Large Human Trial Demonstrates Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Cardiovascular and Breast Cancer Risks
Results of a large clinical trial published in two prestigious medical journals JAMA an the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate that a diet supplemented with extra Virgin olive oil provides health benefits.
The PREDIMED study enrolled adults age 55 to 80 who are considered at high risk for cardiovascular disease based on various factors.
Participant participants were assigned to a Mediterranean diet, one with supplemental extra virgin olive oil at least 4 tablespoons and the other supplemented with mixed nuts. The third group was assigned to a control, low fat diet.
Over almost five years of follow-up, cardiovascular outcomes including heart attack, stroke, and death from any cardiovascular cause, were noted. The Mediterranean diet groups had a significantly lower rate of negative cardiovascular outcomes. This association was particularly strong for the supplemental extra virgin olive oil group, which had a 31 percent reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease outcomes compared to the control diet group.
The researchers also observed data of new breast cancer in the women enrolled. Here too, the diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil was most protective, reducing rates of breast cancer by nearly 70% compared to the control diet. Interesting, the group that supplemented with mixed nuts did not show a significant benefit in terms of breast cancer risk. The study’s authors report that this was the first human trial to find a beneficial effect of a dietary intervention on breast cancer risk. Together, these results suggest that a Mediterranean diet with supplemental extra virgin olive oil is protective against both cardiovascular disease and breast cancer in older adults with existing risk factors