Today we are reviewing an article regarding olive oil. It is a relatively recent study that touches on some of the other oils but focuses primarily on olive oil. There is some comparison of olive oil as a supplement versus adding it to the diet; it looks at the impact of olive oil on inflammation and dilatation. It also goes into detail about the potential injury to the endothelium by dilatation and flow measures.
The study’s title is ” Effects of Olive Oil on Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Function-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” It is a well-designed study. First, a meta-analysis is where you take other studies, usually randomized clinical trials, and pool the randomized clinical trials into a more extensive examination. There are rules for doing that. An international nonprofit group called the Cochrane Group developed a vast set of guidelines and a series of methods to run a good meta-analysis. The bottom line is that these guys did a great job on the meta-analysis characteristics and practices.
The study was published in the Journal of Nutrients in September 2015. The authors were Lukas Schwingshacki, Marina Christoph, and Georg Hoffmann from the University of Vienna. Here are the basics of the article; they used the Cochrane clinical trial register EmBase and MEDLINE and found 30 studies out of 3106 participants who fulfilled the selection criteria.
Some findings include Olive Oil decreasing c-reactive protein. Low impact on interleukin 6, and flow-mediated dilatation significantly increased. This means that there is evidence that olive oil may exert beneficial effects on endothelial function and markers of inflammation.
Now, it is worth considering that olive oil is a key ingredient contributing to the cardiovascular health effect of the Mediterranean diet. The proponents of the Mediterranean diet have done other research. They say, could it be olive oil, and if so, which components of olive oil?
They are also looking at what form of olive oil supplements. Is it just putting it in the diet, or if additional supplements, what kind?
In some of these studies, they compared it to other oils. I didn’t see a lot of clarity in comparison to the other oils. If you look at some of the other oils, like coconut oil, I don’t think the other oils are set up or are supposed to have the same impact. I’m not surprised whether you would or would not see an immediate effect on endothelial function with coconut oil, for example, as you might find with olive oil. Still, you may see a positive impact with coconut oil.
The literature research went into detail about the mechanisms of coconut oil. They again used the Cochrane trial register. They looked at EmBase and PubMed and reviewed other literature associated with c-reactive protein and the flow-mediated dilatation measurement.
They did an excellent job of delineating what types of studies they were looking for and the components of the studies. The Cochrane analysis has a lot of good information and methodology regarding how to assess risk.
Let’s go to the end of the article. The duration was between 4 -208 weeks. It was not just about the effect after 10 minutes of ingestion. The reviewers did some analysis and discussion about the markers. They looked at c-reactive protein and interleukin 6; however, they didn’t look at what I considered to be the most important indicator of inflammation: the microalbumin and creatinine ratio.
There’s still debate regarding the best measurements of inflammation. C-reactive protein is a good measure of inflammation, and the impact of phenolic compounds and oleic acid in extra-virgin olive oil seems to have a positive effect.
This was a great article. I think it provides some outstanding clarity regarding cardiovascular inflammation and the ileal function with olive oil.
- Effects of Olive Oil on Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Function-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Nutrients. 2015 Sep 11;7(9):7651-75. doi: 10.3390/nu7095356. Lukas Schwingshackl 1 2, Marina Christoph 3, Georg Hoffmann 4 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26378571/