Olive oil is still considered an essential and healthy part of the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is said to reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
Is Olive Oil a Natural Blood Thinner?
Despite repeated criticism, olive oil is still considered an essential and healthy part of the Mediterranean diet. For example, olive oil is said to reduce cholesterol levels (especially total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol) and lower the risk of heart disease.
The oil is also said to protect against gallstones, stimulate digestion and have a detoxifying effect – of course always in combination with an overall healthy, i.e. plant-based and low-fat diet made from largely fresh ingredients.
A study presented at this year’s (2019) American Heart Association meeting found that subjects who consumed olive oil at least once a week had lower platelet activity (meaning less blood clotting) than those who ate the fat infrequently.
A lower blood clotting tendency means that the risk of blood clots is reduced and the blood can flow better through the vessels instead. So could olive oil be a natural blood thinner?
Those who eat olive oil several times a week have the best blood clotting values
The 63 subjects in the study were on average 32.2 years old and had an average BMI of over 44. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese, i.e. obese. A BMI of 25 or more is overweight.
The researchers not only found that consuming olive oil once a week led to lower platelet activity than in people who used the oil less often, but also that those subjects who consumed the olive oil more frequently, i.e. several times a week, had the best blood clotting values.
Poor blood coagulation values, on the other hand, indicate that deposits can form along the blood vessel walls. Arteriosclerosis is now diagnosed – one of the most important prerequisites for heart attacks and strokes.
Olive oil could reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke
“Obese people, in particular, have an increased risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or another cardiovascular event – even if they have no other risk factors, such as diabetes,” explained Dr. Sean P. Heffron, leader of the olive oil study and assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine in New York. “Our study suggests that olive oil may reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack in obese people.
However, only the frequency of olive oil consumption was checked in the study and not the amount consumed. Also, since it was purely an observational study, it obviously cannot prove that consuming olive oil alone could inhibit blood clotting in obese people.
Olive oil has an anti-inflammatory effect
But earlier studies (from 2011, 2014, and 2015) had shown that olive oil has a positive effect on the blood vessels, promotes blood flow, has an additional anti-inflammatory effect, and can therefore reduce the risk of strokes.
Although there are also studies to the contrary, these have always been carried out with an excessively large amount of fat, so the results can hardly be transferred to moderate oil consumption as part of a healthy diet.