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Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Cardiovascular Disease

People in the industrialized world are at the most risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, which ranks as the top killer in those countries.

Several studies have showed that the disease arteriosclerosis aligns closely with eating habits and lifestyle. How arteriosclerosis progresses depends on factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cigarettes and diabetes.

What is arteriosclerosis?

Arteriosclerosis occurs when cholesterol-rich patches called atheromas deposit onto artery walls. When this occurs, it prevents blood from reaching tissues and interrupts the functions of vital organs like heart and brain.

What are the consequences of arteriosclerosis?

When arteriosclerosis affects the heart, it causes angina and heart attacks and can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. When arteriosclerosis affects the brain, it can cause cerebral thrombosis, which can also lead to muscle paralysis, increased risk of dementia and loss of cognitive capabilities. Aortic and leg arteries can also be damaged, which may make it more painful to walk and increasing the danger of necrosis and gangrene.

Then atheromas burst because blood pressure rises, the small arteries within these atheromas patches can also burst. The causes platelets to form a blood clot.

The blood clot then travels through the arteries, but when the clot is bigger than the vessel through which it is trying to pass, it causes a blockage. Because blood can’t get to the organ or tissue, it dies.

Extra virgin olive oil & arteriosclerosis

Research has proven that extra virgin olive oil is effective in preventing blood clot formation and platelet aggregation. Diets rich in extra virgin olive oil can reduce the blood clot formation by reducing the effect of fatty foods that encourage blood clot formation.

Cholesterol, a fatty substance, is found in foods made from an animal origin. When someone takes in a large amount of animal fat, it raises their cholesterol level.

Extra virgin olive oil & cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in foods of animal origin. Cholesterol is carried in the blood by lipoproteins. VLDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol which is a low-density lipoproteins which damage the vessel walls. HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol which is a high-density lipoproteins which remove the free cholesterol from the cells, carrying it to the liver where it is than eliminated, preventing than the beginning of cardiovascular diseases.

Extra virgin olive oil lowers the levels of bad cholesterol VLDL and triglycerides, but it does not change the levels of good cholesterol HDL, in fact it may even raise them. Extra virgin olive oil has a protective capacity and plays an important role in prevention of fatty patches and it encourages the elimination of VLDL.

Research exhibit a great effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet not only in the prevention of developing cardiovascular disease but also in preventing any recurrences.

Extra virgin olive oil is found to be effective in having a positive influence on the depression related to such events and on overall mood. This revealing discovery is important since exists a high incidence of depression in the world today, which is a cause of risk of heart disease.

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