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Olive oil key ingredient to Mediterranean diet's health benefits

Posted Apr 22 2010 2:36am

Olive oil could be the key ingredient to Mediterranean diet's health benefits.
A recent study led by Francisco Perez-Jimenez from the University of Cordoba, Spain,  suggests the heart-healthy effects of the Mediterranean diet may have something to do with components of virgin olive oil – called phenols - that repress genes that promote inflammation. Phenols are a family of weakly acidic, organic chemical compounds, that have effects on genes involved in inflammation, a process in which blood flow to specific parts of the body increases as part of an immune response. Inflammation can become an abnormal, chronic condition in a number of diseases, including heart disease and arthritis.
According to Perez-Jimenez's study, the power of phenols of suppressing several genes that promote inflammation partly explains the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease seen in people who eat a 'Mediterranean diet'.


Further information about the study on:

Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish and poor in dairy and meat. These dietary habits have been linked to a death rate reduced by half in 70- to 90-year-olds and benefits such as lower risk of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you want to find out more about mediterranean eating style and its benefits on health, have a look at this site:

You can also get a free personalized mediterranean diet based on your nutritional needs and provided by a team of  nutritionists from the SISA (Italian Association of Food Science).



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