Olive Oil May Lower Heart Disease Risk in Fibromyalgia Patients

Olive Oil May Lower Heart Disease Risk in Fibromyalgia Patients
Consuming olive oil may protect against thrombosis and inflammation, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease in women with fibromyalgia, a study suggests. The study, “Effects of Olive Oil Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Patients with Fibromyalgia,” was published in the journal Nutrients. A previous study by researchers in Spain suggested that women with fibromyalgia are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease due to thrombosis (blood clots that can block blood vessels). This risk was related to altered blood-clotting parameters, including red blood cell and platelet counts, platelet distribution width (PDW; a measure of platelet size variability), mean platelet volume, and levels of fibrinogen protein — which promotes coagulation. Olive oil, a key component of the Mediterranean diet, has been associated with protection against cardiovascular disease, thrombosis, and inflammation. The beneficial properties of olive oil are thought to be related to its high content of a type of healthy fat called monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs.  Both types of olive oil — extra virgin if produced by crushing and pressing the olives, and refined if treated — have the same composition of MUFAs and differ mostly in minor components.  This same Spanish team has now investigated the effects of the two types of olive oil on thrombosis and inflammation markers associated with cardiovascular risk in women with fibromyalgia. The study enrolled 30 participants, 15 of whom were asked to consume 50 mL of organic extra virgin olive oil per day, while the other 15 consumed the same daily amount of organic refined olive oil, for a total of three weeks. Ages were similar between the two groups — approximately 54.1 years in the extra virgin olive oil grou
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