammation can be associated with irregular heart rates, a build up of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis),high blood pressure, clots, etc.  In fact, chronic inflammation is the number one risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease.*

Research suggests there are two mechanisms involved.  First, studies have found that higher levels of olive fruit polyphenols (hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and derivatives) can reduce arterial wall stiffness, and decrease the cellular adhesion of lipids and cholesterol to the arterial walls.  This means that the arteries become more flexible. And it reduces the “stickiness” of the inside walls of the arteries – thus allowing the lipids to keep passing through instead of building up inside them.1

Second, hydroxytyrosol has been shown to help increase HDLs (high density lipids) which are good for you because these lipids will carry oxidized LDLs (low density lipids) back to the liver, causing an overall reduction in total cholesterol in the process.2

 Hands Create an Heart Shape Above Olives

Why Take a Supplement?

Some of these studies used the polyphenols found in polyphenol-rich olive oil, however, more companies are beginning to provide hydroxytyrosol in a more convenient oral form.  A softgel supplement can make it convenient and easy to take it regularly and without the calories from olive oil.  Want to drill down more on hydroxytyrosol?  Check here.

You could also get all of the benefits of the supplements from taking a few tablespoons of CardiOlive®25x every day, but you may not want all the calories that weould come with it.  And, it is much more convenient to pop two softgels in the morning every day, or on the way to work.   The first is that the supplement, which comes in the form of a softgel, contains a concentrated dose. Taking two OliPura® Heart softgels per day for just one week is the equivalent of consuming 1.5 liters of olive oil!

The other main reason is that recent study just showed that polyphenols AND omega 3 fish oils is much more powerful combination!  Our study for OliPura Advanced was listed in this study as one of the major human evidence of this theory.  The polyphenols seemed to make the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and the active ingredients of EPA and DHA more bioavailable, but also they seemed to protect the PUFAs from oxidizing over time – which is a tremendous benefit.  So polyphenols like TrePhenol® AND omega 3s might just be in your future!

The Best Supplement for Heart Health

When it comes to cardiovascular supplements, OliPura® Heart is the way to go! The main ingredient that makes it so special is called TrePhenol®.  Harvested by specialists in Spain, TrePhenol® is a blend of olive polyphenols developed and clinically tested by Oliventures. It is a natural, non-GMO, and chemical-free way to target the inflammation in your body and support your cardiovascular health. Much like olive oil, olive-based products can also vary. Olive leaf products and those processed with solvents and resins may produce an inferior supplement compared to the olive fruit extract TrePhenol®. Targeting the fruit itself and using an all-natural, water-based extraction process means that each softgel contains far more polyphenols and no solvents!

Learn more about TrePhenol and heart healthy polyphenol supplements at www.oliventuresinc.com!

References

EFSA determiniation on cardiovascular benefits of olive oil: https://www.preparedfoods.com/articles/110362-efsa-approves-heart-health-claim-for-olive-oil-polyphenol

1.        “Hydroxytyrosol and Cytoprotection: A Projection for Clinical Interventions; International Journal of Molecular Science, 2017 Apr 28;18(5):930; see the abstract at :  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28452954/
2.        “The effect of polyphenols in olive oil on heart disease risk factors“;  Annals of Internal Medicine, 2007 Mar 6;146(5):394; see the abstract at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17339627/3.
3.      “Polyphenols and Fish Oils for Improving Metabolic Health: A Revision of the Recent Evidence for Their Combined Nutraceutical Effects” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8122614

* Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.